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not that they could not find more interesting, healthful amusement than by getting close to nature in the home gardens. A knowledge of the soil and what it produces gained from actual practice is highly beneficial to the child and should be earnestly encouraged. Our Board of Education might supplement the salaries of the teachers conducting nature studies, these positions would then be sought for instead of as now being considered an added burden to their duties.
To be efficient, the work should be part of the school curriculum as the other studies are. The school inspectors make regular visits to all the schools. When they are calling at those entered in the Home Garden competition they could help the cause by asking "what children had gardens?" or "why not?" "do you keep the weeds pulled and the surface loose?" Notice the instruction and encourage the teacher and ask each to have a good report next time he came. Or the Board might appoint an officer, Curator of School Gardens, as there is in Cleveland, whose duties are to superintend school gardens, improve school grounds, attend to their flower shows, give illustrated lectures on gardening, etc.
We would suggest to give a year's subscription for the Garden Magazine to each of the seven schools and also to Bolton Ave. School. This paper devotes each month two whole pages to school garden subjects, which may be a recurring stimulus to the pupils who hear it read to wish to do better work another year.
CHESTER B. HAMILTON.
COMMON TULIP DISEASES.
H. T. Gussow, C. E. F., OTTAWA.
Very little attention has been paid in this country to the study of tulip diseases with which, no doubt, all growers are familiar. This negligence is, probably, due to erroneous theories which are held responsible for two very common fungous diseases. Frost, too deep planting, unsuitable conditions of soil and drainage, and immature bulbs are some of the suggestions generally advanced when tulips fail to appear above ground. A disappointment of this kind is by no means rare and will be at the present time still fresh in the minds of some amateur gardeners, who have had this experience during the last tulip season.
FAILURE OF TULIPS: The first disease with which it is intended to deal is caused by a parasitic fungus known as Sclerotium Tuliparum, Klebahn. Its general course is as follows: The tulip bulbs are planted, either outside or in pots for early winter flowering, when it will soon become noticeable that a more or less large number of them fail to produce plants; in some cases a small bud may appear but it will look sickly and will decay before being an inch in length. We have known of cases where not a single flower was raised from apparently sound tubers. When taking up some of the bulbs which failed to sprout, one may readily observe that they are decayed in their interior and covered with a blue mould. This blue mould (Penicillium glaucum) is well known as a saprophyte, i. e., a fungus living on dead or decaying vegetable matter only, and no other fungus being visible to the untrained observer, the trouble is frequently explained by the factors referred to above. Some observers hold the myriads of small wriggling eelworms (Tylenchus sp.) present in the decaying bulbs as responsible for the
failure. These polyphageous creatures are, however, secondary, just like the blue mould. The real cause is the parasitic fungus referred to above by name. This fungus produces dense masses of "spawn" or mycelium which permeate the tissues of the bulb very rapidly. In some instances the fungus does not succeed in reaching the growing point of the tuber, when a feeble plant will appear which, however, is sure to die by rotting away at its base. The fungus spawn spreads in the soil and reaches the tubers of neighbouring plants, which, owing to their being sound are able to resist the attack, but here is where the fungus provides for its perpetuation; it penetrates the outer loose scales and deposits between them a number of resting bodies known as sclerotia. These bodies are compact, hardened masses of mycelium, greatly resistant to frost, drought, etc. They may vary from the size of a pin head to that of a common lentil. In the early stages soft and white, they later become brown and horny. The same sclerotia may appear in large numbers from fifty to one hundred or more in a single decaying bulb. The fungus has produced all its sclerotia by the time the contents of the plant tissues have been used up for its food. Then the sclerotial bodies are liberated and remain dormant in the soil where they are hardly ever discovered, because of their close resemblance to small pieces of soil. We have here studied briefly one phase of this troublesome parasite and have become acquainted wth its two modes of propagation. The first is by means of sclerotia deposited within the protective scales of the tubers themselves and the other by the sclerotia present in the soil. Here it is obvious that the disease is liable to reappear if bulbs containing sclerotia are being planted or if sound tubers are planted in soil containing a large number of sclerotia.
