PLANT ENEMIES AND INSECTICIDES

Are a very welcome addition to the kitchen garden, giving just the
often needed touch to the achievement of a successful dish, a touch
that will change an everyday vegetable or meat course to something
unusual and fancy in cuisine, and with no trouble or added expense to
the cook—just a little pinch of this or that, and what a difference
it makes! In most households sage is depended on for the flavoring
of poultry dressing, sausage and the like, in spite of the fact that
it may be anything but pleasing to some member of the family or the
welcome guest; so accustomed are we to its use that substitution is
scarcely thought of, and yet a very pleasing one is found in summer
savory, which most people like better than sage, once its acquaintance
is made. Coriander and caraway seeds are used in bread, cake and
cookies, but just a touch of caraway is a very piquant addition to
salads. Tarragon is used for making tarragon vinegar—the leaves
being steeped in pale cider or white wine vinegar until the flavor
is extracted and then used in the concoction of salad dressing. Dill
is used principally for making dill pickles, the leaves being laid
alternately with the pickles when laid down. Sweet fennel is used for
salads and soups and also for fish sauce.

If one has a strip of land at one side of the garden that is not
needed, and can be conveniently skipped in the plowing, that will be
the place for the herb bed. The soil should be rich and mellow and
contain a fair proportion of humus. A poor strip of land may be built
up by adding to it from season to season the old manure from the
hotbed; this is nearly reduced to humus and the action of the elements
will soon complete its transformation.

As many of the herbs are perennial it is best that the bed should be a
permanent one, not subject to annual disturbance. It should be long,
rather than wide, so that the herbs may be gathered without walking
on the bed; three feet is a good width as that can be reached across
fairly well. As the amount of any one herb used in the average family
will be small it is not necessary that they be set in regular rows;
they may rather be started in rows, for convenience in planting and
identifying when up and then the fine, vigorous plants set in clumps in
the border, or in colonies of sorts. The leaves of the various plants
are the part used and they should be cut or gathered on a bright, clear
day just as the plants are coming into bloom, tied in bunches and hung
up in a dry place, an attic with open windows, or a shed, or spread
out on racks or a floor, anywhere where they will dry quickly so as
to retain all their flavor. When thoroughly dry the leaves should be
stripped from the stems and packed in bags or boxes for use.

The annual varieties are cultivated the same as the perennials but if
one prefers these may occupy a row through the garden where they can
have the cultivation accorded the other vegetables. The following list
is quite complete and will indicate the various uses for which each is
suitable.

PERENNIAL HERBS

_Balm._ Lemon-scented and used for making balm tea.

_Catnip._ Beloved of cats and useful in colic of infants.

_Fennel, Sweet._ Used in salads and soups.

_Horehound._ Very useful in coughs and bronchial colds, made into
syrup or candy, with sugar.

_Lavender._ For perfuming linen. Not hardy and should be protected
in winter.

_Mint._ For mint sauces.

_Pennyroyal._ Used medicinally, and for seasoning puddings and
various dishes.

_Peppermint._ For flavoring and in candy.

_Rosemary._ For flavoring. (“Here’s Rosemary, that’s for
remembrance.”)

_Rue._ For roup in fowls and for medicinal purposes.

_Sage._ Seasoning for sausage, poultry dressing and the like.

_Savory, summer._ Used in place of sage and as flavoring with
string beans.

_Savory, winter._ Used the same as summer savory.

_Sweet Marjoram._ Used green in summer and dried in winter.

_Tansy._ For medicinal purposes.

_Thyme, broad-leaved English._ For seasoning and poultry stuffing;
also a tea for nervous headache.

ANNUAL HERBS

_Anise._ For garnishing and flavoring and in making cordials.

_Basil, sweet._ The stems and seeds are used in soups and sauces.

_Bene._ Used medicinally—the leaves in water, beneficial in cases
of dysentery.

