Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kalendarium Hortense - February

The Kalendarium Hortense was published by John Evelyn in 1683. It contains instructions for what a gardener should do throughout the year. The excerpt below is the list of what is to be done in the "Orchard and Olitory1 Garden" for the month of February.

Prune Fruit-Trees, and Vines as yet; for now is your Season to bind, plash, nail, and dress, without danger of Frost: This to be understood of the most tender and delicate Wall-fruit, 2 not finish'd before; do this before the Buds and Bearers grow turgid; and yet in the Nectarine and like delicate Mural Fruit, the latter your Pruning, the better, whatever has been, and still is, the contrary custom. Remove Graffs of former years Graffing. Cut, and lay Quick-sets; and trim up your Palisade Hedges, and Espaliers. Plant Vine as yet, other Shrubs, Hops, &c.

Set all sorts of Kernels and stony-Seeds. Also sow Beans, Pease, Rounsevals, 3 Corn-sallet, Marigold, Anny-seeds, Radish, Parsneps, Carrots, Onions, Garlick, &c. And plant Potatoes in your worst ground.

Now is your Season for Circumposition by Tubs or Baskets of Earth, and for laying of Branches to take root. You may plant forth your Cabbage-plants.

Rub Moss off your Trees after soaking Rain, and scrape, and cleanse them of Cankers, &c. draining away the wet (if need require) from the too much moistned Roots, and earth up those Roots of your Fruit-Trees, if any were uncovered. Cut off the Webs of Caterpillars, &c. from the tops of Twigs and Trees to burn. Gather Worms in the Evenings after Rain.

Kitchen Garden Herbs may now be planted, as Parsly, Spinage, and other hardy Pot Herbs. Towards the midde, or latter end of this Month, till the Sap rises briskly, graff in the Cleft, and so continue till the last of March; they will hold, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, &c. the New Moon, and the Old Wood is best. Now also plant out your Caullyflowers to have early; and begin to make your Hot-bed for the first Melons and Cucumbers to be sow'd in the Full; but trust not altogether to them. Sow Asparagas, Lastly,

Half open your passages for the Bees, or a little before (if weather invite;) but to continue to seed weak Stock, &c.

1 - Olitory: of or pertaining to, or produced in, a kitchen garden.

2 - Wall / Mural fruit: trees trained against a wall.

3 - Rouncival: a large, very late season pea that would be considered a soup pea today rather than a green pea.

No comments: