in War by E. J. KING, M.A.,F.R.H.S.
SOME of us with extra-special crops of one sort or another must be wondering if we can't save some seed of our own. In any
case, it is often advisable to insure against shortage next year by doing what we can now. Some seeds are ready tor harvesting, and as details arb usually close trade secrets a few hints will not come amiss.
Some seeds (like those of apples) will hardly ever give seedlings like the parent plant because of cross-pollination. Tomatoes, however, and most of the pod plants can be relied on to come quite true in most cases. An extra-line runner bean plant can have a few choice pods left to ripen their seeds. If these arc taken out when the pod naturally turns yellow and dried off for a day or two before storing away in a paper bag in a place not too dry but certainly not damp, you can expect to have a good crop like the parent next year. Tomato seeds should be saved only flora the finest fruit of the finest truss of the finest plant; the seeds are washed from the pulp of this fruit when absolutely sipe, dried, and then stored away out of the light. Tomato seeds, like seine others, rapidly lose their powers
of germination if exposed to light. Some other seeds will not germinate unless they are exposed to light.
Leek and onion seeds are now black in the seed pods. The pads themselves are still green, but when you sec the seeds black inside them you may cut off the whole head of seeds with a piece of the stalk and place it on a paper in a sunny window until the whole head of seeds dries off. Stole camfully the seeds when you can separate them front the dried pods of the head. Of course, seeds ate only obtainable in the case of leeks, onions, beet, carrots, etc., from plants sown last year and saved through the whiter. If you have a quite marvellous carrot this year, for example, you can preserve it through the winter for flowering and seeding next year. But what with the perils of cross-pollination ang all the other trouble, it is not normally worth the amateur's efforts.
SAVE THESE CAREFULLY Should frost come, your remaining tomato hulls can be easily ripened off indoors in a fairly warm place. Light is not necessary. Pods of beans which have' got too big for immediate use can be left so that the seeds in them can fatten up for use as haricots. The seeds of the pea and bean family are rich in the proteins lean beef used to supply us with. They arc easily stored in a dry place after a preliminary drying off. Take good care of this valuable food.
Incidentally, the roots of runner beans, which are somewhat poisonous, can be saycd in boxes of light soil in a warm frame or greenhouse after the top-growth has been cut down by frost. Such roots saved over winter give a very early crop if planted out next May.
American cress, chives and parsley are valuable foods easily kept available during wittier, but usually neglected. You lift a few roots carefully and put them about six inches apart in a frame. Thus growth is continued for use in salads and soups.
The rooss of scorzonera and salsify can now be lifted and stored in sand for use as a root vegetable or for later forcing to provide salads.
A VERSATILE FAMILY Brussels sprouts are now buttoning-up, and the growth of these young shoots will be accelerated if some of the leaves from the lower part of the sterns are removed. Goodness will thus be diverted into the buds (i.e., sprouts) at the base of the leaves; besides, air is admitted. Swedes, another member of the family, should have the yellow leaves often cluttering up their patch removed. These shelter disease and pests. If any swede or turnip plants have maggots beginning to eat down the neck of the plant, be quick to remove them. Look particularly to the young plants from August and September sowings. You can still sow turnips for the supply of spring roots and " tops," especially in the South. Young turnip plants can often be transplanted in moist weather at this season. though they often fail where transplanting is attempted in hot weather.
The funny vegetable known as kohl rabi is ready now even from July sowings. Eat the root when about the size of a cricket ball. This'strange cabbage-cum-turnip has done very well this year, when drought has played havoc with turnips and swedes.
A second main planting of spring cabbage plants can be put out now about eighteen inches apart each way. Ram the soil firmly about them, and don't give them too rich a soil. They will not make much growth till spring, but will romp ahead then. Cauliflowers. on the other hand, from August sowings should now he brought into the cold frame for protection until planting time
comes in April.