Gardening Indoors and Under Glass
by F. F. Rockwell
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It is not necessary to start in on a large scale. A very few square feet of soil, where all the conditions can be controlled as they are under glass, will produce an amazing amount. Take for instance lettuce grown for the home table. How good it is right fresh and crisp from the soil compared to the wilted or artificially revived bunches one can get at the grocer's! Outdoors you put it a foot apart in rows a foot and a half apart; a patch 3 x 10 feet would give you twenty heads. In the home garden under glass you set out a batch of Grand Rapids lettuce plants, one of the very best in quality, six inches each way, so that a little piece of bench 3 x 10 feet would give you one hundred heads (which incidentally at the grocer's would cost you $10. or $12.—enough good money to buy glass for a quite roomy little lean-to). (See page 164.)

Details of construction, etc., are given in the following pages, but the most important thing of all is just to make up your mind that you will have a little greenhouse of your own. If you once decide to have it the way can be found, for the necessary cash outlay is very small indeed.

Think of the variety of ways you could use such a winter garden! Not only may lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and other vegetables be had out of season, but you can get a better start with your garden than ever before—put it weeks and weeks ahead of the old sow-out-in-the-ground way. And then consider the flowers! A dozen carnation plants, for instance, would occupy about six square feet of room, say 2 x 3 feet of bench, and would supply you comfortably with blossoms all winter long—nice fresh ones outlasting twice over the cold storage blooms from the retail florist's—to say nothing of the added value of having them actually home grown.



The simplest form of home glass is the coldframe. The simplest hothouse is the manure heated coldframe or hotbed.

The following directions for making the frames and preparing the soil for them are taken from the author's Home Vegetable Gardening.

For the ordinary garden, all the plants needed may be started successfully in hotbeds and coldframes. The person who has had no experience with these has usually an exaggerated idea of their cost and of the skill required to manage them. The skill is not as much a matter of expert knowledge as of careful regular care, daily. Only a few minutes a day, but every day. The cost need be but little, especially if one is a bit handy with tools. The sash which serves for the cover, and is removable, is the important part of the structure. Sash may be had, ready glazed and painted, at from $2.50 to $3.50 each, and with care they will last ten or even twenty years, so you can see at once that not a very big increase in the yield of your garden will be required to pay interest on the investment. Or you can buy the sash unglazed, at a proportionately lower price, and put the glass in yourself, if you prefer to spend a little more time and less money. However, if you are not familiar with the work, and want only a few sash, I would advise purchasing the finished article. In size they are three feet by six.

Frames upon which to put the sash covering may also be bought complete, but here there is a chance to save money by constructing your own frames—the materials required being 2 x 4 inch lumber for posts, and inch-boards; or better, if you can easily procure them, plank 2 x 12 inches.

So far as these materials go the hotbed and coldframe are alike. The difference is that while the coldframe depends for its warmth upon catching and holding the heat of the sun's rays, the hotbed is artificially heated by fermenting manure, or in rare instances, by hot water or steam pipes.

In constructing the hotbed there are two methods used; either placing the frames on top of the manure heap or by putting the manure within the frames. The first method has the advantage of permitting the hotbed to be made upon frozen ground, when required in the spring. The latter, which is the better, must be built before the ground freezes, but is more economical of manure. The manure in either case should be that of grain-fed horses, and if a small amount of straw bedding, or leaves—not more, however, than one-third of the latter—be mixed among it, so much the better. Get this manure several days ahead of the time wanted for use and prepare by stacking in a compact, tramped down heap. Turn it over after three or four days, and re-stack, being careful to put the manure from the top and sides of the pile now on the inside.

Having now ready the heating apparatus and the superstructure of our miniature greenhouse, the building of it is a very simple matter. If the ground is frozen, spread the manure in a low, flat heap nine or ten feet on each side, a foot and a half deep, and as long as the number of sash to be used demands. A cord of manure thus furnishes a bed for about three sash, not counting for the ends of the string or row. This heap should be well trodden down and upon it should be placed the box or frame upon which the sash are to rest. In using this method it will be more convenient to have the frame made up beforehand and ready to place upon the manure, as shown in one of the illustrations. This should be at least twelve inches high at the front and some half a foot higher at the back. Fill in with at least four inches—better six—of good garden soil containing plenty of humus so that it may allow water to soak through readily.

The other method is to construct the frames on the ground before severe freezing, and in this case the front should be at least twenty-four inches high, part of which—not more than half—may be below the ground level. The 2 x 12 inch planks, when used, are handled as follows: stakes are driven in to support the back plank some two or three inches above the ground,—which should, of course, be level. The front plank is sunk two or three inches into the ground and held upright by stakes on the outside, nailed on. Remove enough dirt from inside the frame to bank up the planks about halfway on the outside. When this banking has frozen to a depth of two or three inches, cover with rough manure or litter to keep frost from striking through. The manure for heating should be prepared as above and put in to the depth of a foot, trodden down, first removing four to six inches of soil to be put back on top of the manure,—a cord of the latter, in this case, serving seven sashes. The vegetables to be grown, and the season and climate, will determine the depth of manure required—it will be from one to two feet,—the latter depth seldom being necessary.

It must not be overlooked that this manure, when spent for heating purposes, is still as good as ever to enrich the garden, so that the expense of putting it in and removing it from the frames is all that you can fairly charge up against your experiment with hotbeds, if you are interested to know whether they really pay.

The exposure for the hotbeds should be where the sun will strike most directly and where they will be sheltered from the north. Put up a fence of rough boards, five or six feet high, or place the frames south of some building.

The coldframe is constructed practically as in the hotbed, except that if manure is used at all it is for the purpose of enriching the soil where lettuce, radishes, cucumbers or other crops are to be grown to maturity in it.

All this may seem like a lot of trouble to go for such a small thing as a packet of seed. In reality it is not nearly so much trouble as it sounds, and then, too, this is for the first season only. You will have a well built frame lasting for years—forever, if you want to take a little more time and make it of concrete instead of boards.

But now that the frame is made, how to use it is the next question.

The first consideration must be the soil. It should be rich, light, friable. There are some garden loams that will do well just as taken up, but as a rule better results will be obtained where the soil is made up specially, as follows: rotted sods two parts, old rotted manure one part, and enough coarse sand added to make the mixture fine and crumbly, so that, even when moist, it will fall apart when pressed into a ball in the hand. Such soil is best prepared by cutting out sod, in the summer, where the grass is green and thick, indicating a rich soil. Along old fences or the roadside where the wash has settled will be good places to get limited quantities. These should be cut with considerable soil and stacked, grassy sides together, in layers in a compost pile. If the season proves very dry, occasionally soak the heap through. In late fall put in the cellar, or wherever solid freezing will not take place, enough to serve for spring work under glass. The amount can readily be calculated; soil for three sash, four inches deep, for instance, would take eighteen feet or a pile three feet square and two feet high. The fine manure (and sand, if necessary) may be added in the fall or when using in the spring. Here again it may seem to the amateur that unnecessary pains are being taken. I can but repeat what has been suggested all through these pages, that it will require but little more work to do the thing the best way as long as one is doing it at all, and the results will be not only better, but practically certain—and that is a tremendously important point about all gardening operations.

