« PreviousContinue »
6. BEANS. The Bean is a hardy annual, rising from two to four feet high, having a thick angular stalk, alternate pinnated leaves, and highly fragrant blossoms : the following sorts are those principally cultivated in our gardens :
1. Dwarf Fan.
The Early Lisbon and Mazagan are the sorts generally used for early crops : they are sown in October, November, January, and February.
The Long-pod is the most abundant bearer, and consequently more generally found in the cottager's garden than any other sort.
The Sandwich, Toker, and Windsor, are those generally employed for the summer crops.
The green varieties are much valued by some, for their fine green colour when served up at table ; but they require to be gathered when very young, or they lose their fine colour, and their skins become thick and tough.
The White-blossomed is generally sown in the months of May and June for the later crops ; and if gathered when young, is an excellent well-flavoured sort.
I have not enumerated in the list what is to be found in all the seedsmen's lists, the Mumford Bean; this being only a small-sized Windsor, separated from that sort by the sieve.
The Beet is a biennial plant, a native of the south of Europe, with large, oblong, succulent leaves. The root
is usually from a foot to eighteen inches in length, and from two to four inches in diameter.
The French consider the Beet under two heads : the first they call BETTERAVE, or Beta vulgaris, consisting of those whose edible parts are the roots. The second they call Poirée, or Beta Cicla, consisting of those whose edible parts are the leaves.
Class 1. BETTERAVE. 1. Large-rooted Red Beet. 8. Small Yellow Beet. Betterave Rouge grosse.
Betterave Jaune de Castel2. Long-rooted Red Beet.
naudari. 3. Dwarf Red Beet.
9. Betterave Champêtre. 4. Turnip-rooted Red Beet. Racine de Disette. Betterave Rouge ronde pré. Racine d'Abondance. coce.
Betterave sur terre. 5. Petite Betterave Rouge.
Hors-de-terre. 6. Betterave Rouge de Castel. . Mangold Wurzel. naudari.
Mangel Wurzel. 7. Large Yellow Beet.
10. Betterave grosse Blanche Betterave Jaune grosse. *
de Prusse. Betterave Jaune à sucre.
La Disette Blanche.
Class 2. POIRE'ES. 11. Green Beet.
14. Poirée à carde jaune. 12. White Beet.
15. Poirée à carde rouge. 13. Poirée à carde blanche. 16. Poirée grosse Blanche.
The French possess all the above sorts, and cultivate them for one purpose or another ; but in this country Nos. 1. 2. and 4. are those only which are grown for their roots, and 11. 12. and 13. for their leaves.
All the varieties may be sown in the month of April; and as soon as the plants are three or four inches high, they should be thinned out, leaving them a foot apart.
* It was from the Betterave jaune grosse, that the French, during the late wars, principally manufactured their sugar. Hort. Trans. Vol. iii. p. 279.
In the autumn, before the frost sets in, the roots should be taken up on a dry day, their tops cut off without injuring the crown, and laid up in sand in a corner of the garden-shed, or other dry building, where they may be preserved from the frost. Such roots as are not wanted for use may be planted out in April for seed; but, in order to preserve the stock pure, care should be taken to select those roots only which are of the most perfect kind.
8. BORAGE, Borago officinalis is an annual plant, a native of England. It was formerly in great repute as a cordial. According to Withering, the young leaves may be used as a salad or a pot-herb; and the flowers form an ingredient in cool tankards.
The seeds require to be sown in March, in a light dry spot, and likewise a little in April and May, for a succession. Wherever it ripens and sheds its seeds, it will rise again abundantly: having a tap root, it does not bear transplanting, except with great care, and when the plants are very young.
9. BORECOLE AND SPROUTS. The Borecole contains several sub-varieties. They are, excepting the Neapolitan variety, peculiarly hardy; they resist frosts, and retain their green appearance throughout the winter : hence their value as winter greens. The following, together with what are termed sprouts, are the principal sorts at present cultivated in this country. 1. *Colebrook Dale Borecole. 4. Neapolitan Borecole. 2. *German Borecole.
Cavolo torsolo ricciuto.
Chou de Naples frisé nain.' 3. *Green Borecole.
5. *Purple Borecole. M M
Brown Kale. 6. Variegated Borecole. 7. *Brussels Sprouts. 8. *Chou de Milan. 9. Couve Tronchuda. 10. Dwarf Couve Tronchuda.
Portugal Kale. 11. *Egyptian Kale.
Chou à milles tétes.
Those marked by an asterisk (*) will be mentioned again under the head of WINTER GREENS.
The Brussels Sprouts produce tall stems three or four feet high, with a head somewhat like a Savoy : from the axils or base of the leaves arise small green heads like little cabbages, about one or two inches in diameter; these are peculiarly rich and sweet.
No. 4. is too tender to bear the winter in this coun. try; but if sown in March, it continues fit for use during the autumn.
No. 9. was introduced into England in 1821, and No. 10, in 1822. As both these are too tender to stand the winters here, seeds should be sown in August, and the plants kept in a frame till the spring, and planted out at the same time as Cauliflowers, for an early summer crop; and the succession must be kept up by spring and summer sowings. The ribs of the outer and large leaves, when divested of their green parts, and well boiled, make a good dish, somewhat resembling Sea Kale. The heart or middle part of the plant is however, the best for use; it is peculiarly delicate, tender, and agreeably flavoured, without any of the coarseness which often belongs to the cabbage tribe. The dwarf sort is much the earliest ; and when the lower leaves are taken off for use, it throws out numerous sprouts from the lower part of the stem, which is not the case with the other sort.
The few varieties of Broccoli that were known in Miller's time, are supposed to have proceeded from the Cauliflower, which was originally imported from the island of Cyprus, about the middle of the sixteenth century.
Miller mentions the white and purple as coming from Italy; and it is conjectured that from these two sorts all the subsequent kinds have arisen. The following are those principally cultivated in our gardens at present. 1. Purple Cape.
9. Cream-coloured. 2. Green Cape.
Portsmouth Broccoli. 3. Grange's Early Cauliflower. 10. Sulphur-coloured. 4. Green's Close-headed Win- 11. Spring White. . ter.
Cauliflower Broccoli. 5. Early Purple.
12. Late Dwarf Close headed 6. Early White.
Purple. 7. Dwarf BrownClose-headed. 13. Latest Green. 8. Tall Large-headed Purple. Danish Broccoli.
Siberian Broccoli. Nos. 1. and 2., if sown in May and June, will produce heads in regular succession from August to December; sown in July and August, if the weather is mild, will produce heads in April and May.
No. 3. sown at three different times, between the beginning of May to the end of June, will produce heads in succession from Michaelmas to Christmas.
Ņo. 4. continues to bear through the winter, if the weather is mild. Sow the end of May, and the produce in November, December, January, and February.
No. 5. Sow in April, and the produce will be from November till February. Sow in June, and the produce will be sprouts in March and April.
No. 6. To obtain early heads, sow in February or the beginning of March ; and the produce will be from November till Christmas. This sort is frequently cut