Straw and Leghorn Hats, can be cleansed, by simply washing them in white-soapsuds. Remove grease, by French chalk, and stains, by diluted oxalic acid, or cream of tartar. The oxalic acid is best, but must be instantly washed off. To whiten them, drive nails in a barrel, near its bottom, so that cords can be stretched across. On these cords, tie the bonnet, wet with suds, (having first removed the grease, stains, and dirt.) Then invert the barrel, over a dish of coals, on which roll brimstone is slowly burning. Put a chip under one side of the barrel, to admit the air. Continue this, till the bonnet is white; then hang it in the air, (when the weather is not damp,) till the smell is removed. Then stiffen it with a solution of isinglass or gum Arabic, put on the inside, with a sponge. Press the crown, on a block, and the rest on a board, on the right side, putting muslin between the iron and straw, and pressing hard. Be careful not to make it too stiff. First, stiffen a small piece, for trial.
Precautions and Preparations.
All the articles must be entirely free from grease or oil, and also, in most cases, from soapsuds. Make light dyes in brass, and dark ones in iron, vessels. Always wet the articles, in fair water, before dyeing. Always carefully strain the dye. If the color be too light, dry and then dip the article again. Stir the article well in the dye, lifting it up often. Remove any previous color, by boiling in suds, or, what is better, in the soda mixture used for washing.
Pink Dye. Buy a saucer of carmine, at an apothecary's. With it, you will find directions for its use. This is cheap, easy to use, and beautiful. Balm blossoms and Bergamot blossoms, with a little cream of tartar in the water, make a pretty pink.
Red Dye. Take half a pound of wheat bran, three ounces of powdered alum, and two gallons of soft water. Boil these in a brass vessel, and add an ounce of cream of tartar, and an ounce of cochineal, tied up together in a bag. Boil the mixture for fifteen minutes, then strain it, and dip the articles. Brazil wood, set with alum, makes another red dye.
Yellow Dye. Fustic, turmeric powder, saffron, barberry-bush, peach-leaves, or marigold flowers, make a yellow dye. Set the dye with alum, putting a piece the size of a large hazelnut to each quart of water.
Light Blue Dye, for silks and woollens, is made with the 'blue composition,' to be procured of the hat-makers; fifteen drops to a quart of water. Articles dipped in this, must be thoroughly rinsed. For a dark blue, boil four ounces of copperas in two gallons of water. Dip the articles in this, and then in a strong decoction of logwood, boiled and strained. Then wash them thoroughly in soapsuds.
Green Dye. First color the article yellow; and then, if it be silk or woollen, dip it in 'blue composition.' Instead of ironing, rub it with flannel, while drying.
Salmon Color is made by boiling arnotto or anotta in soapsuds.
Buff Color is made by putting one teacupful of potash, tied in a bag, in two gallons of hot (not boiling) water, and adding an ounce of arnotto, also in a bag, keeping it in for half an hour. First, wet the article in strong potash-water. Dry and then rinse in soapsuds. Birch bark and alum also make a buff. Black alder, set with ley, makes an orange color.
Dove and Slate Colors, of all shades, are made by boiling, in an iron vessel, a teacupful of black tea, with a teaspoonful of copperas. Dilute this, till you get the shade wanted. Purple sugar-paper, boiled, and set with alum, makes a similar color.
Brown Dye. Boil half a pound of camwood (in a bag) in two gallons of water, for fifteen minutes. Wet the articles, and boil them for a few minutes in the dye. White-walnut bark, the bark of sour sumach, or of white maple, set with alum, make a brown color.
Black Dye. Let one pound of chopped logwood remain all night in one gallon of vinegar. Then boil them, and put in a piece of copperas, as large as a hen's egg. Wet the articles in warm water, and put them in the dye, boiling and stirring them for fifteen minutes. Dry them, then wet them in warm water, and dip them again. Repeat the process, till the articles are black enough. Wash them in suds, and rinse them till the water comes off clear. Iron nails, boiled in vinegar, make a black dye, which is good for restoring rusty black silks.
Olive Color. Boil fustic and yellow-oak bark together. The more fustic, the brighter the olive; the more oak bark, the darker the shade. Set the light shade with a few drops of oil of vitriol, and the dark shade with copperas.
ON THE CARE OF PARLORS.
In selecting the furniture of parlors, some reference should be had to correspondence of shades and colors. Curtains should be darker than the walls; and, if the walls and carpets be light, the chairs should be dark, and vice versa. Pictures always look best on light walls.
In selecting carpets, for rooms much used, it is poor economy to buy cheap ones. Ingrain carpets, of close texture, and the three-ply carpets, are best for common use. Brussels carpets do not wear so long as the three-ply ones, because they cannot be turned. Wilton carpets wear badly, and Venetians are good only for halls and stairs.
In selecting colors, avoid those in which there are any black threads; as they are always rotten. The most tasteful carpets, are those, which are made of various shades of the same color, or of all shades of only two colors; such as brown and yellow, or blue and buff, or salmon and green, or all shades of green, or of brown. All very dark shades should be brown or green, but not black.
In laying down carpets, it is a bad practice to put straw under them, as this makes them wear out in spots. Straw matting, laid under carpets, makes them last much longer, as it is smooth and even, and the dust sifts through it. In buying carpets, always get a few yards over, to allow for waste in matching figures.
In cutting carpets, make them three or four inches shorter than the room, to allow for stretching. Begin to cut in the middle of a figure, and it will usually match better. Many carpets match in two different ways, and care must be taken to get the right one. Sew a carpet on the wrong side, with double waxed thread, and with the ball-stitch. This is done by taking a stitch on the breadth next you, pointing the needle towards you; and then taking a stitch on the other breadth, pointing the needle from you. Draw the thread tightly, but not so as to pucker. In fitting a breadth to the hearth, cut slits in the right place, and turn the piece under. Bind the whole of the carpet, with carpet-binding, nail it with tacks, having bits of leather under the heads. To stretch the carpet, use a carpet-fork, which is a long stick, ending with notched tin, like saw-teeth. This is put in the edge of the carpet, and pushed by one person, while the nail is driven by another. Cover blocks, or bricks, with carpeting, like that of the room, and put them behind tables, doors, sofas, &c., to preserve the walls from injury, by knocking, or by the dusting-cloth.
Cheap footstools, made of a square plank, covered with tow-cloth, stuffed, and then covered with carpeting, with worsted handles, look very well. Sweep carpets as seldom as possible, as it wears them out. To shake them often, is good economy. In cleaning carpets, use damp tea leaves, or wet Indian meal, throwing it about, and rubbing it over with the broom. The latter, is very good for cleansing carpets made dingy by coal-dust. In brushing carpets in ordinary use, it will be found very convenient to use a large flat dust-pan, with a perpendicular handle a yard high, put on so that the pan will stand alone. This can be carried about, and used without stooping, brushing dust into it with a common broom. The pan must be very large, or it will be upset.
When carpets are taken up, they should be hung on a line, or laid on long grass, and whipped, first on one side, and then on the other, with pliant whips. If laid aside, they should be sewed up tight, in linen, having snuff or tobacco put along all the crevices where moths could enter. Shaking pepper, from a pepper-box, round the edge of the floor, under a carpet, prevents the access of moths.
Carpets can be best washed on the floor, thus: First shake them; and then, after cleaning the floor, stretch and nail them upon it. Then scrub them in cold soapsuds, having half a teacupful of ox-gall to a bucket of water. Then wash off the suds, with a cloth, in fair water. Set open the doors and windows, for two days or more. Imperial Brussels, Venetian, ingrain, and three-ply, carpets, can be washed thus; but Wilton, and other plush-carpets, cannot. Before washing them, take out grease, with a paste, made of potter's clay, ox-gall, and water.
Straw matting is best for chambers and Summer parlors. The checked, of two colors, is not so good to wear. The best, is the cheapest in the end. When washed, it should be done with salt water, wiping it dry; but frequent washing injures it. Bind matting with cotton binding. Sew breadths together like carpeting. In joining the ends of pieces, ravel out a part, and tie the threads together, turning under a little of each piece, and then, laying the ends close, nail them down, with nails having kid under their heads.
In hanging pictures, put them so that the lower part shall be opposite the eye. Cleanse the glass of pictures with whiting, as water endangers the pictures. Gilt frames can be much better preserved by putting on a coat of copal varnish, which, with proper brushes, can be bought of carriage or cabinet-makers. When dry, it can be washed with fair water. Wash the brush in spirits of turpentine.
Curtains, ottomans, and sofas covered with worsted, can be cleansed, by wheat-bran, rubbed on with flannel. Dust Venetian blinds with feather brushes. Buy light-colored ones, as the green are going out of fashion. Strips of linen or cotton, on rollers and pulleys, are much in use, to shut out the sun from curtains and carpets. Paper curtains, pasted on old cotton, are good for chambers. Put them on rollers, having cords nailed to them, so that when the curtain falls, the cord will be wound up. Then, by pulling the cord, the curtain will be rolled up.
Mahogany furniture should be made in the Spring, and stand some months before it is used, or it will shrink and warp. Varnished furniture should be rubbed only with silk, except occasionally, when a little sweet-oil should be rubbed over, and wiped off carefully. For unvarnished furniture, use beeswax, a little softened with sweet-oil; rub it in with a hard brush, and polish with woollen and silk rags. Some persons rub in linseed-oil; others mix beeswax with a little spirits of turpentine and rosin, making it so that it can be put on with a sponge, and wiped off with a soft rag. Others, keep in a bottle the following mixture; two ounces of spirits of turpentine, four tablespoonfuls of sweet-oil, and one quart of milk. This is applied with a sponge, and wiped off with a linen rag.
Hearths and jambs, of brick, look best painted over with blacklead, mixed with soft-soap. Wash the bricks which are nearest the fire with redding and milk, using a painter's brush. A sheet of zinc, covering the whole hearth, is cheap, saves work, and looks very well. A tinman can fit it properly.