Tulip growers are no doubt familiar with the fact that on planting bulbs, either for pot work or outside some tubers are very light in weight and that they will break open on slight pressure. They will be found hollow and covered with blue mould inside. These are bulbs which were more severely attacked during the last growing season and which have deteriorated while in storage. Their presence is a reliable indication of the probable presence of sclerotial bodies in other bulbs of the same source. Every bulb used for planting should be crisp and firm to touch, none that are soft or that show any signs of decay or discolouration should be planted. Great caution is necessary when using bulbs taken from beds where at number proved failures because they are very liable to harbour the sclerotia. Even although they may appear quite sound a very simple treatment will increase their power of resisting any damage due to this fungus. They should be dipped into a ten per cent. solution of glycerine in water and while still wet be rolled in flour of sulphur. This will check the progress of any mycelium. As regards the protection of tubers from sclerotia present in the soil this treatment has less effect. The soil of tulip beds which has produced "misses" should be carefully dug out about a foot deep and be replaced by new soil. This should be done very carefully as to prevent any sclerotia from remaining in the soil. Where this is impracticable we have rarely enough good soil to spare with which to replace our garden. beds the following treatment should be resorted to: Immediately after the beds have been cleared of summer flowering plants, they should be dug and be well watered (almost drenched) with a solution of one-half pound of formalin to three gallons of water, when tulips may again be planted after they have been subjected to the bulb treatment also. With a little care and common sense this disease is easily averted.
TULIP LEAF MOULD: The second disease is due to the fungus Botrytis parasitica,
Cavara. The appearance of this malady is as follows: The tulips grow normally until the flower becomes visible when the first leaf will develop a yellowish or brownish streak on the edges of which may be noticed at one time a very delicate velvety growth of a grayish colour. The fungus which composes the mouldy growth produces a large number of spores which it rapidly perpetuates; the spores falling upon other leaves quickly (within six hours or less) germinate and the result is the identical brownish patches. They are also readily blown off their delicate supports by light currents of air and are thus disseminated for long distances. When the fungus is allowed to develop without check it also produces similar sclerotial bodies on the leaves, stem or the crown of the bulb. These sclerotia when ripe remain fairly embedded in the plant substance and may not, infrequently, be discovered externally on the brown covering scales of the tulip bulbs. The sclerotia on decomposition of leaves and the flowering parts of the tulip mix with the soil and give rise to new infections of the subsequent crop. We find here a very analogous case to the first disease with the exception that this disease is at one stage visible above ground on account of the attacked leaves. To control this disease it is advisable to remove, immediately on noticing, any decaying or discoloured patches on the leaves, flower, or flower stalk, and destroy them by burning them. Never under any circumstances should the refuse of a tulip bed be dug into the ground. The reason for this is apparent from what has been said about the propagation of this fungus. A sharp lookout for sclerotial bodies covering the outer scales, generally towards the end of the bulb, should be kept; the bodies may be scraped off and the bulbs treated with glycerine and sulphur as described for the former disease. Infested soil should be removed, but timely attention given to the first signs of disease will prevent the development of the resting bodies and thus render the removal of soil unnecessary. The disease is especially common during wet seasons.
Hyacinths, Crocus, Narcissi, and Lilies are liable to similar disease and care should be taken not to plant any of these tubers on affected land.
These two diseases described are the most common fungous diseases of the tulip and those that in nearly every case are responsible for failure. Occasionally there may be observed Tulip Smut, (Ustilago Heuneri) and Tulip Rust (Puccinia Tulipae) but they are of little consequence. These are prevented from doing any damage by removing and burning the affected leaves.
In conclusion, it may be said that it is bad policy to buy cheap bulbs of any kind, especially at auction sales, where nobody knows where they originated. Good bulbs will give satisfactory results and the enjoyment of a mass of fine bloom should amply compensate for the trifle more of initial expense, while the saving of a few cents will often be the source of disappointment to the bargain hunter.
THE A B C OF GROWING WINDOW PLANTS.
E. LANE, GALT.
In growing plants in pots one of the first essential things to observe is at what stage of growth your plant is. The growth of a plant may be divided into four divisions, namely, resting, starting into growth, full growth, and going to rest, and each division needs a little different treatment of your subject.
For instance, it would be of no use trying to stimulate a plant with food and drink when it is in its resting stage, but you may prolong its growth a little by