Copyright
J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon.

The horticulturist : or, the culture and management of the kitchen, fruit, & forcing garden online

. (page 1 of 86)
Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonThe horticulturist : or, the culture and management of the kitchen, fruit, & forcing garden → online text (page 1 of 86)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


CARTER

ILLITSTRA'

"FARME3




CARTER'S COLLECTIONS OF VEGETABLE SEEDS. (Packing and carriage fret

To produce a constant supply of the best vegetables all the year round.

6S" All the varieties included in these Collections are of the choicest description, and are -such as h:
proved by us to be the best flavoured and most prolific kinds. They were saved on our own Seed Farms. w
fore can vouch for their superior excellence of quality.

.ION, suitable for a cottage garden ... 12 6

i'OLLI-X'TION, suitable for a small garden 21

(63 o

30



.

:>ecial)



CARTER'S SELECTIONS OF FLOWER SEEDS. (Free by post or rail.)



: ON A



s. d.

lo (>

15

21



COLLECTION D
COLLECTION E



..IMVG Collections (which arc subject to variations) may be had on ap;



ed



CALCEOLARIA, CINERARIA, AND PRIMULA. s , d. s. d.

rnational Prize, per packet ... ... ... ... 2 6

Hybrid, small packet 16 2 <;

... packet 16 2 u

;re, and from one of the largest collections in tli<

i, saved from a splendid collection of named

varieties, small pa <;. 16 2

PRIMULA, CHOICEST FRINGED VARIETIES.

n with the utmost confidence, as they arc sitv
rains in cultivation.

. small Primula, rose, fringed

i G 2 (> choicest white, fringed

Primula, dark carm i ; 26,, Fern-leaved carmine

white

PRIMULA FIMBRIATA, FERN-LEAVED (New Scarlet). '

p scarlet colour, per packet, 2s. 6d.

AHKi -r particulars, s- "Car Vade Mecum."



VK'TKK N CO., THE ROYAL SEEDS!

237 dt 238, HIGH KOX.BORN, LONDON, W.C.




THE ROYAL
SEEDSMEN.



PRIZE MEDAL FARM SEE



THE ROYAL
SEEDSMEN.



CARTER'S PRIZE SWEDE.



DEB'S PEIZE MANGEL.






>v,a superior






CARTER'S PRIZE TURNIP.






9



1 *



CATTLE CABBAGE.













t price per Cwt. on application.



ALL



PRIZE MEDAL GRASS SEEDS, ,

-IPPLIBD TO

H.M. the i t
e Imper;^

aria Exhibiti-:
r Permanent Pastur

Carefully arranged to suit the various

conditions of soils.
OR LIG

i

\

arter's Renovating mixture for Renewing j
and Improving Old Grass Lands.

-
Carter's Grass Seeds at Alder shot Camp.



-
.



heat.

:



. Vbruary lat,

CARTER'S ILLUSTRATED FARMERS'
CALENDAR.

: by all who

GRATIS TO PURCHASERS.



-



JAMES < ARTER & CO., THK ROYAL SI 'I SMEN,

237 &. 238, HIGH HOLEORN, LONDON, W.C.



THE



HORTICULTURIST




THE HORTICULTURIST.



THE



HORTICULTURIST:

OB,

THE CULTURE AND MANAGEMENT



OF THE



KITCHEN, FRUIT, & FORCING GARDEN,



BY

J. C. LOUDON, F.L.S., H.S., &c.

EDITED AND REVISED BY

WILLIAM ROBINSON,

AUTHOR OP "ALPINE FLOWERS," "HARDY FLOWERS," "MUSHROOM CULTURE,"

ETC. ETC.
ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS.




LONDON :
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.

BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

NEW YORK : SCRIBNER, WELFOED AND CO.



LONDON :

8AV1LL, EDWARDS AND CO., PRINTERS, CHANDOS STREET,
COVENT GARDEN.



PREFACE.