Stone hearths should be rubbed with a paste of powdered stone, (to be procured of the stonecutters,) and then brushed with a stiff brush. Kitchen-hearths, of stone, are improved by rubbing in lamp-oil.
Stains can be removed from marble, by oxalic acid and water, or oil of vitriol and water, left on fifteen minutes, and then rubbed dry. Gray marble is improved by linseed-oil. Grease can be taken from marble, by ox-gall and potter's clay wet with soapsuds, (a gill of each.) It is better to add, also, a gill of spirits of turpentine. It improves the looks of marble, to cover it with this mixture, leaving it two days, and then rubbing it off.
Unless a parlor is in constant use, it is best to sweep it only once a week, and at other times use a whisk-broom and dust-pan. When a parlor with handsome furniture is to be swept, cover the sofas, centre table, piano, books, and mantelpiece, with old cottons, kept for the purpose. Remove the rugs, and shake them, and clean the jambs, hearth, and fire-furniture. Then sweep the room, moving every article. Dust the furniture, with a dust-brush and a piece of old silk. A painter's brush should be kept, to remove dust from ledges and crevices. The dust-cloths should be often shaken and washed, or else they will soil the walls and furniture when they are used. Dust ornaments, and fine books, with feather brushes, kept for the purpose.
ON THE CARE OF BREAKFAST AND DINING-ROOMS.
An eating-room should have in it a large closet, with drawers and shelves, in which should be kept all the articles used at meals. This, if possible, should communicate with the kitchen, by a sliding window, or by a door, and have in it a window, and also a small sink, made of marble or lined with zinc, which will be a great convenience for washing nice articles. If there be a dumb-waiter, it is best to have it connected with such a closet. It may be so contrived, that, when it is down, it shall form part of the closet floor.
A table-rug, or crumb-cloth, is useful to save carpets from injury. Bocking, or baize, is best. Always spread the same side up, or the carpet will be soiled by the rug. Table-mats are needful, to prevent injury to the table from the warm dishes. Teacup-mats, or small plates, are useful to save the table-cloths from dripping tea or coffee. Butter-knives, for the butter-plate, and salt-spoons, for salt-dishes, are designed to prevent those disgusting marks which are made, when persons use their own knives, to take salt or butter. A sugar-spoon should be kept in or by the sugar-dish, for the same purpose. Table-napkins, of diaper, are often laid by each person's plate, for use during the meal, to save the tablecloth and pocket-handkerchief. To preserve the same napkin for the same person, each member of the family has a given number, and the napkins are numbered to correspond, or else are slipped into ivory rings, which are numbered. A stranger has a clean one, at each meal. Tablecloths should be well starched, and ironed on the right side, and always, when taken off, folded in the ironed creases. Doilies are colored napkins, which, when fruit is offered, should always be furnished, to prevent a person from staining a nice handkerchief, or permitting the fruit-juice to dry on the fingers.
Casters and salt-stands should be put in order, every morning, when washing the breakfast things. Always, if possible, provide fine and dry table-salt, as many persons are much disgusted with that which is dark, damp, and coarse. Be careful to keep salad-oil closely corked, or it will grow rancid. Never leave the salt-spoons in the salt, nor the mustard-spoon in the mustard, as they are thereby injured. Wipe them, immediately after the meal.
For table-furniture, French china is deemed the nicest, but it is liable to the objection of having plates, so made, that salt, butter, and similar articles, will not lodge on the edge, but slip into the centre. Select knives and forks, which have weights in the handles, so that, when laid down, they will not touch the table. Those with rivetted handles last longer than any others. Horn handles (except buckhorn) are very poor. The best are cheapest in the end. Knives should be sharpened once a month, unless they are kept sharp by the mode of scouring.
On Setting Tables.
Neat housekeepers observe the manner in which a table is set more than any thing else; and to a person of good taste, few things are more annoying, than to see the table placed askew; the tablecloth soiled, rumpled, and put on awry; the plates, knives, and dishes thrown about, without any order; the pitchers soiled on the outside, and sometimes within; the tumblers dim; the caster out of order; the butter pitched on the plate, without any symmetry; the salt coarse, damp, and dark; the bread cut in a mixture of junks and slices; the dishes of food set on at random, and without mats; the knives dark or rusty, and their handles greasy; the tea-furniture all out of order, and every thing in similar style. And yet, many of these negligences will be met with, at the tables of persons who call themselves well bred, and who have wealth enough to make much outside show. One reason for this, is, the great difficulty of finding domestics, who will attend to these things in a proper manner, and who, after they have been repeatedly instructed, will not neglect nor forget what has been said to them. The writer has known cases, where much has been gained by placing the following rules in plain sight, in the place where the articles for setting tables are kept.
Rules for setting a Table.
1. Lay the rug square with the room, and also smooth and even; then set the table also square with the room, and see that the legs are in the right position to support the leaves.
2. Lay the tablecloth square with the table, right side up, smooth, and even.
3. Put on the teatray (for breakfast or tea) square with the table; set the cups and saucers at the front side of the teatray, and the sugar, slop-bowls, and cream-cup, at the back side. Lay the sugar-spoon or tongs on the sugar-bowl.
4. Lay the plates around the table, at equal intervals, and the knives and forks at regular distances, each in the same particular manner, with a cup-mat, or cup-plate, to each, and a napkin at the right side of each person.
5. If meat be used, set the caster and salt-cellars in the centre of the table; then lay mats for the dishes, and place the carving-knife and fork and steel by the master of the house. Set the butter on two plates, one on either side, with a butter-knife by each.
6. Set the tea or coffee-pot on a mat, at the right hand of the teatray, (if there be not room upon it.) Then place the chairs around the table, and call the family.
1. Place the rug, table, tablecloth, plates, knives and forks, and napkins, as before directed, with a tumbler by each plate. In cold weather, set the plates where they will be warmed.
2. Put the caster in the centre, and the salt-stands at two oblique corners, of the table, the latter between two large spoons crossed. If more spoons be needed, lay them on each side of the caster, crossed. Set the pitcher on a mat, either at a side-table, or, when there is no waiter, on the dining-table. Water looks best in glass decanters.
3. Set the bread on the table, when there is no waiter. Some take a fork, and lay a piece on the napkin or tumbler by each plate. Others keep it in a tray, covered with a white napkin to keep off flies. Bread for dinner is often cut in small junks, and not in slices.
4. Set the principal dish before the master of the house, and the other dishes in a regular manner. Put the carving-knife, fork, and steel, by the principal dish, and also a knife-rest, if one be used.
5. Put a small knife and fork by the pickles, and also by any other dishes which need them. Then place the chairs.
On Waiting at Table.
A domestic, who waits on the table, should be required to keep the hair and hands in neat order, and have on a clean apron. A small teatray should be used to carry cups and plates. The waiter should announce the meal (when ready) to the mistress of the family, then stand by the eating-room door, till all are in, then close the door, and step to the left side of the lady of the house. When all are seated, the waiter should remove the covers, taking care first to invert them, so as not to drop the steam on the tablecloth or guests. In presenting articles, go to the left side of the person. In pouring water never entirely fill the tumbler. The waiter should notice when bread or water is wanting, and hand it without being called. When plates are changed, be careful not to drop knives or forks. Brush off crumbs, with a crumb-brush, into a small waiter.
When there is no domestic waiter, a light table should be set at the left side of the mistress of the house, on which the bread, water, and other articles not in immediate use, can be placed.
On Carving and Helping at Table.
It is considered an accomplishment for a lady to know how to carve well, at her own table. It is not proper to stand in carving. The carving-knife should be sharp and thin. To carve fowls, (which should always be laid with the breast uppermost,) place the fork in the breast, and take off the wings and legs without turning the fowl; then cut out the merry thought, cut slices from the breast, take out the collar bone, cut off the side pieces, and then cut the carcass in two. Divide the joints in the leg of a turkey.
In helping the guests, when no choice is expressed, give a piece of both the white and dark meat, with some of the stuffing. Inquire whether the guest will be helped to each kind of vegetable, and put the gravy on the plate, and not on any article of food.
In carving a sirloin, cut thin slices from the side next to you, (it must be put on the dish with the tenderloin underneath;) then turn it, and cut from the tenderloin Help the guest to both kinds.
In carving a leg of mutton, or a ham, begin by cutting across the middle, to the bone. Cut a tongue across, and not lengthwise, and help from the middle part.
Carve a forequarter of lamb, by separating the shoulder from the ribs, and then dividing the ribs. To carve a loin of veal, begin at the smaller end and separate the ribs. Help each one to a piece of the kidney and its fat. Carve pork and mutton in the same way.
To carve a fillet of veal, begin at the top, and help to the stuffing with each slice. In a breast of veal, separate the breast and brisket, and then cut them up, asking which part is preferred. In carving a pig, it is customary to divide it, and take off the head, before it comes to the table; as, to many persons, the head is very revolting. Cut off the limbs, and divide the ribs. In carving venison, make a deep incision down to the bone, to let out the juices; then turn the broad end of the haunch towards you, cutting deep, in thin slices. For a saddle of venison, cut from the tail towards the other end, on each side, in thin slices. Warm plates are very necessary, with venison and mutton, and in Winter, are desirable for all meats.
ON THE CARE OF CHAMBERS AND BEDROOMS.
