J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon.

The different modes of cultivating the pine-apple, from its first introduction into Europe to the late improvements of T. A. Knight, esq online

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Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonThe different modes of cultivating the pine-apple, from its first introduction into Europe to the late improvements of T. A. Knight, esq → online text (page 4 of 12)
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sumed. These should be mixed six or eight months
at least before they are used, but if it be a year, it
will be the better ; and should be often turned, that
their parts may be the better united, as also the
clods well broken. This earth should not be
screened very fine, but only cleared of the great
stones. You should always avoid mixing any sand
with the earth, unless it be extremely stiff, and then
it will be necessary to have it mixed at least six
months or a year before it is used : and it must be
frequently turned, that the sand may be incorpor-
ated in the earth, so as to divide its parts ; but you
should not put more than a sixth part of sand, for
too much is very injurious to these plants.

General Management. " There are some persons
who frequently shift these plants from pot to pot;
but this is by no means to be practised by those who
propose to have large well-flavoured fruit : for un-
less the pots be rilled with the roots by the time
the plants begin to show their fruit, they commonly
produce small fruit, which have generally large
crowns on them j therefore the plants will not re-


quire to be potted oftener than twice in a season.
The first time should be about the end of April, when
the suckers and crowns of the former year's fruit
(which remained all the winter in those pots in
which they were first planted) should be shifted
into larger pots. The second time for shifting them
is in the beginning of August, when you should
shift those plants which are of a proper size for
fruiting the following spring. At each of these
times of shifting the plants, the bark-bed should be
stirred up, and some new bark added, to raise the
bed up to the height it was at first made ; and when
the pots are plunged again into the bark-bed, the
plants should be watered gently all over their
leaves, to wash off the filth, and to settle the earth
to the roots of the plants. If the bark-bed be well
stirred, and a quantity of good fresh bark added
to the bed, at this latter shifting, it will be of great
service to the plants ; and they may remain in the
same tan until the beginning of November, or
sometimes later, according to the mildness of the

" In the summer season, when the weather is warm,
the plants must be frequently watered ; but you
should not give them large quantities at a time :
you must also be very careful that the moisture is
not detained in the pots by the holes being stopped,
for that will soon destroy the plants. In very warm
weather they should be watered twice or three times
a week ; but in a cool season, once a week will be
often enough j and during the summer season, you

D 3


should once a week water them gently all over
their leaves, which will wash the filth from off them,
and thereby greatly promote the growth of the
plants. During the winter season, these plants will
not require to be watered oftener than once a week,
according as you find the earth in the pots to dry :
nor should you give them too much at each time ;
for it is much better to give them a little water
often than to over- water them, especially at this


Insects. After describing the white scale or
mealy pine-bug (cocus hesperidum, L.) he says,
" wherever these insects appear on the plants, the
safest method will be to take the plants out of the
pots, and clear the earth from the roots ; then pre-
pare a large tub, which should be filled with water,
in which there has been a strong infusion of tobacco-
stalks; into this tub you should put the plants,
placing some sticks across the tub, to keep the
plants immersed in water. In this water they
should remain twenty-four hours ; then take them
out, and with a sponge wash off all the insects from
the leaves and roots, which may be easily effected
when the insects are killed by the infusion ; then cut
off all the small fibres of the roots, and dip the plants
into a tub of fair water, washing them therein.
Then you should pot them in fresh earth, and hav-
ing stirred up the bark-bed, and added some new
tan to give a fresh heat to the bed, the pots should
be plunged again, observing to water them all over
he leaves (as was before directed), and this should


be repeated once a week during the summer season ;
for I observe these insects always multiply much
faster where the plants are kept dry, than in such
places where the plants are sometimes sprinkled
over with water, and kept in a growing state.
And the same is also observed in America ; for it is
in long droughts that the insects make such des-
truction in the sugar-canes. And in those islands,
where they have had several very dry seasons, they
have increased to such a degree as to destroy the
greatest part of the canes in the islands, rendering
them not only unfit for sugar, but poison the juice
of the plant, so as to disqualify it for making rum ;
whereby many planters have been ruined.

