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The New Zealand Evangelist

Notes on Gardening

Notes on Gardening.

For May.

The reign of Flora has now almost terminated, Nearly all the showy flowers of the garden, have now passed, excepting the Dahlias and Chrysanthemums which still give a rich glow, (like the setting of a summer's sun) to the expiring reign of the goddess. These, however, pass away towards the end of the month; leaving only such annuals in flower, as have been sown with this object in midsummer. Bulbs, however, may still be planted, and hardy seeds sown.

In the Vegetable department all the young plants of the cabbage tribe should now be finally planted. The summer crops of carrots, parsnips, and beet page 396 should now be taken up if not already done: the proper time is when their leaves begin to turn yellow.

Regarding beet root, few persons in this colony appear to know its excellence. It is without exception one of the most desirable vegetables that can be cultivated. Carrots, to invalids, or to dyspeptic persons, (i.e. having weak stomachs) are highly injurious. Parsnips less so, but few people like them. But the beet root has neither the astringent qualities of the first nor the insipid sweetness of the other. In cooking it should be well boiled, then cut into thin slices, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, adding a little sweet oil, if not unsuited to the palate. The red sort has the best flavoured root, but the leaves of the white are quite as tender as spinage, and three or four plants,—for it grows here to a large size—will furnish a picking for a moderate dish, nearly all the year round.

Transplanting trees and shrubs may now be continued, so soon as the leaves have decayed, but not before. This is also a good time to transplant native shrubs, always remembering to preserve a large ball of earth round the roots, as mentioned in the two preceding months.

March and April are the best months in the year for sowing grass seeds, but this may still be done in May. Pruning fruit trees should not be commenced until the leaves have fallen off, and the vegetating powers suspended.

All ground, from which crops have been taken, should be well dug, and if necessary, manured, not in the slovenly way usually done by the people here, of laying the dung in heaps like hay cocks, and then leaving the sun and wind to dry up all its goodness,—but by spreading it over the ground, and digging it well in, at once.

Printed at the Office of the "Wellington Independent," corner of Willis Street and Lambton Quay.