The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - the Vegetable Kingdom
Chapter: Chapter 8: Origins of Vegetable Culture

Increasing the magnitude of vegetables

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1130. To increase the magnitude of vegetables, without reference to their quality, it is necessary to afford them an increased supply of all the ingredients of food, distributed in such a body of well pulverised soil as the roots can reach to : and of heat and moisture: they should also be partially excluded from the direct rays of the sun, so as to moderate perspiration ; and from the wind, so as to prevent sudden desiccation. But experience alone can determine what plants are best suited for this, and to what extent the practice can be carried. Nature gives the hint in the occasional luxuriance of plants accidentally placed in favourable circumstances; man adopts it, and, improving upon it, produces cabbages and turnips of enormous size; apples and pears of prodigious weight; and cabbage-roses of four inches in diameter; productions which may in some respects be considered as diseased, as it were plethorically.