manure, and this may consist of diluted sheep-dung
or cow-dung, which latter is, I think, the best for
vines. Do not give it too strong, but often. One-year-
old well-grown vines thoroughly ripened may be used,
but two-year-old plants are better. The pots may be
GROWING GRAPES IN POTS. 33
ten, eleven, or thirteen inch ; but the ten or eleven inch
are large enough for three or four years.
The vine must be well established in the pot by the
month of October, and about the end of November it
may be cut back to, say, three feet, and tied to a stick
fixed in the pot and may then be set in the house where
there is but little or no fire heat, for a week or two.
I find that if vines in pots are pruned and at once
placed in much heat they will bleed. Of course all
depends upon the state of the roots ; if they are at all
in an active state which they frequently are when grown
in pots they will bleed if introduced into a brisk
heat immediately after pruning. In the course of a
fortnight from the introduction of the vines into the
forcing house' the heat may be raised ten degrees, and
so continue till the temperature rises to 70, where it
may stand until the fruit shows.
When the fruit is fairly set, a few degrees more
may be added to the temperature to swell off the
berries quickly. No more young wood must be allowed
on these vines than is absolutely necessary, that is,
only just the quantity of wood which bears the fruit,
and as many laterals springing from the base of the
spur as will be required for fruiting next year. If only
one bunch is allowed on each lateral, the second bud
from the base will be a plump one for fruiting next
season, but some care is necessary to maintain a good
and vigorous habit in these pot-vines by weekly
waterings with liquid manure as soon as the fruit is
set. The spur system of pruning must be adhered to.
The pots should be set on beds of soil or tan and
allowed to remain there till after fruiting, or till the
34 THE FORCING GARDEN.
fruit is ripe. Then the roots will get through the
bottom of the pot and feed the vine from the bed.
VARIETIES OF THE FINE BEST SUITED FOE POTS.
Almost any kind of Grape may be grown in pots, but
the Black Prince, Black Hamburgh, Eoyal Muscadine,
Chaptal, the Frontignans, Fontainebleau, and the Sweet-
water, are all excellent sorts for ordinary pot-culture.
These may be had in good strong fruiting canes in pots
at 3s. 6d. to 5s. each, and if the wood is well ripened
in the autumn they may be pruned at once, carefully
shifted, ball entire, into ten or eleven-inch pots and put
into the house in the beginning of December, according
to the time when the fruit is wanted.
There is a particular advantage attached to the
growing of Grapes in pots beyond any other way, viz.
that a house can be partly or wholly filled with such
vines, which may be increased in number in succession.
Some may also be forced very early, and others intro-
duced very late, to give a succession of fresh ripened
Grapes, which, in my opinion, are far better than those
thick-skinned imported ones which possess a covering
like thin leather, and have but a poor quantity of juice
and that of a very indifferent quality.
Let anyone with a keen palate test the difference
between a nicely ripened bunch of fresh Grapes just
come to maturity, and one of the same sort which has
been hanging for two or three months after the fruit
has ripened, and I venture to say that the preference
will be given to the more recently ripened.
THE GRAPE. 35
THE MARKETING OF GRAPES.
The best way of sending Grapes to market is a
matter which often causes some anxiety. It is of the
utmost importance to the vendor of fruit that what he
sends to the seller is thoroughly well packed, so that
no fault can be found, which, by-the-bye, is frequently
done with a view to get the lot at a cheaper rate, and
sometimes to get it for nothing. I have experienced
some of these dodges, and would like to caution the
reader against them if he has any fruit to send to
As regards sending home-grown grapes to market
so as to present them with as much of the bloom on
them as it is possible to do, take baskets holding, say,
not more than twenty pounds each. These may or may
not contain cross-handles ; but I think handles afford a
facility for carrying, as then one person can carry one
basket without much strain. The fruit being ready,
take the baskets into the vinery in the afternoon, when
the fruit will be dry, and having a nice lot of perfectly
dry lawn-mowings of rather a long growth (say 5 or
6 inches) which have been made in the sun some time
before put some of it all round the sides of the
baskets to form a padding. Then place some packing
or tissue-paper on the hay, and turn the basket on one
end, a little slanting. Then let a second man cut the
bunches and bring them to the one holding the basket ;
place each bunch endways, i.e. the stalks of each
bunch uppermost placing the bunches as close together
as they can possibly lie, and continue to do so till
each basket is nearly filled, and when near the top let
36 THE FORCING GARDEN.
the basket gently down on the bottom and fill up with
a few more bunches. Then place a feW layers of soft
tissue-paper over the whole, and on this some thin
clean calico, and sew it all round the baskets, straining
the calico quite tight. Mark the exact weight of each
lot of fruit on the calico cover in ink, so that it cannot
be obliterated, and label each basket to its destination,
marked < Perishable goods ; with care.'
