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Finocchio
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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Poppy
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Asparagus
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House Leek (crassulaceoe)



As Parsley Is Grown For Its Leaves It Can Scarcely Be Over Fertilized








Like cabbage, but, of course, upon a smaller scale, it is a gross
feeder. It demands that plenty of nitrogenous food be in the soil. That
is, the soil should be well supplied with humus, preferably derived from
decaying leguminous crops or from stable manure. A favorite commercial
fertilizer for parsley consists of 3 per cent nitrogen, 8 per cent
potash and 9 per cent phosphoric acid applied in the drills at
the rate of 600 to 900 pounds to the acre in two or three
applications--especially the nitrogen, to supply which nitrate of soda
is the most popular material.

A common practice among market gardeners in the neighborhood of New York
has been to sow the seed in their cold frames between rows of lettuce
transplanted during March or early April. The lettuce is cut in May, by
which time the parsley is getting up. When grown by this plan the crop
may be secured four or five weeks earlier than if the seed is sown in
the open ground. The first cutting may be made during June. After this
first cutting has been made the market usually becomes overstocked and
the price falls, so many growers do not cut again until early September
when they cut and destroy the leaves preparatory to securing an autumn
and winter supply.

When the weather becomes cool and when the plants have developed a new
and sturdy rosette of leaves, they are transplanted in shallow trenches
either in cold frames, in cool greenhouses (lettuce and violet houses),
under the benches of greenhouses, or, in fact, any convenient place that
is not likely to prove satisfactory for growing plants that require more
heat and light.

This method, it must be said, is not now as popular near the large
cities as before the development of the great trucking fields in the
Atlantic coast states; but it is a thoroughly practical plan and well
worth practicing in the neighborhood of smaller cities and towns not
adequately supplied with this garnishing and flavoring herb.

A fair return from a cold frame to which the plants have been
transplanted ranges from $3 to $7 during the winter months. Since many
sashes are stored during this season, such a possible return deserves to
be considered. The total annual yield from an acre by this method may
vary from $500 to $800 or even more--gross. By the ordinary field
method from $150 to $300 is the usual range. Instead of throwing away
the leaves cut in September, it should be profitable to dry these leaves
and sell them in tins or jars for flavoring.

When it is desired to supply the demand for American seed, which is
preferred to European, the plants may be managed in any of the ways
already mentioned, either allowed to remain in the field or transplanted
to cold frames, or greenhouses. If left in the field, they should be
partially buried with litter or coarse manure. As the ground will not be
occupied more than a third of the second season, a crop of early beets,
forcing carrots, radishes, lettuce or some other quick-maturing crop may
be sown between the rows of parsley plants. Such crops will mature by
the time the parsley seed is harvested in late May or early June, and
the ground can then be plowed and fitted for some late crop such as
early maturing but late-sown sweet corn, celery, dwarf peas, late beets
or string beans.

When seed is desired, every imperfect or undesirable plant should be
rooted out and destroyed, so that none but the best can fertilize each
other. In early spring the litter must be either removed from the plants
and the ground between the rows given a cultivation to loosen the
surface, or it may be raked between the rows and allowed to remain until
after seed harvest. In this latter case, of course, no other crop can be
grown.

Like celery seed, parsley seed ripens very irregularly, some umbels
being ready to cut from one to three weeks earlier than others. This
quality of the plant may be bred out by keeping the earliest maturing
seed separate from the later maturing and choosing this for producing
subsequent seed crops. By such selection one to three weeks may be saved
in later seasons, a saving of time not to be ignored in gardening
operations.

In ordinary seed production the heads are cut when the bulk of the seed
is brown or at least dark colored. The stalks are cut carefully, to
avoid shattering the seed off. They are laid upon sheets of duck or
canvas and threshed very lightly, at once, to remove only the ripest
seed. Then the stalks are spread thinly on shutters or sheets in the sun
for two days and threshed again. At that time all seed ripe enough to
germinate will fall off. Both lots of seed must be spread thinly on the
sheets in an airy shed or loft and turned daily for 10 days or two weeks
to make sure they are thoroughly dry before being screened in a fanning
mill and stored in sacks hung in a loft.

Varieties.--There are four well-defined groups of parsley varieties;
common or plain, curled or moss-leaved, fern-leaved, and Hamburg. The
last is also known as turnip-rooted or large-rooted. The objections to
plain parsley are that it is not as ornamental as moss-leaved or
fern-leaved sorts, and because it may be mistaken for fools parsley, a
plant reputed to be more or less poisonous.

In the curled varieties the leaves are more or less deeply cut and the
segments reflexed to a greater or less extent, sometimes even to the
extent of showing the lighter green undersides. In this group are
several subvarieties, distinguished by minor differences, such as extent
of reflexing and size of the plants.

In the fern-leaved group the very dark green leaves are not curled but
divided into numerous threadlike segments which give the plant a very
delicate and dainty appearance.

Hamburg, turnip-rooted or large-rooted parsley, is little grown in
America. It is not used as a garnish or an herb, but the root is cooked
as a vegetable like carrots or beets. These roots resemble those of
parsnips. They are often 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Their
cultivation is like that of parsnips. They are cooked and served like
carrots. In flavor, they resemble celeriac or turnip-rooted celery, but
are not so pleasing. In Germany the plant is rather popular, but, except
by our German gardeners, it has been little cultivated in this country.

Uses.--The Germans use both roots and tops for cooking; the former as
a boiled vegetable, the latter as a potherb. In English cookery the
leaves are more extensively used for seasoning fricassees and dressings
for mild meats, such as chicken and veal, than perhaps anything else. In
American cookery parsley is also popular for this purpose, but is most
extensively used as a garnish. In many countries the green leaves are
mixed with salads to add flavor. Often, especially among the Germans,
the minced green leaves are mixed with other vegetables just before
being served. For instance, if a liberal dusting of finely minced
parsley be added to peeled, boiled potatoes, immediately after draining,
this vegetable will seem like a new dish of unusual delicacy. The
potatoes may be either served whole or mashed with a little butter, milk
and pepper.

TTITLE Pennyroyal

(Mentha Pulegium, Linn.), a perennial herb of the natural
order Labiatae, native of Europe and parts of Asia, found wild and
naturalized throughout the civilized world in strong, moist soil on the
borders of ponds and streams. Its square, prostrate stems, which readily
take root at the nodes, bear roundish-oval, grayish-green, slightly
hairy leaves and small lilac-blue flowers in whorled clusters of ten or
a dozen, rising in tiers, one above another, at the nodes. The seed is
light brown, oval and very small. Like most of its near relatives,
pennyroyal is highly aromatic, perhaps even more so than any other mint.
The flavor is more pungent and acrid and less agreeable than that of
spearmint or peppermint.

Ordinarily the plant is propagated by division like mint, or more rarely
by cuttings. Cultivation is the same as that of mint. Plantations
generally last for four or five years, and even longer, when well
managed and on favorable soil. In England it is more extensively
cultivated than in America for drying and for its oil, of which latter a
yield of 12 pounds to the acre is considered good. The leaves, green or
dried, are used abroad to flavor puddings and other culinary
preparations, but the taste and odor are usually not pleasant to





Next: American And English Palates And Noses

Previous: For Window Culture All That Is Needed Is A Box Filled With Rich Soil



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