_Borage._ Excellent for bees. Leaves used in salads, the flowers in
cooling drinks. _Caraway._ The seed used in bread, cakes, cookies
and salads.

_Chamomile._ Medicinal. Prescribed by physicians as an emetic and
vermifuge.

_Coriander._ Seeds aromatic. Used as a stomachic.

_Cumin._ As food for pigeons.

_Dill._ In making dill pickles.

_Pimpinella._ The young leaves, used as salad, have the flavor of
cucumbers.

_Saffron._ Used for flavoring and coloring.

_Tarragon._ For flavoring and in salads. Does not come from seed
but plants must be purchased.

_Tagetes._ This possesses in its green parts almost the true
tarragon flavor.

_Thyme. French Summer._ Used for seasoning.

_Waldmeister._ Used in May wine and also for scenting clothes.

The well-tended garden does not suffer materially from inroads of
insect pests especially in favorable seasons; cool, damp weather,
and hot, muggy weather are conducive to fungoid diseases which sap
the strength of the plants and make them less resistant to any kind
of assaults, whether of insects or disease, but with normal weather
and bright dry air a part of each day at least, little trouble should
be experienced from insect pests; especially should this be the case
if precautionary work has been done the previous fall in the way of
gathering up and burning all rubbish that can harbor insects or disease
and especially if the precaution is taken to fall plough the garden,
leaving the soil in the rough furrow over winter. This is especially
good practice when there has been trouble with insect pests,
especially cutworms, root lice, tomato worms—the pupae of which winter
in the ground and if turned up by the plough will be destroyed, radish
and cabbage maggot and the like.

Even though the past season has been practically free from trouble
of this sort the intelligent gardener will recognize the possibility
of trouble and in time of peace will prepare for war by supplying
himself with the more common and useful varieties of insecticides. It
is not desirable that the list should include everything in the bug
pharmacopæia; a few standard remedies faithfully and intelligently
used are far better than an embarrassing assortment that leaves one
undecided as to which is best and often results in half-hearted use of
first one and then the other, with lax intervals which give the enemy
time to recuperate and multiply.

It is best in deciding upon the insecticides and fungicides to be
used to have a clear classification in mind of the several kinds of
insect to be exterminated as one form of poison may not be suited to
all forms of insect life: for instance, insects which chew or eat
the leaves of the plants to which they are addicted, as the potato
beetle, caterpillar and the like, can most readily be destroyed by
poison applied to the foliage; insects which do not eat the vegetation
on the surface, but puncture it and drain away by suction the juices
of the plant, like the aphis and other plant lice, will not be injured
by surface poison, but must be destroyed by the contact of corrosive
poison with their bodies, or with hot water, which is one of the best
insecticides known, not only destroying all insect life with which it
comes in contact, but cleansing and strengthening the plants. It should
be used as a spray at about a hundred and forty degrees, taking pains
to reach the underside of the leaves as well as the upper surface,
and as it can be used when the fruit is in any stage of growth its
advantage is obvious.

For the eating or chewing insects and beetles there are several
reliable poisons on the market, all ready for use, needing only to be
mixed with a definite bulk of water, flour or lime, according as the
poison is to be used as a dust or a spray.

ARSENATE OF LEAD

Used for all chewing insects that attack foliage and fruit trees; will
not wash off nor burn the foliage. Use two or three pounds to fifty
gallons of water as a spray. Price about forty-five cents a pound.

ARSENATE OF ZINC

A quick-acting adhesive insecticide for potato bugs, rose beetles and
vegetables that have not headed sufficiently to be injurious if touched
with the poison. Forty-five cents per pound.

BUG DEATH

Used instead of Paris green for eating insects on potatoes, squashes,
melons, eggplants, cucumbers. Twenty-five cents a pound; directions
accompany it.

PARIS GREEN

For all chewing insects. As a dust use one part of the poison to one
hundred parts plaster, or flour; as a spray, one pound Paris green to
one hundred and fifty to three hundred gallons of water according to
the tenderness of the foliage. Sixty-five cents per pound.