In the case of Peaches, it is a good plan either to
have small fine made baskets or boxes holding a dozen
each, placing some fine tissue-paper, cotton-wool, or
wadding as we call it, next the sides ; then wrap each
fruit in a double thickness of tissue-paper, and place
them quite close to each other, but not so as to press
them too tightly together. Put some layers of tissue-
paper or cotton-wool on the top of each small package,
and then place from six to twelve of these into a square
box or basket made expressly to hold the quantity,
fitted with a cover. Mark and label them as for
ORCHARD HOUSES AND GLASS HOUSES.
THE CHEAPEST WAY TO BUILD.
THE well-known Mr. T. Eivers was remarkable for con-
structing cheap orchard houses; but whether that
celebrated orchardist was dependent upon the builder,
or whether the cost of materials is less now than it used
to be, I cannot say ; but I am convinced that houses of
the same dimensions can be erected at the present time
at a considerably less figure. The illustration on next
page shows the arrangement of a good Peach-house or
a late or medium vinery. If there is a back wall of
brick, so much the better ; if not, one may be built
according to my plan (fig. 5) at the small cost of
about Si. for bricks, mortar, and labour, or perhaps a
little less. The other expenses of building such a house
may be fairly put at 221. 12s., which includes the back
wall on my plan. Should no wall be required, then a
saving of Si. will have to be deducted from this sum.
My estimate for such a house includes all the best
THE FORCING GARDEN.
materials, and painting the woodwork with three coats
of anti-corrosive stone-coloured paint, a door at one end,
and the other end close-boarded with one-inch boards,
ploughed and tongued, or raps nailed on to the
FIG. 13. PEACH ORCHARD HOUSE.
Scale T V inch to 1 foot.
References. a, flap ventilator ; E, ditto shutter one foot wide all along front ; c r
close boarding ; D D, the back wall.
Forty feet long, eight feet wide, twelve feet high at back, two feet high in front ; to
be glazed without putty. Rafters to be eighteen inches apart, and two inches by
three inches scantling ; glazed with my clips with twenty-one ounce glass, eighteen
inches by twenty. The front posts three feet six inches long, three by four and a
half scantling. The plates at the eaves, three by four and a half feet ; the wall
plate, two and a half by three ; the board for ventilators, &c., three-quarters of an
inch thick. The ventilators to be in ten-feet lengths, hinged with tees ; one set of
gearing to each ten-feet length.
Such a house can be profitably utilised, and I will
now proceed to show how it may be done. The back
wall can be planted with oblique cordon Peaches two
THE PEACH HOUSE 39
feet apart. These cordon trees are the best class of
wall tree for Peach, Nectarine, and Apricot cultivation
as well as for Plums. My reason for saying so is two-
fold : first of all, a wall can be covered with these
much sooner than by any other kind of tree ; and
secondly, these trees can be easily lifted once a year
to check the over-luxuriant growth which Peaches
are so much liable to when in good ground and
while they are young. Thirdly, more fruit can be had
from a given space than by any other class of tree.
In addition to these trees on the back wall, one
row of dwarf pot Plums or Greengages may be set in a
line three feet from the wall about two feet apart in the
line, that will, allow for twenty trees ; and in front of
these, three rows of pot Strawberries, forty pots in each
row equal to 120 pots.
The Plums can all be removed from the house as soon
as the fruit is set and placed outside to ripen. The fruit
would be set about May, or by the beginning of June,
so that no shading to hurt the Peaches could occur,
and the whole of the Strawberries would be ripe by
that time, so that all these might likewise be removed.
