Garden Supplies & Gifts



Garden & Lawn Articles

If you're looking for a selection of gifts Suggestion and for a gardener, then you have certainly come to the right place. You'll find a great selection of products which would be great gift ideas. You'll also find garden plant tips as well as info on soil, fertilizer products, garden tool caddies as well as other outdoor storage items, garden tool sets and weather monitors. Gardening gift ideas to suit most tastes and budgets.




Gardening Tips & Information

FRUIT TREES

APPLES
Without any question, the apple is far and away the most valuable fruit, both because of its greater scope of usefulness and its longer season--the last of the winter's Russets are still juicy and firm when the first Early Harvests and Red Astrachans are tempting the "young idea" to experiment with colic. Plant but a small proportion of early varieties, for the late ones are better. Out of a dozen trees, I would put in one early, three fall, and the rest winter sorts.

Among the summer apples are several deserving special mention: Yellow Transparent is the earliest. It is an old favorite and one of the most easily grown of all apples. Its color is indicated by the name, and it is a fair eating-apple and a very good cooker. Red Astrachan, another first early, is not quite so good for cooking, but is a delicious eating-apple of good size. An apple of more recent introduction and extremely hardy (hailing first from Russia), and already replacing the above sorts, is Livland (Livland Raspberry). The tree is of good form, very vigorous and healthy. The fruit is ready almost as soon as Yellow Transparent, and is of much better quality for eating. In appearance it is exceptionally handsome, being of good size, regular form and having those beautiful red shades found almost exclusively in the later apples. The flesh is quality is fully up to its appearance. The white, crisp-breaking flesh, most aromatic, deliciously sub-acid, makes it ideal for eating. A neighbor of mine sold $406 worth of fruit from twenty trees to one dealer. For such a splendid apple McIntosh is remarkably hardy and vigorous, succeeding over a very wide territory, and climate severe enough to kill many of the other newer varieties. The Fameuse (widely known as the Snow) is an excellent variety for northern sections. It resembles the McIntosh, which some claim to be derived from it. Fall Pippin, Pound Sweet and Twenty Ounce, are other popular late autumns.

In the winter section, Baldwin, which is too well known to need describing, is the leading commercial variety in many apple districts, and it is a good variety for home growing on account of its hardiness and good cooking and keeping qualities; but for the home orchard, it is far surpassed in quality by several others. In northern sections, down to the corn line, Northern Spy is a great favorite. It is a large, roundish apple, with thin, tender, glossy skin, light to deep carmine over light yellow, and an excellent keeper. In sections to which it is adapted it is a particularly vigorous, compact, upright grower. Jonathan is another splendid sort, with a wider range of conditions favorable for growth. It is, however, not a strong-growing tree and is somewhat uncertain in maturing its fruit, which is a bright, clear red of distinctive flavor. It likes a soil with more clay than do most apples. In the Middle West and Middle South, Grimes (Golden) has made a great local reputation in many sections, although in others it has not done well at all.

The Spitzenberg (Esopus) is very near the top of the list of all late eating-apples, being at its prime about December. It is another handsome yellow-covered red apple, with flesh slightly yellowish, but very good to the taste. The tree, unfortunately, is not a robust grower, being especially weak in its earlier stages, but with good cultivation it will not fail to reward the grower for any extra care it may have required.

These, and the other notable varieties, which there is not room here to describe, make up the following list, from which the planter should select according to locality:

Earliest or Summer: - Early Harvest, Yellow Transparent, Red
Astrachan, Benoni (new), Chenango, Sweet Bough, Williams' Favorite,
Early Strawberry, Livland Raspberry.

Early Autumn: - Alexander, Duchess, Porter, Gravenstein, McIntosh
Red.

Late Autumn: - Jefferies, Fameuse (Snow), Maiden's Blush,
Wealthy, Fall Pippin, Pound Sweet, Twenty Ounce, Cox Orange,
Hubbardston.

Winter: - Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Northwestern Greening,
Jonathan, Northern Spy, Yellow, Swaar, Delicious, Wagener, King,
Esopus, Spitzenberg, Yellow Bellflower, Winter Banana, Seek-no-further,
Talman Sweet, Roxbury Russett, King David, Stayman's Winesap, Wolf
River.