PYROX

For eating insects, fungus growth, blight and rot. Adheres to foliage.
One pound to six gallons of water. Forty cents per pound.

SLUG SHOT

For potato bugs, tomato and cabbage worms, lice aphis and worms—use as
dust with blow gun. Twenty cents a pound.

For fungoid diseases, blight and rot the various Bordeaux mixtures,
single and combined with the arsenates so as to take the place of a
separate poison for chewing insects, are suggested.

BORDEAUX MIXTURE

The standard remedy against fungus, rust and rot. Five ounces to one
gallon of water is standard strength. Spray at intervals until fruits
sets, for potatoes till danger of late blight is passed. Thirty-five
cents a pound.

BORDEAUX-ARSENATE OF LEAD

A combined fungicide and insecticide for potatoes, melons, cucumbers
and squash. Three ounces to one gallon of water. Spray once a week or
every ten days. Forty cents per pound.

KEROSENE EMULSION

For all soft-bodied, sucking insects, especially aphis and lice. One
pound of paste to ten gallons of water. Paste, thirty cents a pound.

DIRECTIONS FOR PREPARING

KEROSENE EMULSION

Dissolve one-half pound of soap in one gallon of boiling water, add two
gallons of kerosene, and force through a spray pump again and again
until an emulsion is formed. Dilute from ten to twenty-five times
before applying. Use rain-water for making solution.

BORDEAUX-ARSENATE OF LEAD

One pound of arsenate of lead with fifty gallons of Bordeaux mixture
for all eating insects and fungoid diseases.

BORDEAUX MIXTURE

Dissolve six pounds of copper sulphate by hanging it in a bag of coarse
cloth in an earthen or wooden vessel containing four to six gallons of
water, and dilute with twenty-five gallons of water. Slake four pounds
of lime, diluting to twenty-five gallons and mix by pouring the two
solutions into a third vessel. This is of such universal use that the
large quantity will not be excessive, especially when combined with the
arsenical preparations.

VEGETABLES AND INSECTS AND DISEASES ATTACKING THEM

ASPARAGUS

Keep the beds closely cut in spring and as soon as the shoots are
allowed to grow spray with Bordeaux-arsenate of lead mixture.

BEANS-ANTHRACNOSE

Spray with Bordeaux mixture when an inch or two high and repeat as
necessary.

BEAN BEETLE

Spray with kerosene emulsion, being sure that it reaches every part of
the under side of the leaves.

BEAN WEEVIL

Fumigate the seed before planting with carbon-bisulphide, in a
closed vessel for twenty-four hours or with formaldehyde, using one
teaspoonful to a pint of water and wetting the seed and covering close
a few hours.

FLEA BEETLE

Spray with arsenate of lead or Bordeaux-arsenate mixture.

BEET-LEAF SPOT

Spray with Bordeaux mixture and repeat once in two weeks but the leaves
must not be used for greens after spraying begins.

CABBAGE AND CAULIFLOWER

Aphis: spray with kerosene emulsion and repeat as needful until the
heads are nearly grown.

CABBAGE WORM

Spray with poisoned resin-lime mixture if the plants are young; after
heads have formed use kerosene emulsion or hot water, preferably the
latter.

CABBAGE ROOT MAGGOT

Protect the plants with disks of tar paper and wet the soil with Paris
green solution or emulsion composed of one pound of soap, one gallon of
boiling water and one pint of crude carbolic acid diluted with forty
parts of water, using sufficient to soak the soil several inches.

CELERY BLIGHT

Spray with Bordeaux mixture once in two weeks, until plants are half
grown.

CUCUMBERS

For the striped beetle, use tobacco dust about the hills. Spray plants
and ground with kerosene emulsion. Wrap rags saturated with kerosene
about sticks and stick in center of hills to repel bugs with the odor.
Better still, protect hills with frames of wire screening or mosquito
netting. Spray with Bordeaux-arsenate of lead every two weeks.