Every mistress of a family should see, not only that all sleeping-rooms in her house can be well ventilated at night, but that they actually are so. Where there is no open fireplace to admit the pure air from the exterior, a door should be left open into an entry, or room where fresh air is admitted; or else a small opening should be made in a window, taking care not to allow a draught of air to cross the bed. The debility of childhood, the lassitude of domestics, and the ill-health of families, are often caused by neglecting to provide a supply of pure air. Straw matting is best for a chamber carpet, and strips of woollen carpeting may be laid by the side of the bed. Where chambers have no closets, a wardrobe is indispensable. This is a moveable closet, with doors, divided, by a perpendicular partition, into two apartments. In one division, rows of hooks are placed, on which to hang dresses. The other division is fitted up with shelves, for other uses. Some are made with drawers at the bottom for shoes, and such like articles. A low square box, set on casters, with a cushion on the top, and a drawer on one side to put shoes in, is a great convenience in dressing the feet. An old champaigne basket, fitted up with a cushion on the lid, and a valance fastened to it to cover the sides, can be used for the same purpose.
A comfortable couch, for chambers and sitting-rooms, can be made by a common carpenter, at a small expense. Have a frame made (like the annexed engraving, Fig. 38,) of common stuff, six feet long, twenty-eight inches wide, and twelve inches high. It must be made thus low, because the casters and cushions will raise it several inches. Have the sloping side-piece, a, and head-piece, b, sawed out of a board; nail brown linen on them, and stuff them with soft hay or hair. Let these be screwed to the frame, and covered with furniture patch. Then let slats be nailed across the bottom, as at c, c, four inches apart. This will cost two or three dollars. Then make a thick cushion, of hay or straw, with side strips, like a mattress, and lay this for the under-cushion. To put over this, make a thinner cushion, of hair, cover it with furniture-calico, and fasten to it a valance reaching to the floor. Then make two square pillows, and cover them with calico, like the rest. Both the cushions should be stitched through like mattresses.
The writer has seen a couch of this kind, in a common parlor, which cost less than eight dollars, was much admired, and was a constant comfort to the feeble mother, as well as many other members of the family.
Another convenience, for a room where sewing is done in Summer, is a fancy-jar, set in one corner, to receive clippings, and any other rubbish. It can be covered with prints, or paintings, and varnished; and then looks very prettily.
The trunks in a chamber can be improved in looks and comfort, by making cushions of the same size and shape, stuffed with hay and covered with chintz, with a frill reaching nearly to the floor.
Every bedchamber should have a washstand, bowl, pitcher, and tumbler, with a washbucket under the stand, to receive slops. A light screen, made like a clothes-frame, and covered with paper or chintz, should be furnished for bedrooms occupied by two persons, so that ablutions can be performed in privacy. It can be ornamented, so as to look well anywhere. A little frame, or towel-horse, by the washstand, on which to dry towels, is a convenience. A washstand should be furnished with a sponge or washcloth, and a small towel, for wiping the basin after using it. This should be hung on the washstand or towel-horse, for constant use. A soap-dish, and a dish for toothbrushes, are neat and convenient, and each person should be furnished with two towels; one for the feet, and one for other purposes.
It is in good taste to have the curtains, bedquilt, valance, and window-curtains, of similar materials. In making featherbeds, side-pieces should be put in, like those of mattresses, and the bed should be well filled, so that a person will not be buried in a hollow, which is not healthful, save in extremely cold weather. Featherbeds should never be used, except in cold weather. At other times, a thin mattress of hair, cotton and moss, or straw, should be put over them. A simple strip of broad straw matting, spread over a featherbed, answers the same purpose. Nothing is more debilitating, than, in warm weather, to sleep with a featherbed pressing round the greater part of the body. Pillows stuffed with papers an inch square, are good for Summer, especially for young children, whose heads should be kept cool. The cheapest and best covering of a bed, for Winter, is a cotton comforter, made to contain three or four pounds of cotton, laid in batts or sheets, between covers tacked together at regular intervals. They should be three yards square, and less cotton should be put at the sides that are tucked in. It is better to have two thin comforters, to each bed, than one thick one; as then the covering can be regulated according to the weather.
Few domestics will make a bed properly, without much attention from the mistress of the family. The following directions should be given to those who do this work.
Open the windows, and lay off the bed-covering, on two chairs, at the foot of the bed. After the bed is well aired, shake the feathers, from each corner to the middle; then take up the middle, and shake it well, and turn the bed over. Then push the feathers in place, making the head higher than the foot, and the sides even, and as high as the middle part. Then put on the bolster and the under sheet, so that the wrong side of the sheet shall go next the bed, and the marking come at the head, tucking in all around. Then put on the pillows, even, so that the open ends shall come to the sides of the bed, and then spread on the upper sheet, so that the wrong side shall be next the blankets, and the marked end at the head. This arrangement of sheets is to prevent the part where the feet lie from being reversed, so as to come to the face, and also to prevent the parts soiled by the body from coming to the bedtick and blankets. Then put on the other covering, except the outer one, tucking in all around, and then turn over the upper sheet, at the head, so as to show a part of the pillows. When the pillow-cases are clean and smooth, they look best outside of the cover, but not otherwise. Then draw the hand along the side of the pillows, to make an even indentation, and then smooth and shape the whole outside. A nice housekeeper always notices the manner in which a bed is made; and in some parts of the Country, it is rare to see this work properly performed.
The writer would here urge every mistress of a family, who keeps more than one domestic, to provide them with single beds, that they may not be obliged to sleep with all the changing domestics, who come and go so often. Where the room is too small for two beds, a narrow trucklebed under another, will answer. Domestics should be furnished with washing conveniences in their chambers, and be encouraged to keep their persons and rooms neat and in order.
On Packing and Storing Articles.
Fold a gentleman's coat, thus:—Lay it on a table or bed, the inside downward, and unroll the collar. Double each sleeve once, making the crease at the elbow, and laying them so as to make the fewest wrinkles, and parallel with the skirts. Turn the fronts over the back and sleeves, and then turn up the skirts, making all as smooth as possible.
Fold a shirt, thus:—One that has a bosom-piece inserted, lay on a bed, bosom downward. Fold each sleeve twice, and lay it parallel with the sides of the shirt. Turn the two sides, with the sleeves, over the middle part, and then turn up the bottom, with two folds. This makes the collar and bosom lie, unpressed, on the outside.
Fold a frock thus:—Lay its front downward, so as to make the first creases in folding come in the side breadths. To do this, find the middle of the side breadths by first putting the middle of the front and back breadths together. Next, fold over the side creases so as just to meet the slit behind. Then fold the skirt again, so as to make the backs lie together within and the fronts without. Then arrange the waist and sleeves, and fold the skirt around them.
In packing trunks, for travelling, put all heavy articles at the bottom, covered with paper, which should not be printed, as the ink rubs off. Put coats and pantaloons into linen cases, made for the purpose, and furnished with strings. Fill all crevices with small articles; as, if a trunk is not full, nor tightly packed, its contents will be shaken about, and get injured. A thin box, the exact size of the trunk, with a lid, and covered with brown linen, is a great convenience, to set inside, on the top of the trunk, to contain light articles which would be injured by tight packing. Have straps, with buckles, fastened to the inside, near the bottom, long enough to come up and buckle over this box. By this means, when a trunk is not quite full, this box can be strapped over so tight, as to keep the articles from rubbing. Under-clothing packs closer, by being rolled tightly, instead of being folded.
Bonnet-boxes, made of light wood, with a lock and key, are better than the paper bandboxes so annoying to travellers. Carpet bags are very useful, to carry the articles to be used on a journey. The best ones have sides inserted, iron rims, and a lock and key. A large silk travelling-bag, with a double linen lining, in which are stitched receptacles for toothbrush, combs, and other small articles, is a very convenient article for use when travelling.
A bonnet-cover, made of some thin material, like a large hood with a cape, is useful to draw over the bonnet and neck, to keep off dust, sun, and sparks from a steam engine. Green veils are very apt to stain bonnets, when damp.
In packing household furniture, for moving, have each box numbered, and then have a book, in which, as each box is packed, note down the number of the box, and the order in which its contents are packed, as this will save much labor and perplexity when unpacking. In packing china and glass, wrap each article, separately, in paper, and put soft hay or straw at bottom and all around each. Put the heaviest articles at the bottom; and on the top of the box, write, "This side up."
ON THE CARE OF THE KITCHEN, CELLAR, AND STOREROOM.
If parents wish their daughters to grow up with good domestic habits, they should have, as one means of securing this result, a neat and cheerful kitchen. A kitchen should always, if possible, be entirely above ground, and well lighted. It should have a large sink, with a drain running under ground, so that all the premises may be kept sweet and clean. If flowers and shrubs be cultivated, around the doors and windows, and the yard near them be kept well turfed, it will add very much to their agreeable appearance. The walls should often be cleaned and whitewashed, to promote a neat look and pure air. The floor of a kitchen should be painted, or, which is better, covered with an oilcloth. To procure a kitchen oilcloth as cheaply as possible, buy cheap tow cloth, and fit it to the size and shape of the kitchen. Then have it stretched, and nailed to the south side of the barn, and, with a brush, cover it with a coat of thin rye paste. When this is dry, put on a coat of yellow paint, and let it dry for a fortnight. It is safest to first try the paint, and see if it dries well, as some paint never will dry. Then put on a second coat, and at the end of another fortnight, a third coat. Then let it hang two months, and it will last, uninjured, for many years. The longer the paint is left to dry, the better. If varnished, it will last much longer.
A sink should be scalded out every day, and occasionally with hot ley. On nails, over the sink, should be hung three good dish-cloths, hemmed, and furnished with loops; one for dishes not greasy, one for greasy dishes, and one for washing pots and kettles. These should be put in the wash every week. The lady who insists upon this, will not be annoyed by having her dishes washed with dark, musty, and greasy, rags, as is too frequently the case.
Under the sink should be kept a slop-pail; and, on a shelf by it, a soap-dish and two water-pails. A large boiler, of warm soft water, should always be kept over the fire, well covered, and a hearth-broom and bellows be hung near the fire. A clock is a very important article in the kitchen, in order to secure regularity at meals.
On Washing Dishes.