While the cold frame and hotbed offer great advantages—especially in the way of room—over growing plants and starting seed in the house, they are nevertheless incomparably less useful than the simplest small greenhouse. Plants may be wintered over in them, violets may be grown in them, lettuce may be grown late in the fall and early in the spring, and followed by cucumbers. But they are not convenient to work in. One is dependent on the weather. They are not satisfactorily under control. Take, for instance, one of those dark fall days, with a cold nasty drizzle cutting down on a slant, or one of those bright sunny and cloudy chill-winded spring days, when no pleasure is to be had out-of-doors. Under the shelter of your little glass roof, where you can make your own weather, what fun it is to be potting up a batch of cuttings, or putting in a few packets of choice seed for the extra early garden! There is nothing like it.



Have you ever stepped from the chill and dreariness of a windy day, when it seems as if the very life of all things growing were shrunk to absolute desolation, into the welcome warmth and light and fragrance, the beauty and joy of a glass house full of green and blossoming plants? No matter how small it was, even though you had to stoop to enter the door, and mind your elbows as you went along, what a good, glad comfortable feeling flooded in to you with the captive sunlight! What a world of difference was made by that sheet of glass between you and the outer bitterness and blankness. Doubtless such an experience has been yours. Doubtless, too, you wished vaguely that you could have some such little corner to escape to, a stronghold to fly to when old winter lays waste the countryside. But April came with birds, and May with flowers, and months before the first dark, shivery days of the following autumn, you had forgotten that another winter would come on, with weeks of cheerless, uncomfortable weather. Or possibly you did not forget, until you had investigated the matter of greenhouse building and found that even a very small house, built to order, was far beyond your means.

Do not misunderstand me as disparaging the construction companies: they do excellent work—and get excellent prices. You may not be able to afford an Italian garden, with hundreds of dollars' worth of rare plants, but that does not prevent your having a more modest garden spot, in which you have planned and worked yourself. Just so, though one of these beautiful glass structures may be beyond your purse, you may yet have one that will serve your purpose just as practically. The fact of the matter is, you can have a small house at a very small outlay, which will pay a good, very good interest on your investment. With it you will be able to have flowers all the year round, set both your flower and vegetable garden weeks ahead in the spring, save many cherished plants from the garden, and have fresh green vegetables, such as lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and cucumbers that can readily be grown under glass. And you will be surprised, if you can give the work some personal attention, or, better still, have the fun of doing a little of the actual building yourself, at how small an outlay you can put up a substantial structure of practical size, say 20 feet by 10—of the "lean-to" form.

By way of illustration let us see what the material for such a house would cost, and how to erect it. Almost every dwelling house has some sheltered corner or wall where some glass "lean-to" could easily be added, and the shape and dimensions can be made to suit the special advantages offered. We will consider a simple house of the lean-to type, requiring a wall, to begin with, 20 feet long and 7 feet high, down to the ground, or a foot or so below it, if you can dig out. Below is listed the material such a house would require. With modern patented framing methods such a house has been estimated by greenhouse building companies to cost, for the material only, from $325 to $400. Yet you can have a wooden house that will serve your purpose at a cost for materials of $61 and, if you do not care to put it together yourself, a labor cost of, say, one-third more.

As our north wall is already in place, we have only four surfaces to consider, as the accompanying diagram shows—namely, south wall, gable ends, roof and openings. For the roof we will require a ridge against the wall of the dwelling house, sash-bars running at right angles to this, a "purlin," or support, midway of these, and a sill for the lower ends. For the south wall we will need posts, one row of glass, and boards and "sheathing." For the gable ends, a board and sheathing wall to the same height, and for the balance, sash-bars and glass. The required openings will be a door or doors, and three ventilators, to give a sufficient supply of fresh air.

For these the material required will be:

10 ft. of 2-in. x 4-in. ridge $ 0.80 13 10-ft. drip bars 3.25 2 10-ft. end bars 1.00 5 6-ft. x 1-1/4-in. second-hand pipe posts .50 20 ft. 1-in, second-hand iron pipe 1.00 4 1-1/4-in. x 1-in. clamps .50 20 ft. 2-in. x 4-in. eaves plate 1.60 20 ft. 2-in. x 6-in. sill 2.20 15 1-in. pipe straps .50 18 ft. 2-in. x 4-in. sill, for gables 1.50 40 ft. side bars, random lengths, for gables 1.00 3 ventilating sash for 3 24-in. x 16-in. lights 3.00 9 16-in. headers for ventilators .40 6 hinges with screws for ventilators .75 1 roll tar paper, single-ply 2.00 6 boxes 24-in. x 16-in. glass, B double thick 24.00 75 lbs. good greenhouse putty 2.50 ——— Total of items listed above $46.50

All of the above will have to come from a greenhouse material supply company, and prices given do not include freight charges. The following items may probably be bought more economically in your immediate vicinity, and the prices will vary in different sections of the country:—

Total of items listed above $46.50 240 ft. rough 1-in. boards 7.50 6 posts, 4 in. thick, 6 ft. long, planed on one side} 3.00 2 posts. 4 in. thick, 8 ft. long, planed on one side} 1000 shingles 4.00 ——— Total cost of materials $61.00 Estimate of labor 20.00 ——— Total cost of greenhouse $81.00

Level off a place about 22 x 12 feet, and set in the posts as indicated in the plan on page 158, taking care to get the lines for the ends of the house perfectly square with the wall, and exact in length. This is best done by laying out your lines first with stout string, and making your measurements accurately on these. Then put in the posts for sides and ends, setting these about three feet into the ground, or, better still, in concrete. Put in the two corner posts, which should be square first. Next saw off all posts level at the proper height, and put in place the 2 x 4 in. eaves plate on top of these and the 2 x 6 in. sill just far enough below to take a 16 x 24 in. light of glass, with its upper edge snug in the groove in lower side of plate, as shown in detail of section on page 159. Fit the 2 x 6 in. sill about the posts so that the mortice on same will just clear the outside of posts. Then put on the siding on sides and ends—first a layer of rough inch-boards, running vertically, a layer, single or double, of tar paper, and a second layer of boards, laid horizontally, covering on the outside with shingles, clapboards or roofing paper. The five 7 ft. x 1-1/4 in. pipe posts may now be placed loose in their holes, and a walk dug out of sufficient depth to allow passage through the middle of the house. Rough boards nailed to stakes driven into the ground, will hold the earth sides of this in place.

Next, after having it sawed in two vertically (thus making 20 ft), screw the ridge securely to side of house at proper height, giving a thick coat of white lead at top to insure a tight joint with house. Now put one of the end bars in place, taking care to get it exactly at right angles with ridge, and then lay down the sash-bars, enough more than 16 in. apart to allow the glass to slip into place readily. Take a light of glass and try it between every fourth or fifth bar put into position, at both ridge and eave, as this is much easier than trying to remedy an error when half the glass is laid. Use "finishing" nails for securing the sash-bars, as they are easily split. Next, with chalk line mark the middle of the roof sash-bars, and secure to them the one-inch pipe purlin, which will then be ready to fasten to the uprights already in place. Next, make concrete by mixing two parts Portland cement, two of sand and four of gravel or crushed stone with sufficient water to make a mixture that will pour like thick mud, and put the iron pipe posts in their permanent positions, seeing that the purlin is level and the posts upright. (If necessary, the purlin can be weighted down until the concrete sets.) Then put into place the ventilators, glazed, and the headers for the same—short pieces of wood, cut to go in between the sash-bars,—and fit these up snugly against the lower edge of the ventilator sash.

