There are several forms of vegetables which, while the culture is not specially dissimilar, may yet, for convenience, be divided into five classes: those the edible part of which is produced beneath the surface of the soil and are known as root vegetables; those which set fruit above ground; those whose fruit is produced on vines; such plants as are used entire, as lettuce and the various greens, and those perennial forms which include the asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb and horse radish, and the like.
We will first consider the general culture of the plants which produce heads, pods, ears, or other fruit, and which may be roughly designated as head or pod vegetables.
Start tomatoes by sowing seed in a hotbed in spring, or start them in flats in the house and plant them in the open ground when all danger of frost is passed. They require well-manured soil, and when there is a limited supply of fertilizer, it will be well to put two or three spadefuls in each hill, spreading it over a couple of square feet of surface, as the tomato makes considerable root growth. Plant in rows, four feet apart each way if no support is to be given, three feet if the plants are to be grown on racks or trellises.
To let a tomato plant spread on the ground and grow as it will is wasteful. During the past ten years perhaps a dozen different methods of growing pruned plants have been tried out. The fruit produced under such natural conditions is inferior in size to that of the pruned plant, is frequently ill-shaped and of uneven ripening; and the fruit that does develop normally is subject to rot and attack by insects. Records over a number of seasons show the average loss of fruits from such causes to be about 25 percent of the whole.
The tomato is an exceedingly rank grower, and unless its tendency to make a big plant is checked and directed into other channels, it will make about ten times as much herbage as is necessary. Different...
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