No item of domestic labor is so frequently done in a negligent manner, by domestics, as this. A full supply of conveniences, will do much toward a remedy of this evil. A swab, made of strips of linen, tied to a stick, is useful to wash nice dishes, especially small, deep articles. Two or three towels, and three dish-cloths, should be used. Two large tin tubs, painted on the outside, should be provided; one for washing, and one for rinsing; also, a large old waiter, on which to drain the dishes. A soap-dish, with hard soap, and a fork, with which to use it, a slop-pail, and two pails for water, should also be furnished. Then, if there be danger of neglect, the following rules for washing dishes, legibly written, may be hung up by the sink, and it will aid in promoting the desired care and neatness.
Rules for Washing Dishes.
1. Scrape the dishes, putting away any food which may remain on them, and which it may be proper to save for future use. Put grease into the grease-pot, and whatever else may be on the plates, into the slop-pail. Save tea-leaves, for sweeping. Set all the dishes, when scraped, in regular piles; the smallest at the top.
2. Put the nicest articles in the wash-dish, and wash them in hot suds, with the swab or nicest dish-cloth. Wipe all metal articles, as soon as they are washed. Put all the rest into the rinsing-dish, which should be filled with hot water. When they are taken out, lay them to drain on the waiter. Then rinse the dish-cloth, and hang it up, wipe the articles washed, and put them in their places.
3. Pour in more hot water, wash the greasy dishes with the dish-cloth made for them; rinse them, and set them to drain. Wipe them, and set them away. Wash the knives and forks, being careful that the handles are never put in water; wipe them, and then lay them in a knife-dish, to be scoured.
4. Take a fresh supply of clean suds, in which, wash the milk-pans, buckets, and tins. Then rinse and hang up this dish-cloth, and take the other; with which, wash the roaster, gridiron, pots, and kettles. Then wash and rinse the dish-cloth, and hang it up. Empty the slop-bucket and scald it. Dry metal teapots and tins before the fire. Then put the fireplace in order, and sweep and dust the kitchen.
Some persons keep a deep and narrow vessel, in which to wash knives with a swab, so that a careless domestic cannot lay them in the water while washing them. This article can be carried into the eating-room, to receive the knives and forks, when they are taken from the table.
Crockery. Brown earthen pans are said to be best, for milk and for cooking. Tin pans are lighter, and more convenient, but are too cold for many purposes. Tall earthen jars, with covers, are good to hold butter, salt, lard, &c. Acids should never be put into the red earthen ware, as there is a poisonous ingredient in the glazing, which the acid takes off. Stone ware is better, and stronger, and safer, every way, than any other kind.
Iron Ware. Many kitchens are very imperfectly supplied with the requisite conveniences for cooking. When a person has sufficient means, the following articles are all desirable. A nest of iron pots, of different sizes, (they should be slowly heated, when new;) a long iron fork, to take out articles from boiling water; an iron hook, with a handle, to lift pots from the crane; a large and small gridiron, with grooved bars, and a trench to catch the grease; a Dutch oven, called, also, a bakepan; two skillets, of different sizes, and a spider, or flat skillet, for frying; a griddle, a waffle-iron, tin and iron bake and bread-pans; two ladles, of different sizes; a skimmer; iron skewers; a toasting-iron; two teakettles, one small and one large one; two brass kettles, of different sizes, for soap-boiling, &c. Iron kettles, lined with porcelain, are better for preserves. The German are the best. Too hot a fire will crack them, but with care in this respect, they will last for many years.
Portable furnaces, of iron or clay, are very useful, in Summer, in washing, ironing, and stewing, or making preserves. If used in the house, a strong draught must be made, to prevent the deleterious effects of the charcoal. A box and mill, for spice, pepper, and coffee, are needful to those who use these articles. Strong knives and forks, a sharp carving-knife, an iron cleaver and board, a fine saw, steelyards, chopping-tray and knife, an apple-parer, steel for sharpening knives, sugar-nippers, a dozen iron spoons, also a large iron one with a long handle, six or eight flatirons, one of them very small, two iron-stands, a ruffle-iron, a crimping-iron, are also desirable.
Tin Ware. Bread-pans, large and small pattypans, cake-pans, with a centre tube to insure their baking well, pie-dishes, (of block-tin,) a covered butter-kettle, covered kettles to hold berries, two sauce-pans, a large oil-can, (with a cock,) a lamp-filler, a lantern, broad-bottomed candlesticks for the kitchen, a candle-box, a funnel or tunnel, a reflector, for baking warm cakes, an oven or tin-kitchen, an apple-corer, an apple-roaster, an egg-boiler, two sugar-scoops, and flour and meal-scoop, a set of mugs, three dippers, a pint, quart, and gallon measure, a set of scales and weights, three or four pails, painted on the outside, a slop-bucket, with a tight cover, painted on the outside, a milk-strainer, a gravy-strainer, a colander, a dredging-box, a pepper-box, a large and small grater, a box, in which to keep cheese, also a large one for cake, and a still larger one for bread, with tight covers. Bread, cake, and cheese, shut up in this way, will not grow dry as in the open air.
Wooden Ware. A nest of tubs, a set of pails and bowls, a large and small sieve, a beetle for mashing potatoes, a spad or stick for stirring butter and sugar, a bread-board, for moulding bread and making pie-crust, a coffee-stick, a clothes-stick, a mush-stick, a meat-beetle to pound tough meat, an egg-beater, a ladle for working butter, a bread-trough, (for a large family,) flour-buckets, with lids to hold sifted flour and Indian meal, salt-boxes, sugar-boxes, starch and indigo-boxes, spice-boxes, a bosom-board, a skirt-board, a large ironing-board, two or three clothes-frames, and six dozen clothes-pins.
Basket Ware. Baskets, of all sizes, for eggs, fruit, marketing, clothes, &c.; also chip-baskets. When often used, they should be washed in hot suds.
Other Articles. Every kitchen needs a box containing balls of brown thread and twine, a large and small darning needle, rolls of waste-paper and old linen and cotton, and a supply of common holders. There should also be another box, containing a hammer, carpet-tacks, and nails of all sizes, a carpet-claw, screws and a screw-driver, pincers, gimlets of several sizes, a bed-screw, a small saw, two chisels, (one to use for buttonholes in broadcloth,) two awls, and two files.
In a drawer, or cupboard, should be placed, cotton table-cloths, for kitchen use, nice crash towels, for tumblers, marked, T T; coarser towels, for dishes, marked, T; six large roller-towels; a dozen hand-towels, marked, H T; and a dozen hemmed dish-cloths, with loops. Also, two thick linen pudding or dumpling-cloths, a gelly-bag, made of white flannel, to strain gelly, a starch-strainer, and a bag for boiling clothes.
In a closet, should be kept, arranged in order, the following articles: the dust-pan, dust-brush, and dusting-cloths, old flannel and cotton for scouring and rubbing, sponges for washing windows and looking-glasses, a long brush for cobwebs, and another for washing the outside of windows, whisk-brooms, common brooms, a coat-broom or brush, a whitewash-brush, a stove-brush, shoebrushes and blacking, articles for cleaning tin and silver, leather for cleaning metals, bottles containing stain-mixtures, and other articles used in cleansing.
ON THE CARE OF THE CELLAR.
A cellar should often be whitewashed, to keep it sweet. It should have a drain, to keep it perfectly dry, as standing water, in a cellar, is a sure cause of disease in a family. It is very dangerous to leave decayed vegetables in a cellar. Many a fever has been caused, by the poisonous miasm thus generated. The following articles are desirable in a cellar: a safe, or moveable closet, with sides of wire or perforated tin, in which cold meats, cream, and other articles should be kept; (if ants be troublesome, set the legs in tin cups of water;) a refrigerator, or large wooden box, on feet, with a lining of tin or zinc, and a space between the tin and wood filled with powdered charcoal, having at the bottom, a place for ice, a drain to carry off the water, and also moveable shelves and partitions. In this, articles are kept cool. It should be cleaned, once a week. Filtering jars, to purify water, should also be kept in the cellar. Fish and cabbages, in a cellar, are apt to scent a house, and give a bad taste to other articles.
Every house needs a storeroom, in which to keep tea, coffee, sugar, rice, candles, &c. It should be furnished with jars, having labels, a large spoon, a fork, sugar and flour-scoops, a towel, and a dish-cloth.
Modes of destroying Insects and Vermin.
Bed-bugs should be kept away, by filling every chink in the bedstead with putty, and, if it be old, painting it over. Of all the mixtures for killing them, corrosive sublimate and alcohol is the surest. This is a strong poison.
Cockroaches may be destroyed, by pouring boiling water into their haunts, or setting a mixture of arsenic, mixed with Indian meal and molasses, where they are found. Chloride of lime and sweetened water will also poison them.
Fleas. If a dog be infested with these insects, put him in a tub of warm soapsuds, and they will rise to the surface. Take them off, and burn them. Strong perfumes, about the person, diminish their attacks. When caught between the fingers, plunge them in water, or they will escape.
Crickets. Scalding, and sprinkling Scotch snuff about the haunts of these insects, are remedies for the annoyance caused by them.
Flies can be killed, in great quantities, by placing about the house vessels, filled with sweetened water and cobalt. Six cents worth of cobalt is enough for a pint of water. It is very poisonous.
Musquitoes. Close nets around a bed, are the only sure protection at night, against these insects. Spirit of hartshorn is the best antidote for their bite. Salt and water is good.
Red or Black Ants may be driven away, by scalding their haunts, and putting Scotch snuff wherever they go for food. Set the legs of closets and safes in pans of water, and they cannot get at them.
Moths. Airing clothes does not destroy moths, but laying them in a hot sun does. If articles be tightly sewed up in linen, and fine tobacco be put about them, it is a sure protection. This should be done in April.
Rats and Mice. A good cat is the best remedy for these annoyances. Equal quantities of hemlock, (or cicuta,) and old cheese, will poison them, but this renders the house liable to the inconvenience of a bad smell. This evil, however, may be lessened, by placing a dish, containing oil of vitriol poured on saltpetre, where the smell is most annoying. Chloride of lime and water is also good.