SQUASH BUG

Hand pick the first bugs that appear and find and destroy all eggs.
Dust with Bug Death. Protect with wire cloth.

BLIGHT

Leaves become spotted or covered with down. Spray every two weeks with
Bordeaux mixture.

ONIONS

Blight.—Spray every ten days with two-thirds strength Bordeaux mixture.
Root lice.—Open trench along side the plants and apply salt freely.

PEAS—APHIS

Spray with kerosene emulsion until pods are filling; then spray with
hot water.

PEAS—MILDEW

Spray with Bordeaux mixture containing resin wash to make it stick, or
with Pyrox.

POTATO—COLORADO BEETLE

Hand pick to destroy eggs. If young appear spray or dust with Paris
green or Pyrox and repeat as often as necessary.

FLEA BEETLE

Keep plants well covered with Bordeaux mixture or Pyrox.

SCAB

Do not plant on freshly manured land, should be manured in fall or
February at latest. Soak seed in formaldehyde before planting and dip
each piece in sulphur.

SQUASH BORER

Slit infested stem and destroy worm and cover injured branch with earth
or stone.

SQUASH BUGS

Use tobacco stems freely about hills. Spray with hot water very early
in morning.

TOMATO

For leaf-blight.—Spray with Bordeaux mixture every ten days.

TOMATO WORMS

Pick worms, gather eggs and spray with Paris green or Pyrox. Do not use
poison after the fruit is set. Fall-plough the tomato lot to rid the
soil of the chrysalids of the worm.

CAUTION

In nearly all cases of surface infestation of plants, the insects can
be destroyed with clear hot water, hot soapsuds of either whale oil
soap or ivory soap or kerosene emulsion and this should be the first
resort, using poison solutions only when the former fail to give relief.

Bordeaux mixture is so generally indicated for all diseases of foliage
and kerosene for so large a number of insects that it pays to prepare
these at home in the large quantities and have them always on hand. The
kerosene sometimes “goes back” and needs to be forced with the pump
into a fresh emulsion.

It is in the late days of fall that one begins to realize substantially
on the summer’s investment of seed, time and labor in the garden.
Previous to this one has watched the maturing of the summer vegetables
with an eye to their immediate use; now one sees before one rich
stores of food that shall tide one safely through many lean days when
the price of food goes soaring and the visible supply temporarily
disappears. If one is putting into cellar storage an abundance of
such sugar producing vegetables as beets, squashes, carrots, parsnips
and the like one need not fear any injury to the health of the family
from a lack of sugar if these are used freely, for they will convert
themselves into the needed sweet and although they may not be quite so
palatable as cake and candy will supply their place in the economy of
the physical system.

Most winter vegetables need to be kept in cold storage, not in a warm,
dry place; for this reason a furnace-heated cellar is not satisfactory,
but an adjoining room that is connected by a door that can be opened
to admit warm air in a severe spell of winter weather is desirable.
For certain roots that are not injured by a low temperature, or even
slight freezing, an earth cellar is satisfactory. A cellar of this
sort usually admits of piling vegetables on the floor or in pens on
the floor and throwing dirt over them to exclude the air and prevent
evaporation, and as the vegetables are used the surplus earth can be
thrown out on the floor and the labor of storing is much lessened, for
it is no small task to carry heavy baskets of earth into the vegetable
cellar and to remove it again in the spring. If a small room can be
arranged adjoining the cellar proper and bins divided off around the
sides and the earth allowed to remain from year to year the task of
winter storage will be slight. Beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage,
parsnips, salsify, celery, all these things belong in the earth cellar
and apples, too, may be stored in baskets, barrels or boxes here and
will not be injured by light freezing, as it is heat and dry atmosphere
that most militate against the successful keeping of winter apples.

A few other vegetables call for dry, rather warm quarters, like the
winter squash, onion, sweet and Irish potato, but good ventilation
is indispensable for all. The chief merit of the root-cellar lies in
the fact that it can be well ventilated, the windows being opened at
times when it would be untenable to open them in rooms devoted to the
storage of canned fruit and like perishable things. The windows in the
vegetable cellar should not be permanently closed until severe winter
weather, though they may be closed during storms and sharp falls of
temperature. I have found that the losses from frost were less in
direct proportion to the amount of fresh air admitted and in some mild
winters the windows have remained open the entire time, the covering of
earth being sufficient to preserve the vegetables in excellent shape
until spring. Even when such things as are usually stored in the earth
cellar are frozen stiff, they will be quite usable if thawed out in
cold water. The water will draw the ice to the surface and it should
be allowed to thaw, when the vegetables will be found entirely usable,
but any vegetable that thaws out soft is beyond redemption and should
at once be discarded. Also any vegetables found decaying in the cellar
should at once be removed and the cause also removed. Usually it will
be found that too much heat and too little fresh air are the trouble;
opening a window will rectify both troubles.

POTATOES

Being our most important winter vegetables should be stored with great
care. Practically their storage begins in the field when they are dug;
they should be dug on a bright, dry day, preferably in the morning that
the tubers should have time to dry off if at all damp, before being
picked up and carried in. It will pay to sort in the field as they are
gathered, throwing the culls—small potatoes and any that have been
injured in digging—by themselves. These will be of value for feeding
poultry, rabbits, goats and any stock on the place; they are excellent
for horses, keeping the skin and coat in fine shape. Potatoes may
lie on the ground in the sun long enough to dry off thoroughly, but
not longer; left exposed to the light they will turn green and this
discoloration is poisonous. They should be turned over once so that the
under side of the potatoes may dry equally.

[Illustration: _The advantage of having your garden near the home is
clearly shown here_]

The best equipment for storing potatoes in the cellar consists of long
bins divided into compartments that will hold from one to two bushels;
these bins should have holes bored in the bottom for ventilation and
they should be raised somewhat from the floor. Never store potatoes
directly on the floor as this is the coldest part of the cellar and
also the dampest; heat rises and cold falls so what heat there may be
in the cellar will circulate beneath the bins and if, for any reason,
it is necessary to supply artificial heat in the way of oil-stoves or
lamps during a spell of zero weather the heat can get under the
potatoes and raise the temperature in the bottom of the bins as well as
on the top.

When the potatoes are in the bins they must be covered to exclude
light and prevent their turning green. The potatoes should be examined
occasionally during winter to be sure that none are decaying or being
affected by frost. As a general thing potatoes are not frosted if the
skin crackles when the finger nail is pressed into it, but slight
touches of frost sometimes do not affect the crispness of the skin but
is shown by the potatoes becoming wet after lying for a while in a warm
room, or by a sweetish taste when cooked. At that stage they are not
injured for food but are less palatable and are liable to develop a
queer fungus blight in the center. As spring approaches the potatoes
will begin growth at the eyes-sprout, as it is called, and should be
looked over and all growth rubbed off. This will probably have to be
done more than once as the season advances.

SWEET POTATOES

Are far more difficult to carry through the winter than the Irish
potatoes. They require more warmth and a dryer atmosphere, and should
be stored in boxes of dry sand and set on some support away from the
floor. The furnace cellar, if not too warm is the best place for them
and it is well to use them freely so as to lessen the loss from decay
as much as possible.

WINTER ONIONS

Should be stored in a dry place, a little above freezing. Slight
frost does not injure onions, but repeated freezing and thawing does,
while too much heat will start them to growing. An upstairs room that
receives sufficient heat to keep it from freezing will do nicely and
it is a good plan to use the best onions first so that those which are
unfit for use towards spring will not be so much of a loss; however, as
these onions make the very best of green onions they are by no means
a total loss, but the small and inferior ones will do quite as well
for this purpose, for it is the live germ only that is important,
all the onion body is formed anew. Where there is a hanging shelf in
a cellar that is dry and warm the onions can often be wintered there
successfully.

