in War by E. I. KING, M.A., F.R.H.S.
L'NDIVES and ordinary summer lets:
tuccs that are well advanced and showing good hearts may succumb to sharp frost at this season—not because they are constitutionally tender,
but because they have probably been making a lot or sappy growth during the milder autumn days when there has been a lot of moisture hanging in the air. You need not have fears for young endive and winter lettuces simply hecause the somewhat overluxuriant gicissth of summer-grown plants is not able to stand up to severe weather. I have frequently seen summer cabbages go off in autumn when just hearting up, and the failure was due to the very same reason. Yet no one would hesitate to let young cabbages stand out all winter for spring growing. Young plants are often much hardier than older ones, as we can easily se,• in the case of beets and carrots.
Still. we should do something about pro
tecting older plants. A large plant pot is very useful over fully-grown endives. It not only protects them from frost; it serves to blanch the crisp young centre leaves and mitigate the somewhat acid flavour of this delicious salad plant, which is deservedly popular on the continent. It can be sown and grown practically all yea! round, especially if you have a frame. A fortnight
is sufficient for blanching a fully established and mature plant.
PROTECTION FROM FROST One of the difficulties of gardening in these islands is not that we have frosts (for most of our plants will stand much more severe trcczings than we ever get), but that our frosts come suddenly, and sandwiched
in between warmer spells. Often there is frost in the morning of a very warm day. This causes twisting of the tissues when there is too rapid a thaw. A lot of good is done to late cauliflowers and the Christmas-heading broccolis if you snap one ol the leaves over the colds to provide shelter. In many places they press down the whole plant so that it laces north (i.e., away from the rays of the morning sun). And, of course, young cauliflowers for April planting out should be protected in the frame. By the way, the leaves of cauliflowers are rich in food. Don't waste them.
Quite a jerry-built frame will accommodate a number of young lettuces and endives, and bring them to perfection earlier than their brethren outside. Ventilation should be afforded on milder days; there is no point in attempting to force and therefore weaken growth.
Parsnips and celeriac should be left in the ground until required. In fact, the former should not be eaten until after frost, when their flavour is improved. Celeriac can be given slight protection from frost, if required, by means of a few leaves or some straw. Normally, there is little fear of damage. Some gardeners draw' a little earth up to the plants for this purpose, though celeriac doesn't need earthing up like celery.
Get your earthed up before frosty weather o ther ets in.