AMONG the various standard books of the late Mr. Loudon
others are more expensive, elaborately illustrated, and com-
prehensive in aim, but none are so worthy of a re-issue as this
volume. The excellent original plan has not been deviated
from, but a good many sections treating of matters of but slight
importance in connexion with practical gardening have been
omitted ; such as the " analogy between plants and animals,"
the " classification of plants with a view to Horticulture," the
"nomenclature of plants with reference to Horticulture," &c.,
&c. The undue prominence, indeed, given to such matters
might be considered the only faults in a book before its time in
most other respects. A great number of the old illustrations,
and a good deal of the more technical portions of the old matter,
have also been omitted, and such alterations made in all parts
as, it is hoped, bring it down to the present time, and within
the reach of a much wider circle of readers. The changes
made have mostly been in matters of detail. In consequence of
the considerable variation in the practice of the culture of the
Grape Vine and Pine Apple since the first appearance of the
book, it was considered desirable to entirely re- write these
chapters. The book was very rich in illustrations originally, so

M372J.03



vi PREFACE.

that it required little improvement in this way, but new ones
have been added wherever necessary. The article on Pine
culture was written by Mr. D. T. Fish, who also furnished
valuable assistance in reading a considerable part of the
book, and we have to thank Mr. Barnes, late of Bicton, for
looking over several chapters in the culinary department. To
Mr. Pearson, of the Chilwell Nurseries, we are indebted for some
of the cuts illustrating his little book on the Orchard' house.

W. R.

July, 1871.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGB

Soils considered with reference to Horticulture 1

Origin and kind* of soils 1

The improvement of soils 7



CHAPTER II.

Manures considered with reference to Horticulture 13

Organic manures 13

Inorganic manures 18

Mixed manures 22

CHAPTER III.

The Atmosphere considered with reference to Horticulture .... 25

Heat 26

Atmospheric moisture 33

Circulation of the atmosphere 38

Light 42

CHAPTER IV.

Worms, Snails, Slugs, Insects, Reptiles, Birds, &c., considered with

reference to Horticulture 46

The Earthworm . ' 46

Snails and Slugs 50

Insects A .... 52

Birds 68

Animals injurious to gardens 70

CHAPTER V.

The Diseases and Accidents of Plants 74



viii TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VI.

PAGE

Implements of Horticulture 78

Tools used in Horticulture 81

Instruments 90

Utensils 98

Machines ' Ill

Miscellaneous articles 115

CHAPTER VII.

Structures and edifices of Horticulture 130

Portable, temporary, and moveable structures 130

Fixed structures 137

Walls, espalier-rails, and trelliswork 137

Fixed structures with glass roofs 151

Various accessory garden structures 193

CHAPTER VIII.

Operations of Horticulture 196

Labours on the soil 196

Garden labours with plants 202

Operations of Culture 205

Propagation 205

by seed 206

by cuttings 214

by leaves 228

by layers 233

by sucker, slips, offsets, runners, and simple division 239

by grafting 241

by budding 265

Transplanting and planting 274

Potting and repotting 294

Pruning 299

Thinning 310

Training 313

Weeding 348

Watering 351

Manuring * 356

Blanching 357

Sheltering 357

Accelerating vegetation 359

Retarding 363

Besting 364

Operations of gathering, preserving, keeping, and packing . . 368

Selecting and improving plants in culture ....... 371

Operations of order and keeping 376



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IX.

PA.O1

Operations of Horticultural Design and Taste 379



CHAPTER X.

Operations of General Management 379

CHAPTER XI.

The Culture of the Kitchen and Fruit Garden 383

Laying out the kitchen-garden 383

Distribution of fruit trees in a kitchen-garden 388

Fruit trees for espaliers and dwarfs 392

Fruit shrubs 400

Selection of fruit trees adapted for an orchard 402

CHAPTER XII.

Cropping and General Management of a Kitchen-garden .... 406

Rotation of crops 408

Planting, sowing, cultivating, and managing 413

CHAPTER XIIL



The Forcing Department 416

Culture of the Pine-apple 416

CHAPTER XIV.