Now there will be nothing in this house but the
Peaches, which must have air admitted night and day,
above and below, from the end of June until the fruit
is ripe. The probable result of all this will be a
I may now venture to give some idea of what will
be the effect of the careful management of such a
house. Twenty Peach trees planted at the back will
in the course of two years from the planting, if well
managed, give two dozen good fruit each, which at,
say, 6s. per dozen = 121. ; 120 pots of Strawberries,
40 THE FORCING GARDEN.
each giving annually two ounces of ripe fruit in May,
at Qd. per ounce = 61. ; twenty pot Plums, each giving,
from the second year onwards, three dozen fruit or
more, at 3s. per dozen = say 11L; total amount 291.
from this house, which cannot be considered an over-
It appears then that within two years from the
planting and building of the house the nett cost of it
can be realised from its produce, and instead of the
profits being less, they will be decidedly more every
Such a house can be most advantageously used for
late Grapes, which would in the course of two years, or
at most the third season, produce a remunerative crop
of fruit, besides which the floor could be used for other
I HE PEACH AND GRAPE HOUSE COMBINED.
I am convinced that the same form of house, with
a 12-inch high frpnt wall of brick and a row of the
sliding shutters such as I have recommended for the
early forcing house, can be used for a medium crop of
Grapes and early Peaches, by a small heating apparatus
and a set of 3-inch pipes running once through the
front of the house, i.e. one flow-and-return pipe lying
on the floor. This apparatus would cost about 10?.,
including the fixing, and the advantages of it would be
very great, for the Peaches would be much earlier,
and of course of more value. And although the
vines could not be allowed to cover the roof, nor be
closer than five feet apart, with only one fruiting rod
allowed to each vine, yet the crops would be nearly as
THE PEACH PROTECTOR.
valuable as a whole one, coining in as they would some
weeks earlier. The Strawberries would also ripen the
THE OPEN- WALL PEACH PROTECTOR.
This is no doubt the most economical form of glass
that can possibly be used for protecting Peach trees on
FIG. 14. SECTION OF PEACH AND WALL-FRUIT PROTECTOR.
Beferences. a, the wall ; BBB, the runs for sashes ; c c, the sashes ; DD, the cor-
don Peach trees, trained obliquely, and winter pruned ; E E, parts of the bottom
runs, made to open ; /, bottom wall bracket ; g, the top wall hook ; h h, the
wall ; i i, end section of the runs.
open walls. These movable sashes cost comparatively
little, including everything. Each light of ten feet long
and four feet wide can be made for 1 1. complete and glazed
with 21 -ounce sheet glass. This will be at the rate of
42 THE FORCING GARDEN.
5s. per foot run, that is, at half the advertised prices.
No top coping of glass is required ; in fact, such things
are useless, and I may say they are positively detri-
mental on account of the dryness they cause to the
border about the trees and the want of ventilation at
the top. It is essentially necessary to obviate any
close confinement at the top for wall-Peaches, especially
from the time the trees are in flower. Those who
recommend the close glazed top coping lights are no
These sashes require nothing more than a board ven-
tilator at the top, made to open and shut ad libitum by
cords fixed on the outside and running through a pulley
fixed in the wall, with the cord passing through the
run at the top so as to come to the outside in front of
the lights. Then the ventilators can be opened and
shut without opening the sashes, and the bottom being
always open, a free circulation of air is secured at all
times a thing of immense importance in all Peach
and Plum growing. The runs are of 1-inch yellow
deal for the bottom, with the top cap fixed on iron
wall-brackets as is shown in fig. 14. The sides may
be of three-quarter stuff, the inner sides of the bottom
run being made a fixture, merely nailed on to the
bottom ; but the outer side of it must be made to open
at distances of 4 feet, to allow of the lights being
taken out when required. These openings must be
hinged on the bottom and held in position by a couple
of staples and a hook. The top run may be a complete
If the ends of the sashes and the runs are made
quite smooth no rollers will be required, as a little
grease rubbed now and then in the bottom run will
THE PEACH PROTECTOR. 43
render it quite easy for anyone to push the sashes
along without rollers. Moreover, I am not quite sure
that the rollers would not offer an easy means for the
winds to move the sashes when it would be undesirable.
One wall bracket in four feet at the bottom will be
enough, and one wall-hook within the same distance at
the top will be enough with one screw on the top, and
one in the outside, and but one screw in the bottom
with the head countersunk and placed inside in the
middle of the run.
