Daddy Takes Us to the Garden eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 133 pages of information about Daddy Takes Us to the Garden.

“Of course I could plant whole potatoes, one in each hill, but that would be wasting seed, so I cut the potatoes up into chunks and plant the little chunks, each one with two or more seeds in it.”

“And do you only plant one chunk?” asked Mab.

“No, I drop in two or three, according to the size and the number of eyes.  This is done so that if one set of seeds doesn’t grow the other will.  Now you watch me.”

Uncle Pennywait had smoothed off a nice bit of his garden where, as yet, he had planted nothing, and into the long earth-rows of this he now began to plant his potato seed.  He walked along the rows with a bag of the cut-up pieces hung around his neck, and as he dropped in the white chunks he covered them with dirt by using a hoe.

“When my potatoes grow up into nice green vines, and the striped bugs come to have a feast on them, you may help me drive the bad creatures away,” said Uncle Pennywait to the children.  “In fact some of my early potatoes need looking after now.”

“Are there bugs on them?” asked Mab, when her uncle had finished his planting.

“Indeed there are!  Come and I’ll show you.”

Over they went to the early-potato part of Uncle Pennywait’s garden.  There, on many of the green vines, were a lot of blackish and yellowish bugs, crawling and eating the leaves.

“We’ll just give them a dinner of Paris Green,” said Uncle Pennywait, “and they won’t eat any more of my vines.”

“What’s Paris Green?” asked Mab.

“It is a deadly poison, for grown folks or children as well as bugs, and you must never touch it, or handle it, unless I am with you, or your father is near,” said Uncle Pennywait.  “Here is some of it.”

He showed the children a bright, green powder, some of which he stirred into a sprinkling pot full of water.  This water he sprayed over the potato vines.

“The poison in the water goes on the potato leaves,” explained Uncle Pennywait, “and when the bugs eat the leaves they also eat the poison, and die.  We have to kill them or they would eat away the leaves of the vines until they all died, and we would have no potatoes.  The potato bugs are very harmful, and we must get rid of them.”

Then he let Hal and Mab sprinkle the potato vines with the Paris Green, afterward making the children carefully wash their hands so there would be no danger.

“Is that the only way to drive away the potato bugs?” asked Hal.

“Sometimes farmers go through their potato field and knock the bugs from the vines into a can full of kerosene oil,” said Uncle Pennywait, “or they may use another poison instead of Paris Green.  But the bugs must be killed if we are to have potatoes.”

Just then Mab saw Aunt Lolly going into her garden with a bottle in her hand.

“Are you going to poison bugs too?” asked the little girl.

“No, I am going to make a cucumber grow inside this,” was the answer.

Project Gutenberg
Daddy Takes Us to the Garden from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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