Culture of the Grape Vine 440

CHAPTER XV.

Culture of the Peach, Nectarine, &c., under glass 476

Cherry under glass 483

Fig under glass 488

Plum, Apricot, &c., and other fruit trees and shrubs

under glass 492



x TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XVI.

PAGE

Culture of the Melon, Cucumber, &c 492

Melon 49-2

Cucumber 498

Banana 511

Strawberry 513

Asparagus 516

Sea-kale 517

Bhubarb and Chicory 517

Forcing the Potato 518

Kidney -beans and Peas 519

Salads, Pot-herbs, Sweet-herbs, and other culinary plants 521

the Mushroom ...... 522



CHAPTER XVII.

Catalogue of Fruits, with Summary of Culture, &c.
HARDY OR ORCHARD FRUITS:

The Apple 526

The Pear 542

The Quince 548

The Medlar 549

The True Service - 549

The Cherry 550

The Plum 554

The Gooseberry 557

The Currant 562

The Raspberry 563

The Strawberry 566

The Cranberry 570

The Mulberry 571

The Walnut 571

The Sweet Chestnut 572

. The Filbert . 572

The Barberry, Elder-berry, and Cornelian Cherry . . . 573

HALT-HARDY AND WALL FRUITS:

The Grape 574

The Peach and Nectarine 576

The Almond 583

The Apricot 584

The Fig 585

The Pomegranate 586

The Peruvian Cherry 587



TABLE OF CONTENTS. xi
TROPICAL OR SUB-TROPICAL FRUITS:

PAQK

The Pine-apple 587

The Banana 588

The Melon 588

The Cucumber 589

The Pumpkin and Gourd 589

The Tomato, Egg-plant, and Capsicum 591

The Orange Family 593

The Guava, Loqnat, Granadilla, and other Fruits little

known in British Gardens 597

Remarks applicable to Fruit-trees and Fruit-bearing Plants

generally 599

CHAPTER XVIII.

Catalogue of Culinary Vegetables 602

The Cabbage Tribe 605

The Pea 613

The Bean 618

The Kidney-bean 619

The Potato 623

The Jerusalem Artichoke 631

The Turnip 631

The Carrot 633

The Parsnip 635

The Red Beet 635

The Skirret, Scorzonera, Salsify, and CEnothera 636

The Hamburgh Parsley 67

The Radish 637

Oxalis Deppei, O. crenata, and Tropaeolum tuberosum . . . 639

The Common Spinach 640

The Orache or French Spinach 641

New Zealand Spinach 641

Perennial Spinach 642

Spinach Beet and Chard Beet 642

Patience Spinach 642

The Sorrel 643

The Onion 643

The Leek 649

The Shallot 649

The Garlic 650

The Chive 650

The Rocambole 650

The Asparagus 651

The Sea-kale 655



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Culinary Vegetables :

The French Artichoke 657

The Cardoon 658

TheEampion 660

Substitutes for Asparagus 660

The Lettuce 661

The Endive 664

The Succory and Chicory 665

The Celery 667

The Lamb's Lettuce, Burnet, Garden Cress, Winter Cress,

American Cress, and Water Cress 670

Small Salads 672

The Parsley 672

The Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Tarragon, and Purslane 673

The Indian Cress, Borage, and Marigold 675

The Horse-radish 675

The Rhubarb 677

The Angelica, Elecampane, Samphire, and Caper 677

Aromatic Esculents 679

Fungaceous Esculents 681

Odoraceous Herbs 682

Medicinal Herbs 683

Poisonous Herbs ..... . 684



Monthly Calendar of Operations 687

Index 697



THE HORTICULTURIST.



CHAPTER I.
SOILS CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO HORTICULTURE.