The sashes need not be opened if the ventilators at
the top are opened every morning at nine o'clock
during the flowering and setting of the fruit if the
wind is cutting and cold, but they should be opened
in the mild weather during the flowering of the trees.
These sashes are very portable, being made light, and
can be utilised for other purposes besides the protection
of Peaches or Plums on the walls during the months of
February, March, and April, for they may then, if
necessary, be taken down, and laid on pits or frames
for ridge Cucumber or late Melon growing, or used as
screens on frames or pits for such plant-growing as
Primulas, Cinerarias, or seedling Calceolarias ; the pro-
pagation of Geraniums, Cyclamens, &c., for they will
not be required for the trees before February. Of course
they may be continued on the wall till the Peaches
are ripe, which would bring them on earlier and would
be equal in effect to the cool orchard house. I know
that Grapes can be produced nearly as early behind
these sashes as they can be had in a late vinery, i.e*
one without artificial heat.
Forty feet run of these sashes will not cost more,,
runs and all, than 12?., and this, with only the difference
44 THE FORCING GARDEN.
of the back wall, can be substituted for a cool orchard
house that cost 221. 12s. The advantages are not
quite equal, but that the results will be nearly so I can
vouch for, and further I can give plans and estimates
in detail for each amount. The bottom runs can be
easily taken off by unscrewing them, when the trees
require to be lifted.
THE PLANTING AND MANAGEMENT OF PEACHES, PLUMS, ETC,
THE PEACH HOUSE.
ALTHOUGH I beg to refer the reader to my ' Tree
Primer' for full particulars of their pruning and
training, yet I feel bound to give some directions in
this work as to when and how to plant Peaches and
Plums, just as a sort of ready reference.
The best time to plant these trees is, no doubt, from
the middle or end of October, or the beginning of
November, and to prune them during February and
March, for open walls ; but for houses the pruning
should be done much sooner. In planting Peaches and
Plums a full south border should be selected ; the soil
should consist of a somewhat sandy loam with chalk
and some gravel in it ; this is necessary for all stone
fruits, but especially for Plums and Cherries. A soil
that is totally deficient of any of these is scarcely fit
for growing any sort of stone fruit. If the natural
state of the land is lacking in any of these ingredients,
and the subsoil is a cold clay, one of two things must
be done, namely, either the border on which the trees
grow, and for five or six feet direct from the wall, must
be made as described, and raised fully one foot above
the common level of the place, or the growing of
Peaches, Plums, and Cherries must be abandoned.
46 THE FORCING GARDEN.
In digging the borders on which Peaches and Plums
are grown, great caution is necessary above all things.
I find on visiting gardens w r here these fruits are grown,
or rather are attempted to be grown, that comparatively
young trees are actually killed through the unthink-
ing and ruthless deep digging of the borders with
the spade ; even Celery trenches are made, and Celery
grown of a great size on these borders. I know
that there is a great temptation for the gardener who
has a small garden to deal with, to appropriate the best
and most favourable aspects, so that fine and early
Celery can be had ; but if he wishes to preserve his
Peaches and Cherry trees in first-class health for the
full complement of the years they may continue so, he
must abandon all deep digging with the spade about
these borders. Properly speaking, the borders should
never be dug with the spade, nor with the fork, above
seven or eight inches merely prick the surface over
only a few inches deep. It is not needful immediately
about the stem of Peach trees, nor should be done.
The depth indicated is also quite enough for
Eadish and Potato growing. Fresh maiden loam and
leaf-mould are far better to manure or replenish the
Peach border with, than horse-dung. Leaf-mould will
grow Eadishes, Potatoes, Tomatoes, and French Beans
quite equal to, or even better than, stable manure. If
the ground gets too poor for the trees, which may be
seen by the smallness of the fruit and the weakness of
the wood, give one or two good waterings during the
summer with liquid manure. One plant of the Tomato
may be grown between every two fan-trained trees,
but it must be kept from covering the branches and
the stems of them.
PLUM ORCHARD HOUSE.
THE PLUM HOUSE.
It is evident on all sides that Plums require quite
as much protection while they are in bloom as Peaches,
END SECTION OF HOUSE.
FIG. 15. SECTION OF THE FORTY-FEET PLUM ORCHARD HOUSE.
. To be glazed with clips without putty.