When laying the glass in the roof, which will now be ready, use plenty of putty, worked sufficiently soft for the glass to be thoroughly bedded in it, and leaving no air-spaces or crevices for the rain to leak through later. If this work is carefully done, it will not be necessary to putty again on the outside of the glass, but it should be gone over with white lead and linseed oil. Be sure to place the convex surface of every light up. The panes should be lapped from 1/6 to 1/4 of an inch, and held securely in place with greenhouse glazing points, the double-pointed bent ones being generally used. The lights for the ends of the house may be "butted," that is, placed edge to edge, if you happen to strike good edges, but as a general thing, it will be more satisfactory to lap them a little. The woodwork, before being put together, should all receive a good priming coat of linseed oil in which a little ochre has been mixed, and a second coat after erection. I have suggested putting the glass in roof and sides before touching the benches, because this work can then be done under shelter in case bad weather is encountered. The benches can be arranged in any way that will be convenient, but should be about waist-high, and not over four or four and a half feet across, to insure easy handling of plants, watering, etc. Rough boards will do for their construction, and they should not be made so tight as to prevent the ready drainage of water. The doors may be bought, or made of boards covered with tar paper and shingles or roofing paper.

The house suggested above is used only by way of illustration. It may be either too large or too small for the purposes of some of the readers of this book, and I shall therefore give very briefly descriptions of several other types of small houses, some of which may be put up even more cheaply than the above. The plainest is the sash lean-to somewhat like Fig. 3, which is made by simply securing to a suitable wall a ridge-piece to hold one end of the sashes for the roof, and erecting a wall, similar to the one described above, but without glass, and with a plain, 2 x 4 in. piece for a sill, to support the other ends. Either a single or double row of sashes may be used, of the ordinary 3 x 6 foot size. In the latter case, of course, a purlin and supporting posts, as shown in diagram, must be supplied. Every second or third top sash should be hinged, to open for ventilation, and by tacking strips over the edges of the sash where they come together, a very tight and roomy little house can be put up quickly, easily and very cheaply. New sash, glazed and painted one coat, can be bought for $3 to $3.50 each. Ten of these would make a very practical little house, fifteen feet long, and over ten feet wide.

Another form of lean-to where there are windows is shown in another diagram. The even-span house, of which type there are more erected than of any other, is also shown. The cost of such a house, say 21 feet wide, can be easily computed from the figures given in the first part of this chapter, the north wall, and purlin braces from the ridge posts, being the only details of construction not included there.

A simple way of greatly increasing the capacity of the ordinary hotbed or coldframe, is to build it next to a cellar window, so that it will receive some artificial heat, and can be got at, from the inside, in any weather. Several sashes can be used, and the window extend to include as many of them as desired.

By all means get a little glass to use in connection with your garden this coming year. Put up one of these small greenhouses, if you can: if not, get a few sash, at least. Don't put it off till next year; do it now!

In the next chapter we will take up the handling of vegetables and flowers in the small greenhouse. But don't be content to read about it. It's the pleasantest kind of work—try it yourself!



In the foregoing chapter on homemade greenhouses very brief reference was made to the various methods of heating. It will be well to understand a little more in detail how to heat glass structures, as temperature is, next to moisture, the most important factor of success. If steam or hot water is used in the dwelling house and a greenhouse of the lean-to type is used, the problem becomes a very simple one, as additional pipes can be run through the greenhouse. But as this advantage is not always ready to hand, we will consider the heating of an isolated house, and the principles involved may be adapted to individual needs. There are three systems of heating: flues (hot air), hot water, and steam—the latter we need not take up as it is economical only for larger structures than the amateur is likely to have.

Heating by hot air carried through brick or tile flues is the simplest and cheapest method for very small houses. The best way of constructing such a system is illustrated in the diagram adjoining, which shows the flue returning into the chimney (after traveling the length of the house and back). This method does away with the greatest trouble with flue heating—a poor draft; for immediately the fire is started, the air in the chimney becomes heated, and rising, draws the hot air from the furnace around through the flue with a forced draft. This forced draft accomplishes three other good things: it does away with the escape of noxious gases into the greenhouses, lessens the accumulation of moisture and dust from wood smoke, and distributes the heat much more evenly throughout the house. The furnace may be built of solid brick, with doors and grates and an arched dome, and the flue should be of brick for at least one-third the length from the furnace into the house; for the rest of the way cement or vitrified drain pipe will be cheaper and better. The flue should have a gradual upward slope for its whole length and will vary in size with the house to be heated, from five to eight or nine inches in diameter, the latter being sufficient for a house 60 by 21 feet. The flue should be raised a little from the ground, and at no point should any woodwork be nearer than six inches to it. Very small houses, especially if not started up until January, may be heated by an ordinary wood stove with the stove pipe run the length of the house, but such an arrangement will give off a very drying and uneven heat, and require a lot of attention, to say nothing of its danger.

By far the most satisfactory way will be to use hot water. If the size of the house will not justify the purchase of a small heater—a second-hand one may often be had at a very reasonable figure—a substitute may be had by inserting a hot-water coil in a stove or in the house furnace. In one of the diagrams is shown an arrangement of pipes for heating a house 21 x 50 feet, and in another piping for lean-to described in the preceding chapter. With the small pipe sufficient for such a house as that illustrated in the latter diagram, the work can be done by anyone at all acquainted with the use of pipe tools; if possible, the pipes should be given a slight downward slope, say one inch in ten feet, from as near the heater as practical. For all this work second-hand piping, newly threaded, will answer very well, and it may be bought for about four cents per foot for one-inch pipe; six cents for one and one-half inch, and eight cents for two-inch. In putting the stove or heater in place, it should be sunk below the level upon which the pipes will run, and attention should also be given to the matter of caring for the fire, removing ashes, etc., making the management of these things as convenient as possible.



Experience only can teach the beginner just how to manage his vegetables and plants in this new winter garden. But at the outset he must remember one thing: If it is true that he has control of his miniature world of growing things it is also true that he can leave nothing, as he does with his outside garden, to the treatment of nature. The control is in his hands—the warmth, the moisture, the fresh air, the soil—none can be left to chance; he must think of them all. And before going into details, which might at first be confusing, let us take up the elements of this little world over which we are to reign, and try to elucidate first a few general rules to guide us. The house, after countless little delays and unforeseen problems conquered by personal interest and ingenuity, is at last ready, and the bare board benches look ugly enough in the bright, hot sunlight. How are they to be converted into a small Garden of Eden, when all outdoors is chained in the silent desolation of drifted snow? Here is a new task. No longer Nature's assistant, the gardener has been given entire management of this new sort of garden. It is almost a factory, where he must take his raw materials—earth, water, heat, light, and the wonderful thread of life, and mold these all into a hundred marvelous forms of beauty and utility. Something of art, something of science, something of business, must all be brought to his interesting work.