" As these insects are frequently brought over
from America on the ananas plants, those persons
who procure their plants from thence should look
carefully over them when they receive them, to see
they have none of these insects on them ; for if they
have, they will soon be propagated over all the
plants in the stove where these are placed : there-
fore, whenever they are observed, the plants should;
be soaked (as was before directed) before they are
planted into pots."

Fruit produced. Miller finds suckers and crowns,
if equal in size and strength, fruit equally soon ;
and has seen as good fruit produced from plants
received from the West Indies, as from any he has
seen, and some three times larger than any he saw
in M. Le Cour's garden.

* D 4




Culture of the Pine Apple, by James Justice, Esq. F.R.S. at
Crichton, near Edinburgh, in 1732, and for some years after-

THIS gentleman was one of the greatest amateurs
of gardening of his time, and a most successful
cultivator of every thing he attempted. He had a
fine garden at Crichton, near Edinburgh, and cor-
responded with various foreign horticulturists of
Holland and Italy, as well as with Miller, Bradley,
and other eminent English gardeners of his time.

Form of Howe. Justice, writing in 1754, says,
" There have of late years been erected in England
and Scotland, many sorts of stoves for the culture
of the Pine Apple ; but I am sure, after many ex-
periments, that the plan here annexed is the best.

In this stove, (fig. 5.) with one fire, I can do the
business of two stoves, which must have two fires,
and cultivate the old as well as the young plants,"
The front and ends of this house are of glass, as well
as the roof; the flue enters from behind at one end,


passes along the middle of the house, returns
on itself and then makes four returns in the
back wall. The path- way enters from behind, at
the end opposite to that at which the flue enters ;
proceeds to the middle of the house, along the
middle, till it meets the flue at the opposite ; and
then it turns round till it meets the flue against the
back wall, close by the furnace. By this arrange-
ment of the walk, no interruption is given to the
flue ; which is of great consequence, where it has so
many returns to perform. A furnace invented by
Mr. James Scot, of Turnham Green, a commercial
Pine-grower of those days, is recommended. It is
cast in one piece, and requires a wrought-iron door
and a cast-iron plate to build over the chamber.
Justice agrees with Miller in recommending the
furnace to be built within the house, (but supplied
from without) in order that no heat may be lost.

The plan given requires no succession-house ;
but he describes a frame used by many persons for
growing young Pines, " made in the same manner as
common hot-bed frames, but higher and broader ;
that is, three feet higher at the back, sloping to one
and a half in front, and six feet wide." These cover
a tan-pit causewayed at bottom, and surrounded
by a stone wall. It is very proper, he says, to have
these frames at work as well as the stoves. He
also mentions flued pits, such as are described by
Miller (Sect. 2.) Both stoves and pits he covers
with boards, tarpauling, or mats, at night ; and
the fuel he uses is coal or peat, avoiding wood as
of too rapid consumption.


Soil. Two-thirds of good loamy kitchen-garden
mould, one-third of old rotten cows' dung, or hot-
bed dung, and to every eight barrowfuls of this a
barrowful of sea-sand. He adds, " If your ground
is naturally sandy, after having mixed it with the
dung above mentioned, add thereto a third of
good fat marl ; which succeeded so well with me,
that in this compost I had much larger fruit than in
any other compound which I used to give them,
which induced me to put, at all times, a good deal
of marl in the compost I used for these plants."
This mixture should lie for six months in those
parts of the garden which are airy and least ex-
posed to the sun ; after the first three months, turn
it over every fortnight. Scots Gardeners 9 Directory,
2d edit p. 124.

General management. The same as is given by
Miller. He tried some plants turned out of the
pots with their balls, and planted in the bark for the
last nine months before the fruit ripened, and found
the fruit larger and earlier, but not better flavoured
than that of the plants in pots. In shifting, he
never cuts off any of the leaves ; " for it is certain,"
he adds, " that the leaves of all plants and trees bear
the same office to them, as the pulmonary vessels
do to human bodies." He waters over the leaves
when the plants have shewn fruit ; because the fruit
stalks, occupying what in young plants was a hol-
low tube, no injury can happen. P. 129.

Insects. At the first appearance of the bug, he
picks off the scale with a piii ; and if that does not


clean the leaves, he washes with a sponge ; and, in
extreme cases, uses Miller's mode.