Scale & inch to 1 foot.;
References to plan. a a, wall ; B B, top ventilators, one foot wide, made to open and
shut by rack gearing, the same as for fig. 12 ; cc, one eighteen-inch row of
squares along the whole front, permanently glazed into the wood, and not to
open ; D D D, one-foot-wide openings all along the front, with a flap shutter hinged
below, and fastened at top with buttons ; E E, eighteen-inch close board ; /, the
door ; G, the ends, weather- boarded.
but they do not altogether like a close and confined
air ; what is wanted is a fair shelter from the cutting
winds in the spring when they are in flower. We do
48 THE FORCING GARDEN.
not get a crop of Plums of the choice kinds once in
five seasons in the open air ; one may be had sometimes
on a very favourable wall where the soil is of a warm
and dry nature, and the blossom is so sheltered that no-
cutting spring winds can get at the trees. As to
Greengages, the best of Plums, what should we do if
we did not get them from France and other countries ?
Why, few persons would be able to get them at all, and
even now they are too dear for three-fourths of the
public to purchase them.
Of all the common fruits the Greengage is no doubt
both the most delicious and most useful, yet in many
cases it can scarcely be had for money. Few indeed
can afford to give 2s. to 3s. per dozen for them, and so
they never taste them. This is a pity in a land where
there are the means for growing them. I feel determined
to induce, if possible, more persons to put up glass at a
cheap rate so as to grow such a useful fruit. The cost
is but once, and numbers could grow their own Plums
and Peaches who now think such a thing quite out of
More able men than the writer have said and done
a great deal to promote Plum growing in this country,
and too much can scarcely be written in favour of the
art of growing stone fruits, especially the Greengage,
Plum, and the Cherry, in our own country, and in a
manner that may defy foreign competition. Why
should we allow the foreigner to come and take away
our business and our credit ? We are good gardeners,
quite as good as the French or the Dutch. The
French have a climate infinitely more advantageous to
horticulture than we possess ; and though we are as
good gardeners as they are, we suffer through the want
THE PLUM HOUSE. 49
of means and other facilities which they possess in this
respect. Let our horticultural community then double
their diligence and erect glass houses adapted to the
various purposes of growing Plums, early Cherries, &c.
The estimated cost of the above Plum house is
about 201. Its length is the same as that shown in
illustration No. 12, but the width is more, and the
front is higher. The back is also higher, with a row of
front glass which is not movable. No back is accounted
for in this house. The height may seem too much,
but it gives a fine chance for the cordon Plums on the
same principle as Peach trees are trained. This is
really the only way that Plums can be kept bearing
when planted in the ground.
This house affords an abundance of head room for
good sized pot-Plums on the floor. Twenty cordon
Plums may be put on the back, and sixty may be set
on the floor in three rows. The floor must be of garden
soil mixed with some gravel of a fine kind.
You cannot induce Plums to bear well and con-
stantly every successive season unless they are either
planted in gravelly soil or are lifted once a year. What
is called ' starving ' the trees is the only way of making
them bear well every season. Hence pot-Plums will
bear much better than when the same sorts are planted
in the ground. Almost always and, I might say, in-
variably, Plums cease bearing after doing so for two or
three seasons. Then they begin to make fruitless
wood, and you may coax them as much as you like, but
if the soil, and especially the subsoil, is riot a thoroughly
gravelly one, and you do not lift them, they will not
bear at all. The result of a house planted on the same
plan as for Peaches, and treated in the same manner
50 THE FORCING GARDEN.
except that Plums bear on the old wood and Peaches
on the young wood, i.e. on the wood made the preced-
ing year will be a good and abundant crop on the back
wall, and also from the pot-plants.
I may venture to make a calculation with respect
to the results, for the satisfaction of those who may be
somewhat diffident as to whether it would pay to erect
such a house merely for Plum growing. In the first
place, the actual cost of such a house may be given at
20?., not more. Then there are the twenty cordon
Plums at Is. 6d. each = 30s. ; then sixty dwarf bush
Plums for potting at Is. 6d. = 4L 10s. ; and sixty eleven-
inch pots at 3s. 6d. per dozen = 17s. 6d. ; one load
of maiden loam and rotten manure, 5s. ; total cost,
271. 2s. 6d. The first year, nothing. The second year,