Let us begin then at the bottom. What is the best kind of dirt to use? It should be friable, so that it will not bake and cake in the pots; rich, that the little plants may readily find ample nourishment; porous, that water may be soaked up readily, and any surplus drained off freely. A soil answering all these requirements is made as follows: cut from an old ditch or fence-side, thick sods, and stack them with the grass sides together to rot. This heap should be forked over several times, when it has begun to decompose. In dry weather, if within reach of the hose, a good soaking occasionally will help the process along. The sods should be cut during spring or summer. To this pile of sod, when well rotted (or at time of using), add one-third in bulk of thoroughly rotted manure—cow and horse mixed, and a year old, if it can be obtained—and mix thoroughly. If the soil is clayey or heavy, add enough coarse sand and make it fine and friable, or use a larger proportion of the manure. Leaf-mould, from the woods, will also be good to lighten it with. This one mixture will do for all your potting. Keep enough of it under cover, or where it will not freeze, to last you during the winter and early spring. Store some of it in old barrels, or in boxes under the greenhouse bench, if there is not a more convenient place. For very small pots, run it through a half-inch sieve. For the larger sizes, three inches and up, this will not be necessary—just be sure the ingredients are well mixed.

Proper temperature is more likely to be the beginner's stumbling block than any other one thing. Different plants, of course, require different treatment in this respect; and just as your corn and beans will not come up if planted too early in the spring, or carrot or pansy seed in the heat of July, so the temperature in which a coleus will thrive would be fatal to the success of verbenas or lettuce under glass. It will often pay, where a variety of things are to be grown in the small greenhouse, to have a glass partition separating it into two sections, one of which may be kept, either by additional piping or less ventilation, several degrees warmer than the other. So, while a general collection of many plants can be grown successfully in the same temperature, it is foolish to try everything. Only actual experiment can show the operator just what he can and cannot do with his small house. Even where no glass partition is used, there will probably be some variation in temperature in different parts of the house, and this condition may be turned to advantage. The beginner, however, is more likely to keep his house too hot than too cool. He may seem at first to be getting a fine quick growth, and then wonders why things begin to be lanky, and yellow, forgetting that his plants can get no air to breathe, except what he is careful enough to give to them. For the majority of those plants which the beginner is likely to try—geraniums, petunias, begonias, fuchsias, abutilon, heliotrope, ferns, etc., a night temperature of 45 to 55 degrees, with 10 to 20 degrees higher during the day, will keep them in good growing condition during the winter, providing they are neglected in no other respect. So long as they are not chilled, they cannot have too much fresh air during sunny days. Make it your aim to keep the temperature as steady as possible—the damage done to plants is as often the result of sudden changes in temperature as of too high or too low a temperature.

If it is easy to overdo in the matter of temperature, it is even more so in watering. A soil such as described above, when watered, will absorb the water rapidly, and leave none of it standing upon the surface of the pots after a few moments. Practice, and practice only, can teach just when the soil has been sufficiently saturated. It should be watered until wet clear through, but never until it becomes muddy. And when watered it should not be watered again until dry—not baked and hard, but a condition indicated by a whitening of the surface, and the rapidity with which it will again soak up water, a condition hard to describe exactly, but at once recognizable after a little practice. During the dull winter months, it will be sufficient for most plants in the greenhouse to receive water twice a week, or even less often, but on the coming of warm spring days, more frequently, until care is needed daily. There are some old fogy ideas about soft and tepid water, which may help confuse the beginner: they accomplish nothing more. Recent experiments, made by one of the State experiment stations, have confirmed the experience of practical florists, that the temperature of water used, even to ice water, has almost absolutely no effect—the reason being that the water applied changes to the temperature of the soil almost before it can reach the roots of the plant at all. And hard and soft, spring and cistern water, have likewise been used without difference in results. The main thing is to attend to your watering regularly, never letting the plants get dried out or baked.

Not the least important of the "arts" which the worker under glass has to acquire is that of potting. From the time the cuttings in the sand bench are rooted, until the plants are ready to go outdoors in the spring, they have to be potted and repotted. The operation is a very simple one when once acquired. To begin with the cutting: Take a two-inch pot (a few of the geranium cuttings may require a 2-1/2 inch pot), fill it level with the sifted soil and with the forefinger make a hole large enough to receive the roots of the cutting and half its length, without bending the roots up. With the thumbs press down the dirt firmly on either side of the cutting, and give the pot a clean, short rap, either with the hand or by striking its bottom against the bench (which should be about waist-high) to firm and level the earth in it. With a little practice this operation becomes a very easy and quick one. Place the pots side by side and give a thorough watering. Keep in a shaded place, or shade with newspapers, for four or six days, and as soon as growth begins, move the pots apart, to allow the free circulation of air before the plants crowd. The time for repotting in a larger size pot is shown by the condition of the roots; they should have formed a network about the side of the pot, but not have remained there long enough to become tough or hard. They should still be white "working" roots. To repot, remove the ball of earth from the old pot, by inverting, striking the rim of the pot against the edge of the bench (a light tap should be sufficient), taking care to have the index and middle finger on either side of the plant stem, to hold it readily. Put in the bottom of the new pot sufficient earth to bring the top of the ball of roots, when placed upon it, a little below the rim of the pot. Hold this ball firmly in the center of the new pot, and fill in the space about it with fresh earth, packing it in firmly, using either the fingers or a bit of wood of convenient size. As a usual thing it is best when shifting to use a pot only one size larger. For pots above four inches in diameter, provide drainage by "crocking." This is accomplished by putting irregular shaped bits of stone, charcoal, cinders or pieces of broken pots in the bottom, being careful not to cover or plug up the hole.

If the pots are placed directly on the bottom of the bench—board, slate, tile or whatever it is—they will dry out so quickly that it is next to impossible to keep them properly watered. To overcome this difficulty, an inch or two of sand, or two or three inches of earth, is placed on the benches. When placing the pots upon this covering, work them down into it, just a little, instead of setting them loosely on top of it.

There are several insect pests which are likely to prove quite troublesome if given a start and the proper conditions in which to develop—crowded plants, too much heat, lack of ventilation, too little moisture. Prevention is the best cure. Burn tobacco stems or tobacco dust, used according to directions, every week (or oftener if required), and see that no bugs appear. One or two of the strongest brands of tobacco dust for sprinkling are also used successfully applied directly to the insects on the plants, but my experience with most of these has proved them next to worthless. (See also Chapter XVII.)

It is not nearly so interesting to read about the various greenhouse operations as it is to do them. It is work of an entrancing nature, and no one who had never taken a little slip of some new or rare plant and nursed it through the cutting stage and watched its growth till the first bud opened, can have an idea of the pleasure to be had. In the next chapter I shall attempt to explain just how to handle some of the most satisfactory flowers and vegetables, but the inexperienced owner of a small greenhouse who wishes to make rapid progress should practice with every plant and seed that comes his, or her, way, until all the ordinary operations have become as easy as falling off a street car with him. Mistakes will be made, and disappointments occur, of course, but only through these can skill and efficiency be obtained.



There are a number of greenhouse crops which are easily within the reach of the amateur who has at his disposal a small glass structure. One is apt to feel that something much more elaborate than the simple means at his hands are required to produce the handsome flowers or beautiful ferns which may be seen in the florist's window. It is true that many things are beyond his achievement. He cannot grow gigantic American Beauties on stems several feet long, nor present his friends at Christmas with the most delicate orchids; but he can very easily have carnations more beautiful, because they will be fresher if not quite so large, than any which can be had at the glass-fronted shops; and cyclamen as beautiful, and much more serviceable, than any orchid that ever hung from a precarious basket. To accomplish such results requires not so much elaborate equipment as unremitting care—and not eternal fussing but regular thought and attention.