PEARS
Pears are more particular than apples in the matter of being adapted to sections and soils. Submit your list to your State Experiment Station
before ordering trees. Many of the standard sorts may be had where a low-growing, spreading tree is desired (for instance, quince-stock pears might be used to change places with the plums). Varieties suitable for this method are listed below. They are given approximately in the order of the ripening:

Wilder: Early August, medium in size, light yellow, excellent quality. Does not rot at the core, as so many early pears are liable to do.

Margaret: Oblong, greenish, yellow to dull red.

Clapp Favorite: Very large, yellow pear. A great bearer and good keeper--where the children cannot get at it.

Howell: A little later than the foregoing; large, bright yellow, strong-growing tree and big bearer.

Duchesse d'Angouleme: Large greenish yellow, sometimes reaching huge size; will average better than three-quarters of a pound. The quality, despite its size, is splendid.

Seckel: Small in size, but renowned for exquisite flavor--being probably the most universally admired of all.

Beurre Superfine: October, medium size, excellent quality.

Bartlett: The best known of all pears, and a universal favorite. Succeeds in nearly all sections.

Anjou: One of the best keepers, and very productive. One of the best in flavor, rich and vinous.

For trees of the standard type the following are worthy of note:

Congress (Souvenir du C.): A very large summer sort. Handsome.

Belle Lucrative: September to October.

Winter Nelis: Medium size, but of excellent quality and the longest keeper.

Kieffer: Very popular for its productiveness, strength of growth and exceptional quality of fruit for canning and preserving. Large fruit, if kept thinned. Should have a place in every home garden.

Josephine de Malines: Not a great yielder but of the very highest quality, being of the finest texture and tempting aroma.

PEACHES
Success with peaches also will depend largely upon getting varieties adapted to climate. The white-fleshed type is the hardiest and best for eating; and the free-stones are for most purposes, especially in the home garden, more desirable than the "clings."

Greensboro is the best early variety. Crawford is a universal favorite and goes well over a wide range of soil and climate. Champion is one of the best quality peaches and exceptionally hardy. Elberta, Ray, and Hague are other excellent sorts. Mayflower is the earliest sort yet introduced.

PLUMS
The available plums are of three classes--the natives, Europeans and Japans; the natives are the longest-lived, hardier in tree and blossom, and heavier bearers.

The best early is Milton; brilliant red, yellow and juicy flesh. Wildgoose and Whitaker are good seconds. Mrs. Cleveland is a later and larger sort, of finer quality. Three late-ripening plums of the finest quality, but not such prolific yielders, are Wayland, Benson and Reed, and where there is room for only a few trees, these will be best. They will need one tree of Newman or Prairie Flower with them to assure setting of the fruit. Of the Europeans, use Reine Claude (the best), Bradshaw or Shropshire. Damson is also good. The Japanese varieties should go on high ground and be thinned, especially during their first years. My first experience with Japanese plums convinced me that I had solved the plum problem; they bore loads of fruit, and were free from disease. That was five years ago. Last spring the last one was cut and burned. Had they been planted at the top of a small hill, instead of at the bottom, as they were, and restricted in their bearing, I know from later experience that they would still be producing fruit. The most satisfactory varieties of the Japanese type are Abundance and Red June. Burbank is also highly recommended,

CHERRIES
Cherries have one advantage over the other fruits--they give quicker returns. But, as far as my experience goes, they are not as long-lived. The sour type is hardier, at least north of New Jersey, than the sweet. It will probably pay to try a few of the new and highly recommended varieties. Of the established sorts Early Richmond is a good early, to be followed by Montmorency and English Morello. Windsor is a good sweet cherry, as are also Black Tartarian, Sox, Wood and Yellow Spanish.

All the varieties mentioned above are proved sorts. But the lists are being added to constantly, and where there is a novelty strongly recommended by a reliable nurseryman it will often pay to try it out--on a very small scale at first.