THE term soil is applied to that thin stratum on the surface of the
ground which is occupied by the roots of the smaller herbaceous vege-
tables ; on uncultivated surfaces it varies in depth with its nature and
the character of the plants growing on it ; but on lands in cultivation,
the soil extends to the depth usually penetrated by the implements of
culture. The principal materials of which soils are composed are
earths formed of the debris of different kinds of rocks, combined with
organic matter derived from decomposed vegetables or animals. Earths
without organic matter will only support plants of the lowest grade,
such as Lichens and Mosses ; and where soils are found supporting the
higher classes of plants, endogens and exogens, the vigour of these will
generally be found to be greater or less according to the proportion of
organic matter which the soil contains. This organic matter, when
supplied by art, is called manure. The subject of manures will be
most conveniently treated in our next chapter. Here we shall confine
ourselves to the consideration of soils, and treat, first, of their origin
and kinds, and secondly, of their improvement.

Origin and Kinds of Soils.

The earthy part of all soils must necessarily have been derived from
the debris of rocks, and the organic part from the intermixture of
decayed vegetable or animal matter. The earthy mass so produced
varies in colour, but, from containing humus and mould, it is always
darker in a greater or less degree than subsoils, which in general are
without organic matter. Soils also contain mineral salts and metallic
oxides, some of which are beneficial, others harmless, and some few
injurious, to plants. The chemical constitution of a soil can only
be known by analysis, which cannot, in general, be depended on,
unless performed by professional or experienced chemists.* The me-



* It is now becoming a general custom for landed proprietors to send a pound or
more of soil to an experienced chemist, to obtain an analysis of it, so as to know
what mineral manures it may be best to use, in order to supply the constituents
the laud may stand in need of.

B



2 ORIGIN AND KINDS OF SOILS, CONSIDERED

chanical state or texture of a soil is ascertained by digging up a portion
of it ; and its actual fitness for plants, by examining the species growing
on its surface. The rock, or geological formation, the earth of which
forms the basis of any soil, will frequently be found to constitute the
substratum on which that soil rests ; but this is frequently not the
case, because the earths of many soils have been held in suspension by
water in a state of motion, and by that means have been transported to
a great distance from the rocks of which they are the debris. From
this suspension of the earths of soils in water, and their transportation
to a distance, we are able to account for the circumstance of several
different kinds of earths being almost always found in the same soil.
Thus in alluvial deposits on the banks of rivers, we find the earth of
various rocks of the country through which the river has taken its
course ; and as such soils are always the most fertile, we may conclude
that a mixture of various earths in a soil is to be preferred to any one
kind of earth alone. From the earth of the alluvial deposits of every
country being formed of the d6bris of the various rocks of that country,
and from every country containing nearly the same kinds of rocks, the
alluvial deposits on the banks of all the large rivers of the world con-
sist nearly of the same earths. But as the rocks or geological forma-
tions from which the earths of soils are washed away still remain in
their places, and are of many different kinds, it follows that there must
be as great a variety in the upland soils of a country as there is uni-
formity in those of the lowlands, and of the banks of rivers. Thus
there are between twenty and thirty geological formations in England,
which form the substrata or bases of soils, and each of which must
consequently be more or less different in its composition.* For all
practical purposes, however, soils may be characterized by their prevail-
ing primitive earths ; and, hence, they are reduced to sands and
gravels, clays, chalky and limestone soils, alluvial soils, and peatbogs.

Sandy Soil. Silica, which is the basis of sandy soils, is, perhaps, the
most universal of all earths : and there is scarcely a species or variety
of rock in which it does not abound more or less. Silica is found per-
fectly pure in rock crystal, and tolerably so in what is called silver
sand, and also in the sand of some rivers and of the sea. The prac-
tical test of this soil, when tolerably pure, is, that when moistened, it
cannot be formed into a plastic mass, or consolidated by pressure,
whether in a moist or dry state, so as to form a compact solid body.
Hence all sandy soils are loose, never present a firm surface, and are
seldom covered with a compact clothing of grass or other herbaceous
plants. Such soils, from being without cohesion, are incapable of re-
taining moisture, and, as they are readily permeable by both moisture
and air, they powerfully promote the putrefaction of organic matter,
whilst they as readily permit it to be washed away from them by
rains, or to escape in the form of gas. Hence, in manuring sandy soils,
no more should be applied at once than can be consumed by the crop



* See Morton 'On Soils,' 4th edit. 8vo, 1843.



