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is for the blossom and the fruit; and the hot house or conservatory for the perfect or perfecting plant, and may be made pleasing to the eye, as well as useful. The propagating house is the cradle, the swathing clothes of the plant, and care should be had rather for the comfort of the germ plant than for its future growth.
The late winter and early spring months are the ones for the active use of the propagating house, while still at the north, snow, ice and cold cover the landscape, though the sunlight is preparing to banish them and bring in the genial warmth of summer; and this is a reason why, in colder climes, it should be defended from the cold as far as possible. The heat of the house is artificial, mainly; and for the grape, the coldness of the air below that of the earth in which the buds are propagated, is one very favorable feature of the season of the year, when the rootlets are being forced out to seek, in due time, their own sustenance from the soil in which they are placed. Thus the very reasons that forbid the grapery and other similar structures from being protected by depth in the ground, require the propagating of the grape to be in pits or houses, excavated to a greater or less extent.
As to approximate position, sizes, and for one of the approved shapes, the sectional figure 1 is presented, where (a) is a dotted line (see fig. 1), representing the natural surface of the ground, where the house stands. The space indicated by the lines (b, b) is excavated, sloping towards the middle of the house, and (c) is a walk dug out in the middle, three or four feet wide, and walled up on the sides as represented; and (d d) are the propagating stands or tables, supported by the columns under them. This table is filled with sand, saw dust, the refuse of a flax mill, which is an admirable article, tan bark, or other material for equalizing the heat furnished, as in the figure, by the steam pipes (g, g, &c.), beneath the table. Thus the plants in the boxes or pots are supplied with what is called "bottom heat," or powerfully forcing heat from below, and (e, e) are the rafters at the top or roof of the house. Lest we burden the drawing too much, we leave fig. 1 in the crude state it is, merely requesting notice to how much of it is protected by being placed beneath the ground, and that the mounds (f. f) which are built on the outside, still further aid in the exclusion of the cold; so that merely the roof of glass is above the earth in sight. As to sizes, the depth of the walk should be such as to bring the top of the tables two and
a. half or three feet above the bottom of the walk. The ridge of the roof should not exceed eight feet above the bottom of the walk; and twelve or fourteen feet is width enough for the house, while the length is governed by the wishes of the owner, or the number of plants he desires to propagate in a single season, though fifty or seventy-five feet is, perhaps, a convenient limit; and if more space is required, the number of houses should give it, rather than too cumbersome length in one house. A more convenient arrangement of the space beneath the propagating tables or stands is seen at fig. 2, where the whole plot is excavated, and the walls (a, a) are built at the sides, and the spaces (6, b) are made the convenient receptacle of pots, potting materials, coal, sand, manure, cuttings, as well as plants, when temporarily removed from the tables for any reason. This [Ag. Trans.]
longitudinal section will be as represented in fig. 3 (see fig. 3), in which (a) is the propagating table, and (b) the space or bin under the table for small pots; (c) the bin for large pots, also piled on their sides; and (d) a coal bin, with an aperture to put the coal in and take it out; and (e) a sand bin, closed in part by two boards at the bottom; and (f) a rich earth or mould bin, and so on to the rest of the storage of the useful materials required for the house.
The ground plot of the propagating house we are describing is seen at fig. 4, in which (a, b, c) is the propagating table continued on three sides of the house; and (d) is the plank walk, where the operator stands and does the work of the house; and (e) is the pit for the stove or heater to stand in, deeper than the walk; and (f) the steps leading down to the door (9). Saying nothing yet as to the method of heating the table, or how to propagate on it, we call attention to the capacity of the table or propagating platform. The house is represented as having one side wholly occupied by the table (a). If the house is fifty feet long, and the table four feet wide, this gives two hundred square feet of propagating surface on that side; and the end (b) being represented as twelve feet wide, the angles having been included in the above estimate of feet, adds sixteen more feet to the propagating surface; and the remaining side (c) has one hundred and eighty-four more feet, making in all four hundred square feet of propagating surface,-a very compact, roomy house, considering its size.
Another plan of a house is the still more compact one, exhibited in ground plot at fig. 5, where (a, b, c. d,) is the continuous table on the sides of the house, and (see fig. 5,) the walk also continuous on all sides, and (f) is a central table, on which the pots are filled, and other work of the house conveniently done. Of course beneath the central table, as well as the continuous table are bins or spaces as in fig. 3, for coal, wood, charcoal, various soils and manures, pots, boxes, cuttings, roots, plants, and other requirements of such a house. And a flight of stairs leads down into the house, with other essentials, and conveniences. Now if the house is twenty-five feet square, and the propagating tables five feet wide, the con tinuous length of table is seventy-two feet; and this gives three hundred and sixty square feet of propagating surface. A space (i) is left for the stove or heater, and it may be in a pit deeper than the walk if necessary. The lower figure in plate 3 is a view of the glass roof, over the ground plot fig. 5, and by supposing it long enough and suitably wide, will cover the ground plot, fig. 4, as seen in the upper figure. The door end of the roof being at the left hand, and the opposite end a hip-roof shaped piece of glass work; and this end should be towards the south, as the most advantageous for the light and heat of the sun; while the north end is a thick or packed wall, to exclude the cold of northerly winds. While on the location of the house as to the points of the compass, let it be observed that fig. 4, has the same adjustment.
Beyond what has already been said as to the position of the house in pits, and to the points of the compass, and the shape of the propagating table, and of the roof comparatively little need be said on the principles of constructing a house, they can be easily adapted to the place or site where