CLIMBING PLANTS

The majority of plants in this class are put in to stay. Accordingly it pays to consult their individual likes and dislikes, as indicated in cultural directions under each particular name. In general also, whatever the kind, give adequate root room when planting and a good depth below the root for providing a bed of manure or compost so that when the climber makes progress and its roots penetrate downward, there is ready a store of extra nutrition to round off the establishing process. When prepared, the bed should be left for at least a month to settle before planting. Plant so that air can circulate behind the stem, and where growing on a house, for preference use a trellis rather than nailing to the wall, though with a few certain foliage climbers their own tendrils suffice, as in Parthenocissus quinquejolia (Virginia creeper) and Hydrangea petiolaris. When fastening, first tie the raffia or twine round a rib of the arch and then loosely make another tic round the shoot. For heavier branches a strip of webbing wrapped round and tacked on to the arch is more secure, but allow room for increase of girth, and when the branch has made wood, the tie can be removed. Iron or wire arches, etc., may be used; they do not injure plants by scorching as some aver. Take a glance at the roof projections and gutters and plant the climber sufficiently away from the wall to avoid rain-drip; it can easily be trained nearer the wall as it climbs. Keep plants robust by a good mulch annually and prune as required; mainly for the purpose of cutting out old wood to benefit new shoots and keeping air space between the growth. Only a few climbers are annuals, and among perennials there is enough variety in the hardy kinds to satisfy average taste without adventuring among the more fragile half-hardy classes. See CLEMATIS, JASMINUM, LONICERA, ROSE etc.

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