WITH REFERENCE TO HORTICULTURE. 3

of the current year ; and hence, also, they should be cultivated to
a greater depth than other soils, in order that there may be a greater
ma-* of material for retaining moisture. One great advantage of a
sandy soil over all others is its natural warmth. This arises from its
greater looseness and porosity, in consequence of which the atmosphere
penetrates into it more rapidly, and to a greater depth, than in the case
of any other soil. Hence, in the absence of sunshine, a sandy soil will
l)i' raised to the temperature of the atmosphere, to the depth of several
inches, by the mere penetration of the air among its particles ; while a
firm, compact soil, the earthy basis of which is clay or chalk, could not
be heated to the same depth without the direct influence of the sun's
rays. Sandy soils are also more easily penetrated by water than any
others, and hence they are sooner raised or lowered to the temperature
of the rains which fall on them than a clayey or calcareous soil. As
the water never rests on sandy soils, they are never cooled down by
evaporation ; the reverse of which is the case with clayey and calca-
reous surfaces. Sandy soils being % much less cohesive than soils in
which clay or lime prevails, they are much more easily laboured ; and
being always loose and friable on the surface, they are better adapted
for the germination of seeds. Sandy soils may be made to approach
alluvial soils by the addition of clay and calcareous earth, either taken
from clayey or calcareous surfaces, or from subsoils in which these
earths abound; but the former source is greatly preferable, from the
earths being already in combination with organic matter.

Whatever has been said of sandy soils is applicable to gravelly soils ;
in some particulars in a greater, and in some in a less degree. The
small stones of which the greater part of gravel consists being better
conductors of heat than the particles of sand, it follows that gravels are
both more easily heated and more easily cooled than sands ; they are
also more readily penetrated by rain, and more readily dried by filtra-
tion and evaporation. Like sands, they are improved by the addition of
clay and chalk, or by alluvial soil ; and they require also to be culti-
vated to a greater depth than clays or chalks. A gravelly soil, isolated
so as not to be supplied with water from higher grounds, is of all others
the most suitable for a suburban villa (* Sub. Arch, and Landscape
Gard.,' p. 16); and therefore, though not so suitable for a kitchen-
garden as a sandy or loamy soil, yet as a sufficient portion of soil, what-
ever may be its earths, may always be improved so as to render it fit
for the cultivation of vegetables, a gravelly or sandy soil for building
on should never be rejected.

Clayey Soil. Alumina, which is the basis of clayey soil, is the most
frequent of earths next to sand. It is found nearly pure in the ruby and
sapphire, tolerably so in the blue or London clay, but more so in the white
plastic clay which is found between the London clay and the upper chalk,
and which is used for making tobacco pipes. This soil, relatively to water,
is the very reverse of sand ; for while in nature sand and water are never
found chemically combined, in clay they are never found chemically sepa-
rate. Hence, though clay when prepared by the chemist, and kept apart
from water, appears as a light dry powder, scarcely different to the

B2



4 ORIGIN AND KINDS OF SOILS, CONSIDERED

eye from pure sand or pure lime, yet in soils it forms an adhesive mass,
the particles of which cannot be permanently separated except by
burning to expel the water held in fixation. When clay is burnt and
reduced to powder, it becomes for all practical purposes sand, and in
that state it may be employed to great advantage for reducing the
cohesive properties of stiff clay. Relatively to heat, clays do not
admit the atmosphere between their particles, and an unimproved
clayey soil is generally a cold one ; partly because the heat penetrates
with difficulty into it, and partly from the evaporation which during
great part of the year is going on from its moist surface. The obvious
way to improve clays is by the addition of sand or gravel ; and when
the clay does not contain lime, by the addition of that material, either
in a caustic or a mild state, or as chalk.