There is, for instance, no more well beloved flower than the carnation, which entirely deserves the place it has won in flower-lovers' hearts beside, if not actually ahead of, the rose. As a plant it will stand all kinds of abuse, and yet, under the care which any amateur can give it, will produce an abundance of most beautiful bloom. Within a comparatively few years the carnation, as indeed a number of other flowers, has been developed to nearly twice its former size, and the number of beautiful shades obtainable has also increased many times.

To be grown at its best the carnation should have a rather cool temperature and plenty of ventilation, and these two requirements help to place it within reach of the small greenhouse operator. If only a few plants are to be grown, they may be purchased from a local florist, or obtained by mail from a seed house. If as few as two or three dozen plants are to be kept—and a surprising number of blooms may be had from a single dozen—they may be kept in pots. Use five-or six-inch pots and rich earth, with frequent applications of liquid manure, as described later. If, however, part of a bench can be given to them, the results will be more satisfactory. The bench should be well drained and contain four or five inches of rich soil, such as already described. If it is too late to compose a soil of this kind, use any rich garden loam and well rotted manure, in the proportions of five or six to one. For plants to begin blooming in the early winter, they should be put in during August, but for one's own use a later planting will do. For this year, if you are too late, get a few plants and keep them in pots. Next year buy before March a hundred or so rooted cuttings, or in April small plants, and set them out before the middle of May. Cultivate well during the summer, being sure to keep all flower buds pinched off, and have a nice supply of your own plants ready for next fall.

In putting the plants into the bench (or pots) select a cloudy day, and then keep them shaded for a few days, with frequent syringing of the foliage, until they become established. Keep the night temperature very little above fifty degrees, and not above seventy-five in the daytime, while sixty will do in cloudy weather. As to the watering, they should be well soaked when put in, and thereafter only as the ground becomes dry, when it should again be wet, care being taken to wet the foliage as little as possible. In the mornings, and on bright days, syringing the foliage will be beneficial, but never in dull weather, as the leaves should never be wet over night.

As the flower stems begin to shoot up they will need support. If you can get one of the many forms of wire supports used by commercial florists, so much the better; but if these are not obtainable the old method of stakes and strings (or preferably raffia) will do very well. To obtain large flowers the flower stems must be "disbudded"—that is all but the end bud on each stalk should be pinched off, thus throwing all the strength into one large flower. If, on the other hand, the terminal bud is taken off, and several of the side buds left, the result will be a beautiful cluster of blooms, more pleasing, to my mind, than the single large flowers, though not so valuable commercially.

There are any number of wonderful new varieties, but the white, pink and light pink Enchantress, and one of the standard reds will give satisfaction.


Requiring even less heat than the carnation is the old-time and all-time favorite, the violet. With no greenhouse at all, these can be grown beautifully, simply with the aid of a coldframe. But where a house is to be had, the season of blooming is, of course, much longer. The essential thing is to get strong, healthy plants. As with the carnations, if only a few are wanted, they may be grown in pots, using the six-inch size. The soil, whether for pots or benches, should be somewhat heavier than that prepared for carnations, using one-fourth to one-fifth cow manure added to the loam or rotted sod. If a bench is used, select one as near the glass as you can. Take in the plants with as little disturbance as possible, and keep them shaded for a few days, as with carnations. The plants will require to be about eight inches apart. As for care, apply water only when the bed has begun to dry, and then until the bench is soaked through. Pots will, of course, require more frequent attention in this matter than a bench. Keep all old leaves picked off and the soil stirred about the plants, with syringing and fumigating as suggested on page 134. The temperature will be best as low as forty-five degrees at night, and as little above fifteen more in the daytime as possible. Where no artificial heat can be had, a fine crop through the spring months may be had by making a smaller frame inside the regular coldframe, and packing this space with fine dry manure, as well as banking the outer frame. This arrangement, with two sash and mats in the coldest weather, will keep the plants growing most of the winter, and certainly the abundance of fragrant blooms at a season when flowers are most scarce will amply repay you for the trouble. Some prefer the single to the double blossoms. Marie Louise and Lady Hume Campbell (double blue); Swanley White, and California and Princesse de Galles (single blue) are the best varieties. Plants may be purchased of most large florists or from seedsmen.


Many of the decorative ferns may also be grown to perfection in the small house, at a moderate temperature, fifty to sixty degrees, the nearer sixty the better. The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis) and its improved form, Scottii, are two of the best for house use, and if grown in the greenhouse until of good size and form, they will make unusual and very acceptable holiday or birthday gifts. A few small plants obtained from the florist and kept where they do not get a direct glare of light, watered frequently enough so that the soil is always moist (but never "sopping"), and plenty of fresh air in bright weather, will rapidly make fine plants. If you happen to have a few old plants on hand, they may be increased readily by division. Separate the old crowns into a few small plants. Don't make them very small or they will not renew as readily. Keep them, if possible, a little above sixty degrees, with plenty of moisture. Loam and sand, to which is added about the same amount of leaf-mould, will make a proper soil.

Asparagus ferns will also respond to about the same care, though thriving in an even lower temperature. Asparagus plumosus nanus, the Lace fern, is especially delicate and graceful and makes an ideal small table plant to use with flowers.


These are propagated by cuttings, which root very easily. I would suggest, however, dipping them first in a wash of one part Aphine to thirty-five parts water, and then rinsing in clear cold water, in order to rid them entirely of any black aphis there may be present. Give them a clean start, and it will be much easier to keep them clean, as they must be kept to make good healthy plants.

If you have not already a stock on hand, I would suggest going to some florist's in the chrysanthemum season and making a list of the varieties which particularly please you. Later, say in February or March, you can get cuttings of these, already rooted if you like, but it's more fun to root them yourself.

Pot off in two-and-one-half-inch pots, and shift on as rapidly as the roots develop. Use, after the first potting, a very rich soil, and give plenty of water. Chrysanthemums are very gross feeders and the secret of success with them lies in keeping them growing on from the beginning as rapidly as possible, without a check. Keep at about fifty-five degrees and repot as frequently as required.

If they are to be grown in a bed or bench, have the soil ready by the first part of June. The distance apart will be determined by the method by which they are to be grown—six or eight inches if to "single stems" with the great big flowers one sees at the florist's; about eight, ten or twelve if three blooms are to be had from each plant. Of course that will be determined by individual taste; but personally I prefer the "spray" form, growing a dozen or more to each plant. They should be syringed frequently and given partial shade. A good way is to spray onto the roof a mixture of lime-water, about as thick as milk, or white lead and naphtha in solution.

As soon as they are well established and growing, decision must be made as to how they are to be grown. If more than one flower to a plant is wanted, pinch out the big top bud and as the side buds develop, take them all off to the number of flowers required, two, three or more as the case may be. If sprays are wanted, pinch out the end buds of these side shoots also when they get about three inches long, and all but a few of the side buds on the shoots.