Fruit produced. The object of all his directions
is, " to have fruit large, good, and early, in a right
season; viz. from the middle of June to the middle
of September, but no later ; for the rays of the
sun, at that time, have not strength enough to give
them that poignancy of smell and taste that they
ought to have." P. 134. " Cut fruit when their
smell is strongest and most poignant ; if too ripe,
they soon turn insipidly sweet, and have no more
taste than an orange. Cut them about ten o'clock
in the forenoon, with about four inches of stalk to
them. When the fruit is to be sent to a distance,
cut a day or more before they are ripe, with a
larger portion of stalk to them, and wrap them
very close in paper, to preserve them from the air ;
otherwise their flavour will escape." P. 132,


Culture of the Pine Apple, by John Giles, at Letuisham,
in Kent, 1767.

THIS author, who was gardener to Lady Boyd,
and afterwards foreman in the Lewisham nursery,
says, he writes after many years' practice and ob-
servation ; and that his treatise will be found " of
more real advantage to a young unexperienced
gardener, than his giving a premium of five or
ten guineas to a mercenary old one (who perhaps
might have had some practice, with a trifling de-


gree of success,) to learn what ? why, to spoil his
plants, with the loss of both money and reputation."

" Notwithstanding the directions of Miller, Hill,
(probably alluding to a letter on the Pine Apple
in " Gardener's New Calendar," written by Sir
John Hill, under his assumed name of Barnes,)
Meader, &c. who have endeavoured to explore the
method how the Pine Apple is to be grown ; yet,
upon trial, the success has always fallen much
short of their expectation. For these reasons, Mr.
Giles " presents the public with explicit directions
for managing and bringing to perfection the Pine
Apple ; in which all the obstacles and difficulties
which gardeners have met with in raising that fruit
are remedied, and the true method pointed out in
a clear and satisfactory manner." Preface, p. vii.

Form of House. The plants are brought forward
in pits, and afterwards fruited in a stove forty feet
long and twelve feet wide, with a pit six feet wide,
surrounded by a path, and a flue which makes three
returns in a flue close under the back wall. The
front of the pit is about three, and the back about
five feet from the glass. It will fruit, he says, a
hundred plants annually, they being brought for-
ward in the low pits or frames, and removed to the
fruiting-house in September or October.

The obvious objection to the plan of his house is
the having no flue in front.

Soil. A rich hazely loam from a well-pastured
common. This soil alone, he says, not only an-
swers well for Pines, but for most vegetables.


General Management. He recommends keeping
a moist atmosphere in the house, and giving abun-
dance of air when the plants are in fruit. His
other directions relate to mere routine practices,
and offer nothing else worth quoting.

Insects. A moist atmosphere, he says, will keep
down these. " It is only poor plants," he says,
" which are not in a good state of health, that
are infested with insects. They are encouraged
by the warmth and dryness of the air of the stove,
and the bad state of the plants ; but where cleanli-
ness and moisture are attended to, there will never
be any worth notice." P. 36.

Fruit produced. He fruits the Queen Pine in
two years, at the usual season ; but does not state
to what size the fruit attains.


Culture of -the Pine Apple, by Adam Taylor, Gardener at
Devizes, in Wiltshire, 1769.

THIS author, who was gardener to J. Sutton,
Esq. at New Park, professes " to lay down a
mode by which the Pine Apple may be produced
in higher perfection, with more ease and less ex-
pense than has been hitherto known in this cli-
mate." He offers his treatise with confidence, as
not being founded on hypothesis, but on some
years' experience ; and it may be depended on, as
" it admits of the attestation of many persons
whose taste and judgment are unquestionable."


" The present way," he says, "of raising Pine
Apples, is made so chargeable by the erection of
hot-houses, and the consumption of fuel, that many,
even of tolerable fortunes, have been deterred by
the consideration of it, from raising this desirable
fruit. It is farther attended with trouble, and much
uncertainty ; and the fruit itself rarely answers the
expense either in size, number, or quality. But by
the practice now recommended, these several in-
conveniences are sufficiently obviated. There are
very few, even of commercial gardeners, who are
not able to accumulate the necessary quantity
of horse-dung, which is the principal article for
this valuable end. And by such application of it,
they shall not fail to find their hopes abundantly
answered, and their labour well repaid." P. 3.