ON SEWING, CUTTING, AND MENDING.
Every young girl should be taught to do the following kinds of stitch, with propriety. Over-stitch, hemming, running, felling, stitching, back-stitch and run, buttonhole-stitch, chain-stitch, whipping, darning, gathering, and cross-stitch.
In doing over-stitch, the edges should always be first fitted, either with pins or basting, to prevent puckering. In turning wide hems, a paper measure should be used, to make them even. Tucks, also, should be regulated by a paper measure. A fell should be turned, before the edges are put together, and the seam should be over-sewed, before felling. All biased or goring seams should be felled. For stitching, draw a thread, and take up two or three threads at a stitch.
In making buttonholes, it is best to have a pair of scissors, made for the purpose, which cut very neatly. For broadcloth, a chisel and board are better. The best stitch is made by putting in the needle, and then turning the thread around it, near the eye. This is better than to draw the needle through, and then take up a loop. A thread should first be put across each side of the buttonhole, and also a stay-thread, or bar, at each end, before working it. In working the buttonhole, keep the stay-thread as far from the edge as possible. A small bar should be worked at each end. Whipping is done better by sewing over, and not under. The roll should be as fine as possible, the stitches short, the thread strong, and in sewing, every gather should be taken up.
The rule for gathering, in shirts, is, to draw a thread, and then take up two threads and skip four. In darning, after the perpendicular threads are run, the crossing threads should interlace, exactly, taking one thread and leaving one, like woven threads.
The neatest sewers always fit and baste their work, before sewing; and they say they always save time in the end, by so doing, as they never have to pick out work, on account of mistakes.
It is wise to sew closely and tightly all new garments, which will never be altered in shape; but some are more nice than wise, in sewing frocks, and old garments, in the same style. However, this is the least common extreme. It is much more frequently the case, that articles, which ought to be strongly and neatly made, are sewed so that a nice sewer would rather pick out the threads and sew over again, than to be annoyed with the sight of grinning stitches, and vexed with constant rips.
Workbaskets. It is very important to neatness, comfort, and success in sewing, that a lady's workbasket should be properly fitted up. The following articles are needful to the mistress of a family: a large basket, to hold work; having in it, fastened, a smaller basket, or box, containing a needle-book, in which are needles of every size, both blunts and sharps, with a larger number of those sizes most used; also, small and large darning-needles, for woollen, cotton, and silk; two tape-needles, large and small; nice scissors, for fine work; buttonhole scissors; an emery-bag; two balls of white and yellow wax; and two thimbles, in case one should be mislaid. When a person is troubled with damp fingers, a lump of soft chalk, in a paper, is useful, to rub on the ends of the fingers.
Besides this box, keep in the basket, common scissors; small shears; a bag containing tapes, of all colors and sizes, done up in rolls; bags, one, containing spools of white, and another of colored, cotton thread, and another for silks, wound on spools or papers; a box or bag for nice buttons, and another for more common ones; a bag containing silk braid, welting cords, and galloon binding. Small rolls of pieces of white and brown linen and cotton, are also often needed. A brick pincushion is a great convenience, in sewing, and better than screw-cushions. It is made by covering half a brick with cloth, putting a cushion on the top, and covering it tastefully. It is very useful to hold pins and needles, while sewing, and to fasten long seams when basting and sewing.
To make a Frock. The best way for a novice, is, to get a dress fitted (not sewed) at the best mantuamaker's. Then take out a sleeve, rip it to pieces, and cut out a pattern. Then take out half of the waist, (it must have a seam in front,) and cut out a pattern of the back and fore-body, both lining and outer part. In cutting the patterns, iron the pieces, smooth, let the paper be stiff, and, with a pin, prick holes in the paper, to show the gore in front, and the depth of the seams. With a pen and ink, draw lines from each pinhole, to preserve this mark. Then baste the parts together again, in doing which, the unbasted half will serve as a pattern. When this is done, a lady of common ingenuity can cut and fit a dress, by these patterns. If the waist of a dress be too tight, the seam under the arm must be let out; and in cutting a dress, an allowance should be made, for letting it out, if needful, at this seam. The lining of the fore-body must be biased.
The linings for the waists of dresses should be stiffened cotton or linen. In cutting bias-pieces, for trimming, they will not set well, unless they are exact. In cutting them, use a long rule, and a lead pencil or piece of chalk. Welting-cords should be covered with bias-pieces; and it saves time, in many cases, to baste on the welting-cord, at the same time that you cover it. The best way to put on hooks and eyes, is to sew them on double broad tape, and then sew this on the frock-lining. They can then be moved easily, and do not show where they are sewed on.
In cutting a sleeve, double it biased. The skirts of dresses look badly, if not full; and in putting on lining, at the bottom, be careful to have it a very little fuller than the dress, or it will shrink, and look badly. All thin silks look much better with lining, and last much longer, as do aprons, also. In putting a lining to a dress, baste it on each separate breadth, and sew it in at the seams, and it looks much better than to have it fastened only at the bottom. Make notches in selvedge, to prevent it from drawing up the breadth. Dresses, which are to be washed, should not be lined.
Figured silks do not generally wear well, if the figure be large and satin-like. Black and plain-colored silks can be tested, by procuring samples, and making creases in them; fold the creases in a bunch, and rub them against a rough surface, of moreen or carpeting. Those which are poor, will soon wear off, at the creases. Plaids look becoming, for tall women, as they shorten the appearance of the figure. Stripes look becoming, on a large person, as they reduce the apparent size. Pale persons should not wear blue or green, and brunettes should not wear light delicate colors, except shades of buff, fawn, or straw color. Pearl white is not good for any complexion. Dead white and black look becoming on almost all persons. It is best to try colors, by candle-light, for evening dresses; as some colors, which look very handsome in the daylight, are very homely when seen by candle-light. Never cut a dress low in the neck, as this shows that a woman is not properly instructed in the rules of modesty and decorum, or that she has not sense enough to regard them. Never be in haste to be first in a fashion, and never go to the extremes.
In buying linen, seek for that which has a round close thread, and is perfectly white; for, if it be not white, at first, it will never afterwards become so. Much that is called linen, at the shops, is half cotton, and does not wear so well as cotton alone. Cheap linens are usually of this kind. It is difficult to discover which are all linen; but the best way, is, to find a lot, presumed to be good, take a sample, wash it, and ravel it. If this be good, the rest of the same lot will probably be so. If you cannot do this, draw a thread, each way, and if both appear equally strong, it is probably all linen. Linen and cotton must be put in clean water, and boiled, to get out the starch, and then ironed. A long piece of linen, a yard wide, will, with care and calculation, make eight shirts. In cutting it, take a shirt of the right size, as a guide, in fitting and basting. Bosom-pieces, false collars, &c. must be cut and fitted, by a pattern which suits the person for whom the articles are designed. Gentlemen's night-shirts are made like other shirts, except that they are longer. In cutting chemises, if the cotton or linen is a yard wide, cut off small half gores, at the top of the breadths, and set them on the bottom. Use a long rule and a pencil, in cutting gores. In cutting cotton, which is quite wide, a seam can be saved, by cutting out two at once, in this manner:—cut off three breadths, and, with a long rule and a pencil, mark and cut off the gores, thus: from one breadth, cut off two gores, the whole length, each gore one fourth of the breadth, at the bottom, and tapering off to a point, at the top. The other two breadths are to have a gore cut off from each, which is one fourth wide at top, and two fourths at bottom. Arrange these pieces right, and they will make two chemises, one having four seams, and the other three. This is a much easier way of cutting, than sewing the three breadths together, in bag-fashion, as is often done. The biased, or goring seams, must always be felled. The sleeves and neck can be cut according to the taste of the wearer, by another chemise for a pattern. There should be a lining around the armholes, and stays at all corners. Six yards, of yard width, will make two chemises.
Old silk dresses, quilted for skirts, are very serviceable. White flannel is soiled so easily, and shrinks so much in washing, that it is a good plan to color it a light dove-color, according to the receipt given on page 301. Cotton flannel, dyed thus, is also good for common skirts. In making up flannel, back-stitch and run the seams, and then cross-stitch them open. Nice flannel, for infants, can be ornamented, with very little expense of time, by turning up the hem, on the right side, and making a little vine at the edge, with saddler's silk. The stitch of the vine is a modification of buttonhole-stitch.
Long night gowns are best, cut a little goring. It requires five yards, for a long nightgown, and two and a half for a short one. Linen nightcaps wear longer than cotton ones, and do not, like them, turn yellow. They should be ruffled with linen, as cotton borders will not last so long as the cap. A double-quilted wrapper is a great comfort, in case of sickness. It may be made of two old dresses. It should not be cut full, but rather like a gentleman's study-gown, having no gathers or plaits, but large enough to slip off and on with ease. A double gown, of calico, is also very useful. Most articles of dress, for grown persons or children, require patterns.
Bedding. The best beds, are thick hair mattresses, which, for persons in health, are good for Winter as well as Summer use. Mattresses may also be made of husks, dried and drawn into shreds; also, of alternate layers of cotton and moss. The most profitable sheeting, is the Russian, which will last three times as long as any other. It is never perfectly white. Unbleached cotton is good for Winter. It is poor economy to make narrow and short sheets, as children and domestics will always slip them off, and soil the bedtick and bolster. They should be three yards long, and two and a half wide, so that they can be tucked in all around. All bed-linen should be marked and numbered, so that a bed can always be made properly, and all missing articles be known.