If at any time during growth the plants seem to be checked, or lose their healthy dark green color, it is probable that they are not getting enough food and should be given top dressings or liquid manure accordingly.

Or if one does not want to devote space in the greenhouse to them for so long a time (although they occupy it when there is little other use for it) the plants may be grown in pots, the final shift being into six-or seven-inch. They are kept in a cool house, or in a shaded place out-of-doors, plunged in coal ashes. One advantage of this method is, of course, that they can be brought into the dwelling house while in bloom.

In either case, the plants must be watched carefully for black fly, which can be kept off with Aphine. The plants will also need supports of twine or wire, or stakes, whether in the beds or in pots.

The usual method is to cut back the plants after blooming, store in a cold place and start later into new growth for cuttings. A better way is to set a few plants out early in the spring—one of each variety will give an abundance of plants for home use. Cuttings can be taken from these that will be just right for late flowers. These stock plants are cut back in the fall, taken up and stored in a deep box, keeping as cold as possible without freezing.

Varieties are so numerous, so constantly changing, of so many types, that it would be unsatisfactory to give a list. The best way, as mentioned before, is to get a list of the sort you like, while they are in bloom at the florists.


It is much more difficult to grow good roses than to grow either chrysanthemums or carnations. They are more particular as to soil and as to temperature, and more quickly affected by insects and disease.

Nevertheless there is no reason why the amateur who is willing to be painstaking should not succeed with the hardier varieties. Some roses are much more easily grown than others. Plants may be grown from cuttings of the ripened wood, which should have become too hard to comply with the "snapping test" (see page 30) used for most other plants. By far the best way for the beginner, however, is to buy from the nurserymen or florist. This is especially true of the many sorts which do better when grafted on a strong growing stock.

There are two ways of buying the plants: either in the dormant state, or growing, out of pots. In the first way you get the dry roots and canes (2-year olds) from the nursery as early as possible in the spring and set them in nine-inch pots to plunge outdoors, or boxes, allowing 6 x 6 to 12 inches for room if you want them for use in the house in the winter. Cut back one-half at time of planting, and after watering to bring the soil to the right degree of moisture, go very light with it until the plants begin active growth, when it is gradually increased. As with chrysanthemums, as the plants get large, fertilizers and liquid manure must be given to maintain the supply of plant food. Let the plants stay out when cold weather comes, until the leaves have dropped and then store until December or January in a cold dry place where they will not be frozen too hard or exposed to repeated thawings—a trial that few plants can survive. Bring into warmth as required.

The above treatment is for plants for the house. For the greenhouse bench get plants that are growing. They should be clean and healthy, in four-or five-inch pots. They are set 12 x 12 to 12 x 16 inches apart, depending upon whether the variety is a very robust grower. The best time for setting is April to July first, according to season in which it is desired to get most bloom. As a rule early planting is the more satisfactory.

One of the most important points in success with roses is to provide thorough drainage. Even when raised beds are used, as will generally be the case in small houses, wide cracks should be left every six inches or so. If the house is low, room may be saved by making a "solid" bed directly upon the ground, putting in seven or eight inches of prepared soil on top of two or three inches of clinkers, small stone or gravel.

The preparation of the soil is also a matter of great importance. It should be rather "heavy," that is, with considerably more clay than average plant soil. Five parts rotted loam sod, to one to two parts rotted cow manure, is a good mixture. It should be thoroughly composted and rotted up. When filling the bench press well down and if possible give time to settle before putting in the plants.

The plants should be set in firmly. Keep shaded and syringe daily in the morning until well established. Great care must be taken to guard against any sudden changes, so that it is best to give ventilation gradually and keep a close watch of temperature, which should be kept from fifty-five to fifty-eight at night in cold weather.

Care should be taken to water early in the morning, that the leaves may dry off by night. At the same time it is well to keep the atmosphere as moist as possible to prevent trouble from the red spider (see page 134) which is perhaps the greatest enemy of the rose under glass.

As large growth is reached, liquid manure or extra food in the form of dry fertilizer must be given, a good mixture for the latter being 1 lb. of nitrate of soda, one of sulphate of potash and ten of fine bone. Wood ashes sprinkled quite thick upon the soil and worked in are also good.

As the plants grow tall, they will have to be given support by tying either to stakes or wires. It is well to pick off the first buds also, so that mature growth may be made before they begin to flower heavily.

The plants should at all times be kept scrupulously clean.

The roses suited for growing in pots or boxes, to be dried off and brought into heat in January or February, are the hybrid perpetuals, and the newer ramblers, Crimson, Baby White and Baby Pink.

For growing in benches, as described, the teas are used. Among the best of the standard sorts of these are Bride, Perle, Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, Bridesmaid, Pres. Carnot, Meteor, Killarney. New sorts are constantly being tried, and some of these are improvements over old sorts. The catalogues give full description.

For growing at a low temperature, fifty-five degrees or so, the following are good: Wootton, Papa Gontier, red; Perle, yellow; Bridesmaid, large pink; Mad. Cousin, small pink; Bride, white. The above will make a good collection for the beginner to try his or her hand with.



While tomatoes and cucumbers require a high temperature, lettuce may be grown easily all the year round. A good method is to grow three crops of lettuce during the fall and winter, and follow with tomatoes and cucumbers in the spring, when the high temperature required can be more easily maintained.

Lettuce is a low-temperature plant, and there is no reason why the small greenhouse owner should not be able with ease to supply his table constantly with this delicious salad. As with the carnations, and violets, if there is no part of a bench that can be devoted to the lettuce, a few plants can be grown in pots. If this method is used, the seedlings should be pricked off into small pots. When these begin to crowd they will have to be given six to eight inches of room, and the pots plunged in soil to their full depth. But it will be more satisfactory to devote a part of a bench, a solid one if possible and in the coldest part of the house, to the lettuce plants. Well rotted manure, either horse or mixed, and a sandy loam, will make the right soil. The first sowing of seed should be made about August first, in a shaded bed out-of-doors; the seedlings transplanted, as with spring lettuce, to flats or another bed. By the last week in September these will be ready to go into the beds prepared for them, setting them about six inches apart for the loose and eight for the heading varieties. The bed should be well drained, so that the soil will never stay soggy after watering. The soil should be kept fairly dry, as too much moisture is apt to cause rot, especially with the heading sorts. Syringe occasionally on the brightest days, in the morning. Keep the surface of the bed stirred until the leaves cover it. Keep the temperature below fifty at night, especially just after planting, and while maturing. And watch sharply for the green aphis, which is the most dangerous insect pest. If tobacco fumigation is used as a preventive, as suggested, they will not put in an appearance. The first heads will be ready by Thanksgiving, and a succession of plants should be had by making small sowings of seed every two or three weeks. If the same bed is used for the new crops, liquid manure, with a little dissolved soda nitrate, will be helpful.