Form of House. He both rears and fruits them
in a pit. This he forms either of boards, or of
brick- work three feet deep, and of any convenient
length and width ; and on the walls or boards,
which inclose the tan, he places a frame two andahalf
feet deep in front, and four feet high behind. The
ends and front are of glass, and the latter is form-
ed into small sashes, which slide in a groove. The
back is formed of inch boards, and against these he
places a powerful lining of dung.

The pit he fills with tan, or dung, as may be
most convenient ; dung, he says, does as well as tan,
and only requires a little more trouble, which is
amply repaid to the gardener by the value of the



dung to the garden, when no longer in active fer-

An anonymous annotator (to the copy of
Taylor's book, in the library of the Horticultural
Society) says, " I find by experience, that the
dung of four horses is sufficient to work two-
frames twenty-six feet each in length, and six in
breadth ; one for the fruiting-house, the other for
succession plants ; and that it may be reasonably
expected to cut forty fruit yearly after the first
year, and the dung as valuable for the field or gar-
den, as if this use had not been made of it." P. 3.

Soil. " Take one load of mould from under the
turf of a good pasture, and, if it be very light, add
to it the fourth part of a load of good mellow loam :
but if it be of itself of a loamy nature, mix into
it two or three bushels of sea-sand. Then take the
fourth part of a load of dung from a cow-yard, if
it can be thence procured ; but if not, take the
same quantity of good rotten dung from your old
cucumber or melon beds. Mix these well toge-
ther, and turn the whole three or four times, that
it may thoroughly imbibe the air. All the large
clods should be well broken, but not sifted or
screened, as is the practice with many; so shall
you have a compost, which is excellently adapt-
ed to the growth and nourishment of the plants/*
P. 15.

General Management. He takes great care to
keep his plants in a dormant state during winter;
but about the end of March and April, he applies


linings, and brings them into a growing state,
shifting all those not intended for fruiting that sea-
son. He covers the frames at night throughout
the year with straw, and a sail-cloth over, excepting
in the warmest part of summer ; at that season,
during fine showers, he removes the sashes en-
tirely, and lets the plants receive a gentle watering.
He frequently waters over the leaves in the after-
noons with a pot having a fine rose, and shuts up
early; which he finds produces a moist heat, rapid
growth, and keeps down insects. In winter he uses
a tin pipe, to keep the water from touching the
leaves of the plants ; and as he has a very low tem-
perature at that season, he gives them very little.

Insects. These he is not much troubled with ; but
he says, " Such plants as are attacked by them,
should be immediately taken out of the frame, and
plunged into a moderate hot-bed made of dung ;
this hot-bed should be covered with one or two
cucumber-frames, adapted to the height of the
plants. Let these frames be covered with lights ;
so as to confine the steam of the dung. As soon as
the plants receive the heat of this bed, water them
all over the tops of the leaves with cold water.
This will effectually destroy the insects ; after which
the plants are to be restored to the covered frame
again. A trial or two of this will convince any
person of the infallible efficacy of it." P. 38.

It thus appears that he destroys them by the
operation of the ammoniacal gas, much in the same
manner as does Mr, Baldwin.


Fruit produced. He says nothing of the weight
of the fruit, but he calculates on fruiting the
plants in two years, and ripening the fruit only in
summer and autumn, or between July and October
inclusive ; and he prefers the Queen Pine to all


Culture of the Pine Apple by William Speechly, gardener to
his Grace the Duke of Portland, at Welbeck, in Nottingham-
shire, 1779.

THE culture of the Pine, Mr. Speechly observes,
has already been treated of by many persons, who
have varied much in the methods they have recom-
mended. Far from meaning to depreciate their la-
bours, he adds, " my advice and pretensions rest
solely upon the success which I have met with in
my experiments." He went to serve the Duke of
Portland in 1767, and published his book after
eleven years' experience. He continued at Welbeck
till about the year 1800.