PLANTING
Planting can be done in either spring or fall. As a general rule, north of Philadelphia and St. Louis, spring planting will be best; south of that, fall planting. Where there is apt to be severe freezing, "heaving," caused by the alternate freezing and thawing; injury to the newly set roots from too severe cold; and, in some western sections, "sun-scald" of the bark, are three injuries which may result. If trees are planted in the fall in cold sections, a low mound of earth, six to twelve inches high, should be left during the winter about each, and leveled down in the spring. If set in the spring, where hot, dry weather is apt to follow, they should be thoroughly mulched with litter, straw or coarse manure, to preserve moisture--care being taken, however, against field mice and other rodents.

The trees may either be set in their permanent positions as soon as bought, or grown in "nursery rows" by the purchaser for one or two years after being purchased. In the former case, it will be the best policy to get the strongest, straightest two-year stock you can find, even if they cost ten or fifteen cents apiece more than the "mediums." The former method is the usual one, but the latter has so many advantages that I give it the emphasis of a separate paragraph, and urge every prospective planter to consider it carefully.

In the first place, then, you get your trees a little cheaper. If you purchase for nursery row planting, six-foot to seven-foot two-year-old apple trees, of the standard sorts, should cost you about thirty cents each; one-year "buds," six feet and branched, five to ten cents less. This gain, however, is not an important one--there are four others, each of which makes it worth while to give the method a trial. First, the trees being all together, and in a convenient place, the chances are a hundred to one that you will give them better attention in the way of spraying, pruning and cultivating--all extremely important in the first year's growth. Second, with the year gained for extra preparation of the soil where they are to be placed permanently, you can make conditions just right for them to take hold at once and thrive as they could not do otherwise. Third, the shock of transplanting will be much less than when they are shipped from a distance--they will have made an additional growth of dense, short roots and they will have become acclimated. Fourth, you will not have wasted space and time with any backward black sheep among the lot, as these should be discarded at the second planting. And then there is one further reason, psychological perhaps, but none the less important; you will watch these little trees, which are largely the result of your own labor and care, when set in their permanent positions, much more carefully than you would those direct from the nursery. I know, both from experience and observation, how many thrifty young trees in the home orchard are done to an untimely death by children, careless workmen, and other animals.

So if you can put a twelve-month curb on your impatience, get one-year trees and set them out in a straight row right in your vegetable garden where they will take up very little room. Keep them cultivated just as thoroughly as the rest of your growing things. Melons, or beans, or almost any low-growing vegetable can be grown close beside them.

If you want your garden to pay for your whole lot of fruit trees this season dig up a hole about three feet in diameter wherever a tree is to "go permanently." Cut the sod up fine and work in four or five good forkfuls of well rotted manure, and on these places, when it is warm enough, plant a hill of lima pole-beans-the new sort named Giant-podded Pole Lima is the best I have yet seen. Place a stout pole, eight to ten feet high, firmly in each hole. Good lima beans are always in demand, and bring high prices.

Let us suppose that your trees are at hand, either direct from the nursery or growing in the garden. You have selected, if possible, a moist, gravelly loam on a slope or slight elevation, where it is naturally and perfectly drained. Good soil drainage is imperative. Coarse gravel in the bottom of the planting hole will help out temporarily. If the land is in clover sod, it will have the ideal preparation, especially if you can grow a patch of potatoes or corn on it one year, while your trees are getting further growth. In such land the holes will not have to be prepared. If, however, you are not fortunate enough to be able to devote such a space to fruit trees, and in order to have them at all must place them along your wall or scattered through the grounds, you can still give them an excellent start by enriching the soil in spots beforehand, as suggested above in growing lima beans. In the event of finding even this last way inapplicable to your land, the following method will make success certain: Dig out holes three to six feet in diameter (if the soil is very hard, the larger dimension), and twelve to eighteen inches deep. Mix thoroughly with the excavated soil a good barrowful of the oldest, finest manure you can get, combined with about one-fourth or one-fifth its weight of South Carolina rock (or acid phosphate, if you cannot get the rock). It is a good plan to compost the manure and rock in advance, or use the rock as an absorbent in the stable. Fill in the hole again, leaving room in the center to set the tree without bending or cramping any roots. Where any of these are injured or bruised, cut them off clean at the injured spot with a sharp knife. Shorten any that are long and straggling about one-third to one-half their length. Properly grown stock should not be in any such condition.