Mending. Silk dresses will last much longer, by ripping out the sleeves, when thin, and changing the arms, and also the breadths of the skirt. Tumbled black silk, which is old and rusty, should be dipped in water, then be drained for a few minutes, without squeezing or pressing, and then ironed. Cold tea is better than water. Sheets, when worn thin in the middle, should be ripped, and the other edges sewed together. Window-curtains last much longer, if lined, as the sun fades and rots them. Broadcloth should be cut with reference to the way the nap runs. When pantaloons are thin, it is best to newly seat them, cutting the piece inserted in a curve, as corners are difficult to fit. When the knees are thin, it is a case of domestic surgery, which demands amputation. This is performed, by cutting off both legs, some distance above the knees, and then changing the legs. Take care to cut them off exactly of the same length, or in the exchange they will not fit. This method brings the worn spot under the knees, and the seam looks much better than a patch and darn. Hose can be cut down, when the feet are worn. Take an old stocking, and cut it up for a pattern. Make the heel short. In sewing, turn each edge, and run it down, and then sew over the edges. This is better than to stitch and then cross-stitch. Run thin places in stockings, and it will save darning a hole. If shoes are worn through on the sides, in the upper-leather, slip pieces of broadcloth under, and sew them around the holes. If, in sewing, the thread kinks, break it off and begin at the other end. In using spool-cotton, thread the needle with the end which comes off first, and not the end where you break it off. This often prevents kinks.
ON THE CARE OF YARDS AND GARDENS.
The authorities consulted in the preparation of this and kindred chapters, are, Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Gardening, Bridgeman's Young Gardener, Hovey's Magazine of Horticulture, the writings of Judge Buel,[T] and Downing's Landscape Gardening.
On the Preparation of Soil.
If the garden soil be clayey, and adhesive, put on a covering of sand, three inches thick, and the same depth of well-rotted manure. Spade it in, as deep as possible, and mix it well. If the soil be sandy and loose, spade in clay and ashes. Ashes are good for all kinds of soil, as they loosen those which are close, hold moisture in those which are sandy, and destroy insects. The best kind of soil, is that, which will hold water the longest, without becoming hard, when dry.
To prepare Soil for Pot-plants, take one fourth part of common soil, one fourth part of well-decayed manure, and one half of vegetable mould, from the woods, or from a chip-yard. Break up the manure, fine, and sift it through a lime-screen, (or coarse wire sieve.) These materials must be thoroughly mixed. When the common soil which is used, is adhesive, and, indeed, in most other cases, it is necessary to add sand, the proportion of which, must depend on the nature of the soil.
On the Preparation of a Hot Bed. Dig a pit, six feet long, five feet wide, and thirty inches deep. Make a frame, of the same size, with the back two feet high, the front fifteen inches, and the sides sloped from the back to the front. Make two sashes, each three feet by five, with the panes of glass lapping like shingles, instead of having cross bars. Set the frame over the pit, which should then be filled with fresh horse-dung, which has not lain long, nor been sodden by water. Tread it down, hard, then put into the frame, light, and very rich soil, ten or twelve inches deep, and cover it with the sashes, for two or three days. Then stir the soil, and sow the seeds in shallow drills, placing sticks by them, to mark the different kinds. Keep the frame covered with the glass, whenever it is cold enough to chill the plants; but at all other times, admit fresh air, which is indispensable to their health. When the sun is quite warm, raise the glasses, enough to admit air, and cover them with matting or blankets, or else the sun may kill the young plants. Water the bed at evening, with water which has stood all day, or, if it be fresh drawn, add a little warm water. If there be too much heat in the bed, so as to scorch or wither the plants, make deep holes, with stakes, and fill them up when the heat is reduced. In very cold nights, cover the box with straw.
On Planting Flower Seeds.
Break up the soil, till it is very soft, and free from lumps. Rub that nearest the surface, between the hands, to make it fine. Make a circular drill, a foot in diameter. For seeds as large as sweet peas, it should be half an inch deep. The smallest seeds must be planted very near the surface, and a very little fine earth be sifted over them. Seeds are to be planted either deeper or nearer the surface, according to their size. After covering them with soil, beat them down with a trowel, so as to make the earth as compact as it is after a heavy shower. Set up a stick, in the middle of the circle, with the name of the plant heavily written upon it, with a dark lead pencil. This remains more permanent, if white lead be first rubbed over the surface. Never plant, when the soil is very wet. In very dry times, water the seeds at night. Never use very cold water. When the seeds are small, many should be planted together, that they may assist each other in breaking the soil. When the plants are an inch high, thin them out, leaving only one or two, if the plant be a large one, like the Balsam; five or six, when it is of a medium size; and eighteen or twenty of the smaller size. Transplanting, retards the growth of a plant about a fortnight. It is best to plant at two different times, lest the first planting should fail, owing to wet or cold weather.
To Plant Garden Seeds.
Make the beds a yard wide; lay across them a board, a yard long and a foot wide, and, with a stick, make a furrow, on each side of it, one inch deep. Scatter the seeds in this furrow, and cover them. Then lay the board over them and step on it, to press down the earth. When the plants are an inch high, thin them out, leaving spaces proportioned to their sizes. Seeds of a similar species, such as melons and squashes, should not be planted very near to each other, as this causes them to degenerate. The same kinds of vegetables should not be planted in the same place, for two years in succession.
Transplant at evening, or, which is better, just before a shower. Take a round stick, sharpened at the point, and make openings to receive the plants. Set them a very little deeper than they were before, and press the soil firmly round them. Then water them, and cover them for three or four days, taking care that sufficient air be admitted. If the plant can be removed, without disturbing the soil around the root, it will not be at all retarded, by transplanting. Never remove leaves and branches, unless a part of the roots be lost.
To Re-pot House-Plants.
Renew the soil, every year, soon after the time of blossoming. Prepare soil, as previously directed. Loosen the earth from the pot, by passing a knife around the sides. Turn the plant upside down, and remove the pot. Then remove all the matted fibres at the bottom, and all the earth, except that which adheres to the roots. From woody plants, like roses, shake off all the earth. Take the new pot, and put a piece of broken earthen-ware over the hole at the bottom; and then, holding the plant in the proper position, shake in the earth, around it. Then pour in water, to settle the earth, and heap on fresh soil, till the pot is even full. Small pots are considered better than large ones, as the roots are not so likely to rot, from excess of moisture.
On the Laying out of Yards and Gardens.
In planting trees, in a yard, they should be arranged in groups, and never planted in straight lines, nor sprinkled about, as solitary trees. The object of this arrangement, is, to imitate Nature, and secure some spots of dense shade and some of cleared turf. In yards which are covered with turf, beds can be cut out of it, and raised for flowers. A trench should be made around, to prevent the grass from running on them. These beds can be made in the shape of crescents, ovals, or other fanciful forms, of which, the figure below is one specimen.
In laying out beds, in gardens and yards, a very pretty bordering can be made, by planting them with common flax seed, in a line about three inches from the edge. This can be trimmed, with shears, when it grows too high.
On the Cultivation of Bulbs, and Tuberous Roots.
For planting the Amaryllis, take one third part of leaf mould, half as much sand, and the remainder, earth from under fresh grass sods. Plant them in May. The bulb should not be set more than half its depth in the ground.
The Anemone and Ranunculus are medium, or half-hardy, roots. They should be planted in soil which is enriched with cowdung, and the beds should be raised only an inch from the walk. They must be planted in October, in drills, two inches deep, the claws of the roots downward, and be shaded when they begin to bud.
The Crocus must be planted in October, two inches deep, and four inches apart. In measuring the depth, always calculate from the top of the bulb.
Crown Imperial. This must be planted in September, three or four inches deep; and need not be taken up but once in three years.
Gladiolus. Those who have greenhouses, or pits, plant the Gladiolus in October, and preserve it in pots through the Winter. Those who have not these conveniences, may plant these bulbs late in April. The earth must be composed of one half common soil, one fourth leaf mould, and one fourth sand. Plant them about an inch deep.
Hyacinths should be planted in October, eight inches apart, and three or four inches deep, in a rich soil.
Jonquilles should be planted in October, two inches deep, in a rich soil, and should not be taken up oftener than once in three years.
Narcissus. This should be planted in October, four inches deep; covered, through the Winter, with straw and leaves, six inches thick; and uncovered in the middle of March.
Oxalis. Plant this in September, in a soil, composed of two thirds common earth, and one third leaf mould. The old bulb dies after blossoming, and is succeeded by a new one.
Plant Tulips, in rich soil, in October, three inches deep.
Plant Tuberoses late in April, in a rich, sandy soil. They are delicate plants, and should be covered, in case of frosts.
Daffodils should be planted two inches deep.
When bulbs have done flowering, and their leaves begin to decay, they should be taken up and dried, and kept in a dry place, till October, when they are to be replanted, taking off the offsets, and putting them in a bed by themselves.
Bulbs which blossom in water, or are in any other way forced to bloom out of season, are so much exhausted by it, that it takes them two or three years to recover their beauty.
Dahlias. Dig a hole, a foot and a half deep; fill it with very light, loose, and rich, soil; and drive in a stake, a yard and a half high, to which, to tie the future plants. Then set in the root, so that it shall be an inch below the soil, where the sprout starts. When the plants are two feet high, tie them to the stakes, and take off some of the lower side-shoots. Continue to tie them, as their growth advances. If the roots are planted in the open borders, without any previous growth, it should be done as early as the first of May, and they should be covered from the frosts. When they are brought forward, in pots or hot-beds, they should be put out, in the middle of June. It is said, by gardeners, that late planting, is better than early, for producing perfect flowers. In the Autumn, after the frosts have destroyed the tops, let the roots remain awhile in the ground, to ripen; then dig them up, and pack them away, in some place where they will neither mould, from dampness, nor freeze. In the Spring, these roots will throw out sprouts, and must then be divided, so as to leave a good shoot, attached to a piece of the tuber or old stem, and each shoot will make a new plant. It is stated, that if the shoots themselves, without any root, be planted in light soil, covered with a bell-glass, or large tumbler, and carefully watered, they will produce plants superior to those with roots.