WINTER SQUASH

Require a rather warm and dry situation; the cellar rarely affords the
right conditions for wintering them successfully. An upstairs room
or garret where a chimney passes through is often just the thing for
them as they may be piled in a heap near the chimney, with layers of
excelsior or straw between, and protected with blankets or quilts and
so pass the winter in good condition. From such a storage I have taken
perfectly sound, dry Hubbards in mid-June and March squash are by no
means a rarity.

BEETS

May be dug any time before the ground freezes up; the shorter time any
vegetable has to remain in cold storage the better for it, so if not
brought in until about Thanksgiving the delay is all to the good. If
the beets are to be stored in a root cellar covered with earth it is
not material whether they are topped or not. I have sometimes thought
that they kept rather better if the tops were allowed to remain;
certainly there is, then, no loss from bleeding, and if piled in heaps
with the tops all one way overlapping each other, but the tops free, it
is far easier to find and remove them when wanted. Slight freezing does
not injure beets if thawed out in cold water, but severe freezing does,
so that sufficient earth should be used to cover them and the earth may
be protected with blankets if necessary. If no root cellar is available
the beets should be topped and packed with earth in bins or boxes in
the vegetable cellar. If necessary to store in furnace cellar place as
far from the furnace as possible. Where no other place for storage is
available running a partition across one end or corner of the cellar
will provide a place that will keep most vegetables in good shape and
the expense will be covered by the saving in stock. The various wall
boards advertised are excellent material with which to construct these
little storage places and any handy man, or woman, for that matter, can
put up something that will answer the purpose by the aid of a hammer
and saw, a sheet or two of board and a few pieces of two-by-four to
nail to.

CABBAGE

Are best stored in the root cellar, they may be pulled and stood up in
the corner of the cellar and the roots buried in somewhat damp earth
or they may be cut, the roughest leaves trimmed and the heads buried
in earth, setting them upside down so that the earth will not work
inside the leaves; handled in this way they should come out sound and
good in spring. Wrapping in newspapers, where the supply is limited
is sometimes successful, the main thing being to protect from the air
and too great cold and to prevent the spread of decay which may attack
individual heads.

CAULIFLOWER

May be pulled at the approach of severe weather, the lower leaves
removed and the plants put root down, buried in soil, in boxes or pens
in the root cellar and will be available for some time, but do not keep
through the winter like cabbage.

CELERY

Should be dug, with the roots intact and placed roots down in boxes
of wet soil or sand in the dark cellar, packing the plants close
together to exclude air. If the cellar is necessarily light, the plants
should be shaded or a corner of the cellar may be enclosed to afford
protection from light. A movable partition made from wall board is a
very handy thing to have in the root cellar as it makes possible the
providing of special conditions as needed.

PARSNIPS

Although parsnips are better for remaining in the ground until spring a
supply for winter use should be dug in the fall, topped and buried in
boxes of sand or earth in the cellar. This may be done in either the
root or the kitchen cellar, as freezing does not injure the parsnip
providing they thaw out in the ground or in water.

SALSIFY

Requires the same treatment as parsnips—leaving the main crop in the
ground until spring but bringing in a supply for winter use. The main
thing in the storing of all root vegetables is to prevent wilting
more than freezing. Vegetables stored under any conditions, without
the protective covering of earth to exclude air, soon become soft and
wilted and unfit for food.

TURNIPS

Are especially sensitive to a dry atmosphere and must always be buried
in sand or earth if they are to retain their crispness and flavor. They
should not be dug until a touch of frost has sweetened them, then they
should be topped, reserving the tops for the pig or rabbits and the
roots stored as directed.

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