Farrington, E. I.
Care of the vegetable garden in midsummer, pp. 540-543
CARE OF THE GARDEN IN MIDSUMMER ~ADV AL' _1 mit' T'C O17mA T, xIEI.JLJ.2A UJ.L .L .1ll21 y .~iITJ1 . .Ju GARDEN IN MIDSUMMER: BY E. I. FARRINGTON EEDS and bugs are the bane of the garden-maker. But some- one has said that weeds serve at least one useful purpose- they make cultivation of the soil impera- tive, and this is of the greatest benefit to the plant. Doubtless this is true, and the time spent in rooting up pigweed and purslane is never wasted. The ground should be continually stirred, however, even though not a weed can be found in it. A good hoeing in midsummer is worth as much as a shower in any garden. In fact, the man who cultivates his garden most faithfully in a dry season harvests the best crops. The moisture in the earth is constantly rising to the surface and being evaporated, and the more compact the soil, the more rapidly this evaporation takes place. If the top soil is very loose comparatively lit- tle moisture escapes. That is the reason why cultivation is so important; it breaks up the soil and forms a dust blanket which --nu -- - ý UbLUL IUUL. keeps the moisture in the earth just below the surface, where the growing plants can make use of it. It is especially necessary to get out the hoe or the wheel cultivator after a rain, as soon as the ground has be- come dry enough to make cultivation pos- sible. Otherwise the sun will quickly bake the earth into a hard crust and much of the rainfall that finds lodgment in the soil will be lost. The wheel hoe or cultivator is of great value in a garden, for it saves both time and energy. A tool known as the scuffle hoe is also useful, if the soil is light, and it costs but little. Many amateurs over- look the importance of keeping garden tools sharp. It is much easier to work with sharp tools. Even the common hoe should be filed often on the under side and should be kept bright all over. Then it will cut easily and the soil will not adhere to the blade. It is a waste of time and strength to use a dirty or rusty hoe and lift half a pound of earth every time it is raised. Some weeding will have to be done by hand, if root crops, especially onions, are - I I -,t __r, ru mn-11 N An. I S. i O n Lp)ulle to raise this vege-
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