If a night temperature of sixty degrees can be assured in part of the house, tomatoes and cucumbers may also be had all winter. If the house is only a general purpose one, held at a lower temperature than that, they may still be had months before the crop outside by starting them so as to follow the last crop of lettuce, which should be out of the way by the first of April. The seeds of either need a high temperature to germinate well, and may be started on the return heating pipes, care being taken to remove them before they are injured by too much shade or by drying out. In sowing the cucumber seed, pots or small boxes, filled about half-full of a light sandy compost, may be used, these to be filled in, leaving only two plants in each, as the plants get large enough, with a rich compost. If there is a solid bed available, a trench filled with horse manure, well packed in, will act as a hotbed and help out the temperature required for rapid growth. If fruits are wanted for the winter, the tomatoes should be started in July and the cucumbers early in August. They should be given a very rich and sandy soil, and the day temperature may run up to eighty degrees. Until the latter part of spring, when the ventilators are opened and bees have ready access, it is necessary to use artificial fertilization in order to get the fruit to set. With a small soft brush, dust the pollen over the pistils. With the English forcing cucumbers, this will not be necessary. While fruit is setting, the houses should be kept especially dry and warm.

The vines of both tomatoes and cucumbers will have to be tied up to stakes or wires with raffia. They should be pinched off at about six feet, and, for the best fruit, all suckers kept off the tomatoes.

The best varieties of tomatoes for forcing are Lorillard, Stirling Castle and Comet; of the cucumbers, Arlington White Spine, Davis Perfected and the English forcing varieties.

If you do not like to stop having lettuce in time to give up space to cucumbers or tomatoes, start some plants about January first, and have a hotbed ready to receive them from the flats before March first. With a little care as to ventilation and watering, they will come along just after the last of the greenhouse crops.

A point not to be overlooked in connection with all the above suggestions is that any surplus of these fresh out-of-season things may be disposed of among your vegetable-hungry friends at the same step-ladder prices they are paying the butcher or green-grocer for wilted, shipped-about products.

And don't get discouraged if some of your experiments do not succeed the first time. Keep on planning, studying and practicing until you are getting the maximum returns and pleasure from your glass house.



While it is true that there are many ways in which one may save money with a small greenhouse all through the year, the best chance for making money is by growing vegetable and bedding plants in the spring. Bedding stock is what the florists term geraniums, coleus, begonias and other plants used for setting out flower beds in the spring.

In every community a large number of such plants are used and the case will be rare indeed in which one will meet with any difficulty in disposing of quite a number of such plants among immediate neighbors and friends.

The number of plants which can be grown in the spring with even a very small house and a few sash is quite surprising. The secret of the mystery lies, of course, in the fact that in their early stages, seedlings and cuttings, the plants occupy very little room; while as soon or soon after they are transplanted or shifted to large pots they are shoved outdoors into coldframes. As the tender vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, egg-plant, etc., are not started until after the hardier ones, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, etc., the frames can be filled up again usually as fast as emptied. In the same way heliotrope, salvia, coleus and other tender plants follow pansies, daisies, carnations, etc.

It will thus be seen that to grow these plants to the best advantage, a coldframe, or better still, both a coldframe and hotbed, will be used in conjunction with the small home greenhouse.

Directions have already been given (see Chapter IV) in these pages for sowing, starting and transplanting seed.


The dates for sowing are about as follows in the vicinity of New York. Allow about a week's difference for every hundred miles of latitude—earlier in the south, later in the north.

February 1st—Cabbage, cauliflower.

February 15th—Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, lettuce, onions for plants.

March 1st—Lettuce, celery (early), tomato (early), beets.

March 15th—Lettuce, tomato (main), egg-plant, pepper. For one's own use or special orders, cucumbers, squash, lima beans, potatoes sprouted in flats of sand, may also be started, but there is no market demand for them.

April 1st—Celery (late), cauliflower; (in sods or paper pots), muskmelon, watermelon, corn, for special use.

After being started and pricked off into flats, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, lettuce, and celery are kept inside just long enough to get well established, and then put outside in a tight frame. Harden off as well as possible before putting out, as a freeze the first night might injure them. After that slight frost on the leaves will not injure them, but if they freeze stiff, apply cold water in the morning—ice-cold is just as good—and shade until they are thawed out. If very cold it will be necessary to protect the frames with shutters. Beets and lettuce will not stand quite so low a temperature as the cabbage group. By the time the plants are pretty well grown, cloth-covered frames may be substituted for the glass ones, and these may be used elsewhere to cover the tenderer plants such as tomato and egg-plant. After the first of April they will not need any protection. Last spring I had several thousand cabbages covered twice with several inches of snow, and hardly a one was lost.

Tomatoes, peppers and egg-plants require different treatment. They are heat-loving plants, and not only succumb to even a slight freeze, but will be so checked by a low temperature, even if not touched by frost, that they will amount to little. They should be kept growing as rapidly as possible. They will also require a second transplanting. Those wanted for the retail trade are put a dozen in a box, three or four inches deep and 7 x 9 inches. Care must be taken not to let these plants run up tall. Always give all the air possible while keeping up the temperature, which should be from fifty to fifty-five at night. Get them outdoors as soon as the weather becomes settled, where they could be protected in case of a sudden late frost.


Most of the plants used for flower gardens and lawn beds come under the three following classes: (1) Those grown from seed; (2) those grown from cuttings; (3) those of a bulbous nature.

Almost all of the first group are sown in the spring in flats in the greenhouse. Two important exceptions, however, are pansies and English daisies (Bellis perennis). They are sown early in the fall, as already described, and the plants wintered over in a frame or protected outdoors. For the retail trade they are put up in small boxes or "pansy baskets" made for the purpose. While small plants, just beginning to bloom, are the best, it seems very hard to convince a customer of it and they will often choose a basket with four or five old plants loaded with bloom in preference to a dozen small ones.

Asters, alyssum, balsams, candytuft, celosia, coleus, dianthus (pink), lobelia, mignonette, petunias, phlox, portulaca, ricinus, salvia, verbenas, vinca, roses, zinnias, may all be started from seed. The greatest secret of success is to keep the plants from crowding, and keep pinched back to make bushy plants. Salvias and coleus are the tenderest of these plants. The others can go out to the frames, if room is scarce, as soon as the weather becomes settled.


The method of choosing and rooting cuttings has been outlined in a previous chapter (see page 29). In greenhouse work the main difference is that they are taken in much larger quantities. For this reason it is usually convenient to have a cutting bench instead of the flats or saucers used in rooting house plants. The bench should be three or four inches deep, filled with medium coarse, gritty sand, or a substratum of drainage material. If possible, have it so arranged that bottom heat may be given—this being most conveniently furnished with pipes under the bench boxed in. (The temperature required for most cuttings will be fifty to fifty-five in the house with five to ten degrees more under the bench.) The cutting bench should also be so situated that it readily may be shaded, as one of the most important factors of success is to prevent the cuttings from wilting at any time—especially just after placing in the sand. After rooting, the cuttings are put into small pots or flats as already explained.

Spring stock of some plants, such as geraniums, are rooted in the fall—September to November. Others, which make a quick growth, such as petunias, not until early in the spring,—last of January to April, but for the most part in February. In the former case, cuttings are taken just before frost from outside plants, or later from stock plants lifted and taken indoors; in the latter case, stock plants are taken in and carried through the winter in a more or less dormant or resting condition; being kept rather dry and started into active growth in January. The new growth furnishes material for cuttings, which are grown on as rapidly as possible.

The following plants are treated in one of the above ways; further details in any case may be found in the first part of the book:

Alternantheres Heliotrope Begonias, fibrous rooted Ice Plant Coleus Paris Daisy Cuphia Petunias Geraniums Salvias Ivy Geraniums Vincas German Ivy


The bulbous plants are started directly in pots, or in flats and transferred to pots, as described in individual cases in the preceding pages.