These are flowers which last only one season. They should be so planted, that the tallest may be in the middle of a bed, and the shortest at the edges; and flowers of a similar color should not be planted adjacent to each other.
The following is a list of some of the handsomest Annuals, arranged with reference to their color and height. Those with a star before them, do best when sowed in the Autumn. Those with tr. after them, are trailing plants.
SIX INCHES TO ONE FOOT HIGH.
White. Ice Plant, Sweet Alyssum, White Leptosiphon, Walker's Schizopetalon, Blumenbachia insignis, *Candytuft.
Yellow. *Yellow Chryseis or Eschscholtzia, Sanvitalia procumbens, tr., Musk-flowered Mimulus.
Rose. Many-flowered Catchfly, Rose-colored Verbena, tr.
Red. *Chinese Annual Pink, Virginian Stock, Calandrinia Speciosa.
Blue. Graceful Lobelia, Nemophila insignis, Clintonia pulchella, Clintonia elegans, Nolana atriplicifolia, tr., Anagallis indica, Commelina coelestis, Grove Love, Pimpernel (blue.)
Varying Colors. *Heart's Ease, or Pansy, Dwarf Love in a Mist, *Rose Campion.
ONE FOOT TO EIGHTEEN INCHES HIGH.
White. Venus's Looking Glass, Priest's Schizanthus, Sweet-scented Stevia, White Evening Primrose.
Yellow. Drummond's Coreopsis, *New Dark Coreopsis, Golden Hawkweed, Dracopis amplexicaulis, Drummond's Primrose, Cladanthus arabicus, Peroffsky's Erysimum.
Rose. Drummond's Phlox, Rodanthe, Rose-colored Nonea, Clarkia rosea, Silene Tenorei, Silene armeria.
Red. Crimson Coxcomb, Silene pendula, Crimson Dew Plant, tr.
Scarlet. Cacalia coccinea, Flos Adonis, Scarlet Zinnia, Mexican Cuphea.
Lilac and Purple. Clarkia elegans, Clarkia pulchella, *Purple Candytuft, *Purple Petunia, tr., *Crimson Candytuft, Double Purple Jacobaea, Leptosiphon androsaceus, all the varieties of Schizanthus, Veined Verbena, tr., *Purple eternal Flower.
Blue. Ageratum Mexicanum, *Gilia capitata, Spanish Nigella, Blue Eutoca, Dwarf Convolvulus, Didiscus coeruleus.
Lilac, Purple, or Blue and White. Collinsia bicolor, Gilia tricolor.
Very Dark. Lotus Jacobaeus, Salpiglossis, Scabious.
Colors varying. German Aster, Balsam, Rocket Larkspur, Ten-week Stock, Poppy.
EIGHTEEN INCHES TO TWO FEET.
White. *White Petunia, tr., White Clarkia, Double White Jacobaea, Love in a Mist.
Red. *Lavatera trimestris, Red Zinnia, Malva miniata.
Lilac and Purple. Globe Amaranthus, Purple Sweet Sultan, Sweet Scabious, Purple Zinnia, Prince's Feather, Large Blue Lupine, *Catchfly.
TWO FEET AND UPWARDS.
White. Winged Ammobium, *White Lavatera, White Sweet Sultan, *New White Eternal Flower, White Helicrysum, *White Larkspur.
Yellow. Golden Bartonia, *Golden Coreopsis, Yellow Sweet Sultan, African Marigold, Yellow Argemone, French Marigold, Yellow Coxcomb, Yellow Hibiscus.
The Malope grandiflora and the Cleome are fine tall annuals.
The following are the most beautiful annual climbers: Crimson, and White, Cypress Vine; White, and Buff, Thunbergia; Scarlet Flowering Bean; Hyacinth Bean Loasa; Morning Glory; Crimson, and Spotted, Nasturtium; Balloon Vine; Sweet Pea; Tangier Pea; Lord Anson's Pea; Climbing Cobaea; Pink, and White, Maurandia.
The following are the most valuable perennial climbers: Sweet-scented Monthly Honeysuckle; Yellow, White, and Coral, Honeysuckles; Purple Glycine; Clematis; Bitter Sweet; Trumpet Creeper.
The Everlasting Pea is a beautiful perennial climber. The Climbing Cobaea, and Passion Flower, are also beautiful perennials, but must be protected in Winter.
Those who cannot afford every year to devote the time necessary to the raising of annuals, will do well to supply their borders with perennials. The following is a list of some of those generally preferred.
Adonis, yellow; Columbine, all colors; Alyssum, yellow; Asclepias, orange and purple; Bee Larkspur, blue; Perennial Larkspur, all colors; Cardinal Flower, scarlet; Chinese Pink, various colors; Clove Pink; Foxglove, purple and white; Gentian, purple and yellow; Hollyhock, various colors; *Lily of the Valley; American Phlox, various colors; Scarlet Lychnis; Monkshood, white and blue; *Spirea, white, and pink; *Ragged Robin, pink; Rudbeckia, yellow, and purple; Sweet William, in variety. Those marked with a star cannot be obtained from seed, but must be propagated by roots, layers, &c.
These are such as die to the root, in the Fall, and come up again in the Spring, such as Paeonies, crimson, white, sweet-scented, and straw-colored; Artemisia, of many colors; White and Purple Fleur-de-lis; White, Tiger, Fire, and other Lilies; Little Blue Iris; Chrysanthemums, &c. These are propagated by dividing the roots.
The following are the finest Shrubs for yards: Lilacs, (which, by budding, can have white and purple on the same tree,) Double Syringas, Double Althaeas, Corchorus Japonicus, Snow-berry, Double-flowering Almond, Pyrus Japonica, Common Barberry, Burning Bush, Rose Acacia, Yellow Laburnum. The following are the finest Roses: Moss Rose, White, and Red; Double and Single Yellow Rose, (the last needs a gravelly soil and northern exposure;) Yellow Multiflora; La Belle Africana; Small Eglantine, for borders; Champney's Blush Rose; Noisette; Greville, (very fine;) Damask; Blush, White, and Cabbage Roses. Moss Roses, when budded on other rose bushes, last only three years.
Shade Trees. The following are among the finest: Mountain Ash; Ailanthus, or Tree of Heaven, (grows very fast;) Tulip Tree; Linden; Elm; Locust; Maple; Dog Wood; Horse Chestnut; Catalpa; Hemlock; Silver Fir; and Cedar. These should be grouped, in such a manner that trees of different shades of green, and of different heights, should stand in the same group.
The Autumn is the best time for transplanting trees. Take as much of the root, as possible, especially the little fibres, which should never become dry. If kept long, before they are set out, put wet moss around them, and water them. Dig holes, larger than the extent of the roots; let one person hold the tree in its former position, and another place the roots, carefully, as they were before, cutting off any broken or wounded root. Be careful not to let the tree be more than an inch deeper than it was before. Let the soil be soft, and well manured; shake the tree, as the soil is shaken in, that it may mix well among the small fibres. Do not tread the earth down, while filling the hole; but, when it is full, raise a slight mound, of, say, four inches, and then tread it down. Make a little basin, two inches deep, around the stem, to hold water, and fill it. Never cut off leaves nor branches, unless some of the roots are lost. Tie the trees to a stake, and they will be more likely to live. Water them often.
On the Care of House-Plants.
The soil of house-plants should be renewed every year, as previously directed. In Winter, they should be kept as dry as they can be without wilting. Many house-plants are injured by giving them too much water, when they have little light and fresh air. This makes them grow spindling. The more fresh air, warmth, and light, they have, the more water is needed. They ought not to be kept very warm in Winter, nor exposed to great changes of atmosphere. Forty degrees is a proper temperature for plants in Winter, when they have little sun and air. When plants have become spindling, cut off their heads, entirely, and cover the pot in the earth, where it has the morning sun, only. A new and flourishing head will spring out. Few house-plants can bear the sun at noon. When insects infest plants, set them in a closet, or under a barrel, and burn tobacco. The smoke kills any insect enveloped in it. When plants are frozen, cold water, and a gradual restoration of warmth, are the best remedies. Never use very cold water for plants, at any season.
[T] His 'Farmers' Companion' was written expressly for the larger series of 'THE SCHOOL LIBRARY,' issued by the publishers of this volume.
ON THE PROPAGATION OF PLANTS.
Bulbous roots are propagated by offsets; some growing on the top, others around the sides. Many plants are propagated by cutting off twigs, and setting them in earth, so that two or three eyes are covered. To do this, select a side shoot, ten inches long, two inches of it, being of the preceding year's growth, and the rest, the growth of the season when it is set out. Do this, when the sap is running, and put a piece of crockery at the bottom of the shoot, when it is buried. One eye, at least, must be under the soil. Water it, and shade it in hot weather. Plants are also propagated by layers. To do this, take a shoot, which comes up near the root, bend it down, so as to bring several eyes under the soil, leaving the top above ground. If the shoot be cut half through, in a slanting direction, at one of these eyes, before burying it, the result is more certain. Roses, honeysuckles, and many other shrubs, are readily propagated thus. They will generally take root, by being simply buried; but cutting them, as here directed, is the best method. Layers are more certain than cuttings. For all woody plants, budding and grafting are favorite methods of propagation. In all such plants, there is an outer and inner bark; the latter containing the sap vessels, in which the nourishment of the tree ascends.
The success of grafting, or inoculating, consists in so placing the bud or graft, that the sap vessels of the inner bark shall exactly join those of the plant into which they are grafted, so that the sap may pass from one into the other.
The following are directions for budding, which may be performed at any time from July to September.