Form of House. The great object of Mr.
Speechly seems to have been to combine the cul-
ture of the Pine and Vine ; and for this purpose he
adopted one form both for his succession and fruit-
ing-house ; training Vines up the rafters, and on
the upper part of the back wall.



In many places small stoves of a particular con-
struction (in the which the Pines stand very near the
glass) are erected solely for the purpose of Fruit-
ing-houses. These, from their being always kept
up to a high degree of heat, are by gardeners
usually termed Roasters. (%. 7.) When there
is such conveniency, it is customary, when
any Pine-plants show fruit in the large stoves, to
remove such plants (especially the most promising)
directly into the fruiting-house ; where, from the
high degree of heat kept, they generally swell their
fruit astonishingly.

It is observable that Pines always succeed best
in stoves that have been newly erected ; on which
account, some of the more curious in the cultivation
of this fruit have judged it expedient to pull down
and rebuild their Pine-stoves every ten or twelve
years. Although I cannot subscribe to such expen-
sive mode of procedure, I shall here beg to state
the many advantages that accrue from keeping
Pine-stoves in good and proper repair.

First, by keeping the flues clean from soot, and


air-proof, they will heat the house better, and much
less fuel will serve.

Secondly, by a due attention to keeping the in-
side of the roof, &c. duly painted, and by con-
stantly white- washing the walls and flues in every
part of the house, the plants will be greatly bene-
fited, both from having a better reflection and from

A further advantage in stoves newly built may
also here be remarked. Where tan only is used,
the beds are always filled at the first with new tan
entire ; but afterwards, constantly with new and
old tan intermixt.

Lastly, it is probable that stoves, newly erected,
derive their greatest benefit from the good con-
dition of the glass-work ; for, however well it may
be kept in repair afterwards, it is certain that there
never is so much light in an old stove as was at
the first. Dirt will find its way into the cavities
between the squares, &c. which, obstructing the sun's
rays, darkens and gives a gloominess to the stove.


He describes a Pine-stove to be heated by steam*
in which the vapour is admitted to a brick vault,
over which is -the bed of tan or earth ; this is sur-
rounded by a path and smoke-flues, exactly as in
the common form of hot-house.

He also gives a plan of a furnace for burning
lime as well as heating hot-houses, as erected at
Billing, in Northamptonshire, and at Lady E.
Ponsonby's, at Bishop's Court, in Ireland; and,
subsequently, at various other places in that couiv




In these kiln-furnaces -, (fig. 8.) the heat, after
passing through the limestone in the kiln or cruci-
ble ( a ), enters the flue ( e \ and passes through it
in the usual manner. The grate on which the fuel
burns ( d ) is contrived to draw out by means of a
grooved frame ( c ), as soon as the lime in the cru-
cible is burned, which then falls into the ash-
pit (&), and is removed.


So&L After numerous experiments made with
mixtures, of cow, deer, sheep, pigeon, hen, and
rotten stable dung, with soot, and other manures,
in various proportions, with fresh pasture-soil of
different qualities, he says, I can venture lo recom-
mend the following :

In the month of April or May, let the sward or
turf of a pasture, where the sail is u strong rich
loam, and of a reddish colour, be pared off, not
more than two inches thick : let it then be .carried
to the pens in sheep-pastures, where sheep are fre-
quently put for the purpose of dressing, which
places should be cleared of stones, &c. and made
smooth ; then let the turf be laid, with he grass-
side downwards, and only one course thick ; here
it may continue two, three, or more months, during
which time it should be turned with a spade once
or twice, according as the pen is more or less fre-
quented by the above animals ; who, with their
urine and dung, will enrich the turf to a great de-
gree, and their feet will reduce it, and prevent any
weeds from growing.

After the turf has lain a sufficient time, it
should be brought to a convenient place, and laid
in a heap for at least six months, (if a twelvemonth
it will be the better,) being frequently turned
during that time ; and after being made pretty fine
with a spade, but not screened, it will be fit for

In places where the above mode cannot be
adopted, the mixture may be made by putting a

E 3


quantity of sheep's dung (or deer's dung, if it can
be got) and turf together. But here it must be

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Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonThe different modes of cultivating the pine-apple, from its first introduction into Europe to the late improvements of T. A. Knight, esq → online text (page 4 of 12)