Lime, or the basis of chalk and limestone rock, is much less common
as a soil than either clay or sand ; though there are scarcely any soils
which are naturally fertile that are absolutely without it. Lime is
found in a state of carbonate in whfte or statuary marble, and more or
less so in chalk-rock and in some limestone-rocks. Lime is never found
pure in a state of nature, but always combined with carbonic or sulphu-
ric acid and water, which are driven off from it by burning, leaving the
earth in the caustic state called quicklime. In this state lime rapidly
reabsorbs water and carbonic acid from the atmosphere, or from any
other material which comes in contact with it containing these
elements. Hence its use in a caustic state in promoting the putre-
faction of imperfectly decomposed organic matter in soils, and in
attracting carbonic acid and moisture from the atmosphere. Relatively
to the retention of water, a limy or chalky soil may be considered as
intermediate between a sandy and a clayey soiL, without becoming so
tenacious as clay on the one hand, or parting with water so readily as
sand on the other. Hence the use of lime or chalk in reducing the
tenacity of stiff clays, and increasing the absorbent powers of sandy
soils, and improving their texture. A calcareous soil is improved by
sand and clay, especially if laid on in sufficient quantity to destroy the
tenacity and compactness of its texture.

Magnesia is not very common in soils, and is said to be inimical
to vegetation, under some circumstances. Magnesian limestone, when
burned as lime, should not be used for manuring purposes.

The iron of soils is mostly in a state of rust, or oxide. There is
scarcely any soil without it ; but it is never very abundant in soils
naturally fertile. In a dry state the oxide of iron is insoluble in
water, and not injurious to vegetation ; but when, in consequence of
saline substances in the soil or applied to it, a salt of iron is produced,
the iron becomes soluble in water, is taken up by the roots of plants,
and is very injurious to them. Iron in this state is termed hydrate,
and its evil effects are to be counteracted by caustic lime, with which
it forms an insoluble compound.

Alluvial soils have been already described as composed of very fine
particles of the debris of several kinds of rocks, which have been



WITH REFERENCE TO HORTICULTURE. 5

held in suspension by water, and deposited in plains, or along the
hanks of rivers, along with organic matter also held in suspension.
The earthy character of this soil must necessarily always partake of
the character of the rocks of the country in which it is found.

Peat or bog is composed of partially decayed vegetable matter,
soft, light, and spongy to the touch ; and is the very reverse of sand
with respect to water, holding that element like a sponge, so as, in its
natural state, to be totally unfit for the growth of vegetables, except
those of a very low grade.

The organic matter in soils in its solid state may be considered as
carbon, which is found pure in the diamond, and tolerably so in the
charcoal of wood. In soils it is found in various states of decompo-
sition, from recent woody fibre to humus, which is woody fibre in a
state of decay. The proportion of organic matter varies exceedingly in
different soils. In barren sands there is scarcely a trace of it, while in
fertile soils it varies from 10 to 30 per cent. ; and peat- bogs which have
been drained and cultivated contain often 80 or 90 per cent. Humus,
according to Professor Liebig, exercises its influence on vegetation " by
being a continued source of carbonic acid, which it emits slowly. An
atmosphere of carbonic acid, formed at the expense of the oxygen of
the air, surrounds every particle of decaying humus. The cultivation
of land, by stirring and loosening the soil, causes a free and unob-
structed access of air. An atmosphere of carbonic acid is, therefore,
contained in every fertile soil, and is the first and most important
food for the young plants which grow in it. The property of humus,
or woody fibre, to attract from the surrounding air its carbonic acid,
diminishes in proportion as its decay advances ; and at last a certain
quantity of a brown coaly-looking substance remains, in which this
property is entirely wanting. This substance is called mould ; it is



Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonThe horticulturist : or, the culture and management of the kitchen, fruit, & forcing garden → online text (page 1 of 86)