Select a smooth place, on the stock into which you are to insert the bud. Make a horizontal cut, across the rind, through to the firm wood; and from the middle of this, make a slit downward, perpendicularly, an inch or more long, through to the wood. Raise the bark of the stock, on each side of the perpendicular cut, for the admission of the bud, as is shown in the annexed engraving, (Fig. 40.) Then take a shoot of this year's growth, and slice from it a bud, taking an inch below and an inch above it, and some portion of the wood under it. Then carefully slip off the woody part, under the bud. Examine whether the eye or gem of the bud be perfect. If a little hole appears in that part, the bud has lost its root, and another must be selected. Insert the bud, so that a, of the bud, shall pass to a, of the stock; then b, of the bud, must be cut off, to match the cut, b, in the stock, and fitted exactly to it, as it is this alone which insures success. Bind the parts, with fresh bass, or woollen yarn, beginning a little below the bottom of the perpendicular slit, and winding it closely round every part, except just over the eye of the bud, until you arrive above the horizontal cut. Do not bind it too tightly, but just sufficient to exclude air, sun, and wet. This is to be removed, after the bud is firmly fixed, and begins to grow.
Seed-fruit can be budded into any other seed-fruit, and stone-fruit into any other stone-fruit; but stone and seed-fruits, cannot be thus mingled.
Rose bushes can have a variety of kinds budded into the same stock. Hardy roots are the best stocks. The branch above the bud, must be cut off, the next March or April after the bud is put in. Apples and pears, are more easily propagated by ingrafting, than by budding.
Ingrafting is a similar process to budding, with this advantage; that it can be performed on large trees, whereas budding can be applied only on small ones. The two common kinds of ingrafting, are whip-grafting, and split-grafting. The first kind is for young trees, and the other for large ones.
The time for ingrafting, is from May to October. The cuttings must be taken from horizontal shoots, between Christmas and March, and kept in a damp cellar. In performing the operation, cut off, in a sloping direction, (as seen in Fig. 41,) the tree or limb to be grafted. Then cut off, in a corresponding slant, the slip to be grafted on. Then put them together, so that the inner bark of each shall match, exactly, on one side, and tie them firmly together, with woollen yarn. It is not essential that both be of equal size; if the bark of each meet together exactly on one side, it answers the purpose. But the two must not differ much, in size. The slope should be an inch and a half, or more, in length. After they are tied together, the place should be covered with a salve or composition of beeswax and rosin. A mixture of clay and cowdung will answer the same purpose. This last must be tied on with a cloth. Grafting is more convenient than budding, as grafts can be sent from a great distance; whereas buds must be taken in July or August, from a shoot of the present year's growth, and cannot be sent to any great distance.
This engraving, (Fig. 42,) exhibits the mode called stock-grafting; a, being the limb of a large tree which is sawed off and split, and is to be held open by a small wedge, till the grafts are put in. A graft, inserted in the limb, is shown at b, and at c, is one not inserted, but designed to be put in at d, as two grafts can be put into a large stock. In inserting the graft, be careful to make the edge of the inner bark of the graft meet exactly the edge of the inner bark of the stock; for on this, success depends. After the grafts are put in, the wedge must be withdrawn, and the whole of the stock be covered with the thick salve or composition before mentioned, reaching from where the grafts are inserted, to the bottom of the slit. Be careful not to knock or move the grafts, after they are put in.
The following rules for pruning, are from a distinguished horticulturist. Prune off all dead wood, and all the little twigs on the main limbs. Retrench branches, so as to give light and ventilation to the interior of the tree. Select the straight and perpendicular shoots, which give little or no fruit, while those which are most nearly horizontal, and somewhat curving, give fruit abundantly, and of good quality. Superfluous and ill-placed buds may be rubbed off, at any time; and no buds, pushing out after Midsummer, should be spared. In choosing between shoots to be retained, preserve the lowest placed; and, on lateral shoots, those which are nearest the origin. When branches cross each other, so as to rub, remove one or the other. Remove all suckers from the roots of trees or shrubs. Prune after the sap is in full circulation, (except in the case of grapes,) as the wounds then heal best. Some think it best to prune before the sap begins to run. Pruning-shears, and a pruning-pole, with a chisel at the end, can be procured of those who deal in agricultural utensils.
As it is the office of the leaves to absorb nourishment from the atmosphere, they should never be removed, except to mature the wood or fruit. In doing this, remove such leaves as shade the fruit, as soon as it is ready to ripen. To do it earlier, impairs the growth. Do it gradually, at two different times. Thinning the fruit is important, as tending to increase its size and flavor, and also to promote the longevity of the tree. If the fruit be thickly set, take off one half, at the time of setting. Revise in June, and then in July, taking off all that may be spared. One very large apple to every square foot, is a rule that may be a sort of guide, in other cases. According to this, two hundred large apples would be allowed to a tree, whose extent is fifteen feet by twelve. If any person think this thinning excessive, let him try two similar trees, and thin one as directed, and leave the other unthinned. It will be found that the thinned tree will produce an equal weight, and fruit of much finer flavor.
ON THE CULTIVATION OF FRUIT.
By a little attention to this matter, a lady, with the help of her children, can obtain a rich abundance of all kinds of fruit. The writer has resided in families, where little boys, of eight, ten, and twelve years old, amused themselves, under the direction of their mother, in planting walnuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts, for future time; as well as in planting and inoculating young fruit-trees, of all descriptions. A mother, who will take pains to inspire a love for such pursuits, in her children, and who will aid and superintend them, will save them from many temptations; and, at a trifling expense, secure to them and herself a rich reward, in the choicest fruits. The information given in this work, on this subject, may be relied on, as sanctioned by the most experienced nursery-men.
The soil, for a nursery, should be rich, well dug, dressed with well-decayed manure, free from weeds, and protected from cold winds. Fruit seeds should be planted in the Autumn, an inch and a half or two inches deep, in ridges four or five feet apart, pressing the earth firmly over the seeds. While growing, they should be thinned out, leaving the best ones a foot and a half apart. The soil should be kept loose, soft, and free from weeds. They should be inoculated or ingrafted, when of the size of a pipe stem; and in a year after this, may be transplanted to their permanent stand. Peach trees sometimes bear in two years from budding, and in four years from planting, if well kept.
In a year after transplanting, take pains to train the head aright. Straight, upright branches, produce gourmands, or twigs bearing only leaves. The side branches, which are angular or curved, yield the most fruit. For this reason, the limbs should be trained in curves, and perpendicular twigs should be cut off, if there be need of pruning. The last of June is the time for this. Grass should never be allowed to grow within four feet of a large tree, and the soil should be kept loose, to admit air to the roots. Trees in orchards should be twenty-five feet apart. The soil under the top soil, has much to do with the health of trees. If it be what is called hard-pan, the trees will deteriorate. Trees need to be manured, and to have the soil kept open and free from weeds.
Filberts can be raised in any part of this Country. Figs can be raised in the Middle States. For this purpose, in the Autumn, loosen the roots, on one side, and bend the tree down to the earth, on the other; then cover it with a mound of straw, earth, and boards; and early in the Spring raise it up, and cover the roots. Currants grow well in any but a wet soil. They are propagated by cuttings. The old wood should be thinned in the Fall, and manure be put on. They can be trained into small trees. Gooseberries are propagated by layers and cuttings. They are best, when kept from suckers and trained like trees. One third of the old wood should be removed every Autumn. Raspberries do best, when shaded during a part of the day. They are propagated by layers, slips, and suckers. There is one kind, which bears monthly. Strawberries require a light soil and vegetable manure. They should be transplanted in April or September, and be set eight inches apart, in rows nine inches asunder, and in beds which are two feet wide, with narrow alleys between them. A part of these plants are non-bearers. These have large flowers, with showy stamens and high black anthers. The bearers have short stamens, a great number of pistils, and the flowers are every way less showy. In blossom-time, pull out all the non-bearers. Some think it best to leave one non-bearer to every twelve bearers; but others pull them all out. Many beds never produce any fruit, because all the plants in them are non-bearers. Weeds should be kept from the vines. When the vines are matted with young plants, the best way is to dig over the beds, in cross lines, so as to leave some of the plants standing in little squares, while the rest are turned under the soil. This should be done over a second time in the same year.
Grapes. To raise this fruit, manure the soil, and keep it soft, and free from weeds. A gravelly or sandy soil, and a south exposure, are best. Transplant the vines in the early Spring, or, better, in the Fall. Prune them, the first year, so as to have only two main branches, taking off all other shoots, as fast as they come. In November, cut off all of these two branches, except four eyes. The second year, in the Spring, loosen the earth around the roots, and allow only two branches to grow, and every month, take off all side shoots. When they are very strong, preserve only a part, and cut off the rest in the Fall. In November, cut off all the two main stems, except eight eyes. After the second year no more pruning is needed, except to reduce the side shoots, for the purpose of increasing the fruit. All the pruning of grapes, (except nipping side shoots,) must be done when the sap is not running, or they will bleed to death. Train them on poles, or lattices, to expose them to the air and sun. Cover tender vines in the Autumn. Grapes are propagated by cuttings, layers, and seeds. For cuttings, select, in the Autumn, well-ripened wood, of the former year, and take five joints for each. Bury them, till April; then soak them, for some hours, and set them out, aslant, so that all the eyes but one shall be covered.
To Preserve Fruit.
Raspberries and Strawberries can be preserved, in perfect flavor, in the following manner. Take a pound of nice sifted sugar for each pound of fruit. Put them in alternate layers, of fruit and sugar, till the jar is entirely full, then cork it, and seal it air tight.
Currants and Gooseberries may be perfectly preserved thus. Gather them, when dry, selecting only the solid ones. Take off the stalks, and put them in dry junk-bottles. Set them, uncorked, in a kettle of water, and slowly raise it to boiling heat, in order to drive the air out of the bottles. Then take out the bottles, cork them, and seal them air tight. Keep them in a dry place, where they will not freeze. The success of this method depends on excluding air and water.
Apples, Grapes, and such like fruit can be preserved, by packing them, when dry and solid, in dry sand or sawdust, putting alternate layers of fruit and sawdust or sand. Some sawdust gives a bad flavor to the fruit.