Remember that a well planted tree will give more fruit in the first ten years than three trees carelessly put in. Get the tree so that it will be one to three inches deeper in the soil than when growing in the nursery. Work the soil in firmly about the roots with the fingers or a blunt wooden "tamper"; do not be afraid to use your feet. When the roots are well covered, firm the tree in by putting all your weight upon the soil around it. See that it is planted straight, and if the "whip," or small trunk, is not straight stake it, and tie it with rye straw, raffia or strips of old cloth-never string or wire. If the soil is very dry, water the root copiously while planting until the soil is about half filled in, never on the surface, as that is likely to cause a crust to form and keep out the air so necessary to healthy growth.

Prune back the "leader" of the tree-the top above the first lateral branches, about one-half. Peach trees should be cut back more severely. Further information in regard to pruning, and the different needs of the various fruits in regard to this important matter, will be given in the next chapter.

SETTING
Standard apple trees, fully grown, will require thirty to forty-five feet of space between them each way. It takes, however, ten or twelve years after the trees are set before all of this space is needed. A system of "fillers," or inter-planting, has come into use as a result of this, which will give at least one hundred per cent, more fruit for the first ten years. Small-growing standards, standard varieties on dwarf stock, and also peaches, are used for this purpose in commercial orchards. But the principle may be applied with equally good results to the home orchard, or even to the planting of a few scattered trees. The standard dwarfs give good satisfaction as permanent fillers. Where space is very limited, or the fruit must go into the garden, they may be used in place of the standard sorts altogether. The dwarf trees are, as a rule, not so long-lived as the standards, and to do their best, need more care in fertilizing and manuring; but the fruit is just as good; just as much, or more, can be grown on the same area; and the trees come into bearing two to three years sooner. They cost less to begin with and are also easier to care for, in spraying and pruning and in picking the fruit.

CULTIVATION
The home orchard, to give the very finest quality of fruit, must be given careful and thorough cultivation. In the case of scattered trees, where it is not practicable to use a horse, this can be given by working a space four to six feet wide about each tree. Every spring the soil should be loosened up, with the cultivator or fork, as the case may be, and kept stirred during the early part of the summer. Unless the soil is rich, a fertilizer, high in potash and not too high in nitrogen, should be given in the spring. Manure and phosphate rock, as suggested above, is as good as any. In case the foliage is not a deep healthy green, apply a few handfuls of nitrate of soda, working it into the soil just before a rain, around each tree.

About August 1st the cultivation should be discontinued, and some "cover crop" sown. Buckwheat and crimson clover is a good combination; as the former makes a rapid growth it will form, if rolled down just as the apples are ripening, a soft cushion upon which the windfalls may drop without injury, and will furnish enough protection to the crimson clover to carry it through most winters, even in cold climates.

In addition to the filler crops, where the ground is to be cultivated by horse, potatoes may be grown between the rows of trees; or fine hills of melons or squash may be grown around scattered trees, thus, incidentally, saving a great deal of space in the vegetable garden. Or why not grow a few extra fancy strawberries in the well cultivated spots about these trees? Neither they nor the trees want the ground too rich, especially in nitrogen, and conditions suiting the one would be just right for the others.

It may seem to the beginner that fruit-growing, with all these things to keep in mind, is a difficult task. But it is not. I think I am perfectly safe in saying that the rewards from nothing else he can plant and care for are as certain, and surely none are more satisfactory. If you cannot persuade yourself to try fruit on any larger plan, at least order half a dozen dwarf trees (they will cost about twenty cents apiece, and can be had by mail). They will prove about the best paying investment you ever made.

 




 
Gardening Tips & Information
Fruit Trees
Beans
Peas

Potatoes
Carrots

Cabbage
Lettuce

Plant Heights
Spacing

Lawns



Gardening

You are sure to find practical items ideal for a gardener from this extensive range of products to suit every budget and of the finest quality. We also have a wide range of garden furniture, including tables, chairs, outdoor benches and patio furniture in addition to hammocks, umbrellas, gazebos, porch swings and rockers. which will be gratefully received by the gardening enthusiast. Also see our other garden equipment, plus.


Copyright 2004-2011 all-gardening.com. All rights reserved. No unauthorized copying of any content herein.