Cannas, tall Cannas, dwarf flowering Dahlias Caladiums Tuberous rooted Begonias

are the sorts for which there is most demand.


Condensed as the latter part of this book has had to be, I trust it may give the reader a glimpse of the pleasure, and even of the possibility for profit, that is offered by the small home glass house.

Do not feel that because you cannot have a large greenhouse, with all the modern equipment, that it is not worth while to have any. Many of the large establishments in the country have grown from just such small beginnings as have been described or suggested here.

Possibly you would never be interested in the commercial side of your under-glass gardening, even though success crowned your efforts. There is not, however, any question about the fun and healthy pleasure to be had, and I can wish you no more gardening joy than that the coming year will find you with at least a modest amount of "home glass."




Abutilon, 72.

Acalypha, 73.

Accessories, 140.

Achyranthes, 81.

African Blue Lily, 123.

Ageratum, 66.

Alternanthera, 82.

Alyssum, 66.

Amaryllis, 122.

Anemone, 126.

Anthericum, 82.

Aphis, 133.

Araucaria, 82.

Aralia, 73.

Ardisia, 73.

Aspidistra, 83.

Aucuba, 73.

Azalea, 74.


Bay-window, 3, 9.

Balsam, 66.

Bedding plants—grown for spring, 200.

Begonia Rex, 53.

Begonias, flowering, 51.

Blood Flower, 124.

Bone meal, 141.

Bouvardia, 74.

Browallia, 75.

Bulbs, Dutch or Cape, 117.

Bulbs, for winter bloom, 116.


Cacti, 110.

Caladium, 83, 125.

Calla, 121.

Candytuft, 66.

Carnations, 66, 180.

Cannas, 66.

Chinese Sacred Lily, 127.

Chrysanthemum, 67, 185.

Cissus, 90.

Clematis, 90.

Coboea Scandens, 91.

Coldframe, 149.

Coleus, 84.

"Crocking" pots, 178.

Cuttings, preparation of, 29.

Cuttings, propagation of, 30.

Cucumbers, 194.


Daphne, 75.

Disbudding, 182.

Diseases, 137.

Dracaena, 84.


Easter lily, 120.

English ivy, 92.


Farfugium, 84.

Ferns, 97, 184.

Fertilizers, 19, 145.

Flowering maple, 72.

Foliage plants, 81. Achyranthes, 81. Alternanthera, 82. Anthericum, 82. Araucaria, 82. Aspidistra, 83. Caladium, 83. Cissus, 90. Clematis, 90. Cobaea scandens, 91. Coleus, 84. Dracaena, 84. English ivy, 92. Farfugium, 84. German ivy, 92. Hoya Carnosa, 91. Ivy, 92. Leopard plant, 84. "Little Pickles," 94, 115. Manettia, 93. Moneywort, 93. Morning-glory, 93. Musk plant, 93. Nasturtium, 94. Othonna, 94. Pandanus, 85. Pepper, 85. Rubber plant, 86. Saxifraga, 87. Sensitive plant, 88. Smilax, 94. Sweet peas, 95. Thunbergia, 95. Tradescantia, 88. Vines, 90. Zebra plant, 88.

Frozen plants, treatment of, 199.


Genista, 75.

Geranium, 56.

German ivy, 92.

Gladiolus, 124.

Greenhouse, construction of, 156.

Greenhouse, management of, 172.

Grevillea, 75.


Hanging baskets, 130, 143.

Heating apparatus, 3.

Heating of greenhouses, 167.

Heliotrope, 61.

Hibiscus, 75.

Hotbed, 149.

House plants, 44.

Hoya Carnosa, 91.

Hydrangea, 76.

Hyacinths, 118.


Insects, 132.

Insect diseases, remedies for, 138.

Iris, 126.

Ivy, 92.


Kerosene emulsion, 139.


Lantana, 77.

Leaf-mould, 141.

Lemon, 77.

Lemon verbena, 77.

Leopard plant, 84.

Lettuce, 193.

Lily-of-the-valley, 125.

Light, proper amount of, 6.

"Little Pickles," 94, 115.

Lobelia, 68.


Mahernia (honey-bell), 68.

Manettia, 93.

Manures, 17, 145.

Manure, liquid, 48, 145.

Marguerite carnation, 66.

Mealy bug, 135.

Mignonette, 68.

Moisture, amount of, for plants indoors, 12.

Moneywort, 93.

Morning-glory, 93.

Musk plant, 93.


Narcissi, 118.

Nasturtium, 94.

Nitrate of soda, 20.

Nitrogen, forms of, 18.


Oleander, 77.

Orange, 78.

Othonna, 94.

Oxalis, 120.


Palms, 103.

Pandanus, 85.

Pansy, 68, 200.

Patience plant (impatiens), 67.

Peat, 141.

Pepper, 85.

Petunia, 62.

Phosphoric acid, forms of, 18.

Pots, 143.

Potting, 38, 176.

Potash, forms of, 18.

"Plunging" pots in summer, 49.

Primroses (Primula), 63.

Propagation, from cuttings, 30.

Propagation, from seed, 22-27.

Propagation, "saucer system," 32.


Ranunculus, 126.

Red spider, 134.

Reinwardtia, 78.

Repotting, 40.

Resting periods of plants, 47.

Rex, Begonia, 53.

Root aphis, 136.

Roses, 78, 188.

Rubber plant, 86.


Salvia, 68.

Sash, lean-to, 164.

Saxifraga, 87.

Scale, 136.

Sensitive plant, 88.

Shelf, for plants, 8.

Shrubs. Abutilon, 72. Acalypha, 73. Aralia, 73. Ardisia, 73. Aucuba, 73. Azalea, 74. Bouvardia, 74. Browallia, 75. Daphne, 75. Flowering maple, 72. Genista, 75. Grevilla, 75. Hibiscus, 75. Hydrangea, 76. Lantana, 77. Lemon, 77. Lemon verbena, 77. Oleander, 77. Orange, 78. Reinwardtia, 78. Roses, 78-188. Swainsona, 79. Sweet olive, 79.

Slips, preparation of, 29.

Smilax, 94.

Snapdragon, 64.

Soil, ingredients, 141.

Soil, for greenhouses, 173.

Soil, for pots and boxes, 14.

Sphagnum moss, 141.

Spirea, 126.

Steria, 68.

Stocks, 69.

Sub-watering, 24, 142.

Swainsona, 79.

Sweet olive, 79.

Sweet peas, 95.


Temperature, for plants, indoors, II, 45.

Temperature, for greenhouses, 174.

Thrips, 136.

Thunbergia, 95.

Tomatoes, 194.

Tradescantia, 88.

Transplanting, 35.

Tuberous begonia, 124.

Tulips, 118.


Vallota, 123.

Vases, 129.

Vegetable plants, started under glass, 197.

Veranda boxes, 128.

Verbena, 69.

Verbena, Lemon, 77.

Vines, 90.

Violets, 183.


Watering, 45.

Watering, for greenhouse, 175.

Window-boxes, 128.

Window-box, construction of, 9-10.

Worms, 137.


Zebra plant, 88.


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