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Fertilisers, Poo, Worm Castings and Manures

One of the best fertilisers of the soil is made by saturating charred wood with urine. This may be drilled in with seeds in a dry state. For old gardens liquid manure is preferable to stable manure, and if lime or chalk be added it will keep in good heart for years without becoming too rich. A good manure is made by mixing 64 bushels of lime with 2 cwts. of salt. This is sufficient for one acre. It should be forked in directly it is put upon the ground.

Superphosphate of lime mixed with a small amount of nitrate of soda and forked into the ground is also a fine manure, but is more expensive than that made from lime and salt. Charred cow-dung is ready for immediate use. For established fruit-trees use, in showery weather, equal quantities of muriate of potash and nitrate of soda, scattering 1 oz. to the square yard round the roots. Peruvian guano, in the proportion of 1 oz. to each gallon of water, is a very powerful and rapid fertiliser. In whatever form manure is given, whether in a dry or liquid form, care must be taken not to administer it in excessive quantities, for too strong a stimulant is as injurious as none at all.

In ordinary cases loam with a fourth part leaf-mould is strong enough for potting purposes; and no liquid except plain water should be given until the plants have been established some time. For roses, rhubarb, and plants that have occupied the same ground for a considerable time, mix 1 lb. of superphosphate of lime with ˝ lb. of guano and 20 gallons of water, and pour 2 or 3 gallons round each root every third day while the plants are in vigorous growth. Herbaceous plants are better without manure. Liquid manure should be of the same colour as light ale.