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Sea Kale is a highly nutritious and palatable culinary vegetable. It is an early esculent plant, the young shoots of which are used somewhat in the manner of asparagus, and may, it is said, be grown by the method of cultivation which is given hereafter, to a size and of a delicacy of flavour greatly superior to that which is commonly brought to the table. In the cultivation of it in the garden, the improved method which has lately been advised, is that of preparing the ground for it by trenching it two feet and a half deep, about the close of the year or in the beginning of it: when not that depth naturally, and of a light quality, it is to be made so by artificial means, such as the applying of a suitable proportion of fine white sand, and very rotten vegetable mould: if the ground be wet in the winter season, it should be completely drained, that no water may stagnate in it near the bottom of the cultivated mould, as the strength of the plants depends upon the dryness and richness of the bottom soil. 

 

After which the ground is to be divided into beds, four feet in width, with alleys of eighteen inches between them; then, at the distance of every two feet each way, five or six seeds are to be sown, in a circle of about four inches diameter, to the depth of two inches. 

This business should be performed in a strictly regular and exact manner, as the plants are afterwards to be covered by means of pots for blanching them, and the health and beauty of the crops equally depend upon their standing at regular distances. If the seeds which were sown were sound and perfect, they will come up and shew themselves in the last spring or beginning summer months; which as soon as they have made three or four leaves, all but three of the strongest and best plants should be taken away from each circle; planting out those which are pulled up, which, when done by a careful hand, may be performed so as for them to have the whole of their tap-root in a spare bed for extra forcing, or the repairs of accidents. 

The turnip fly and wire worm are to be carefully guarded against, the latter by picking them by the hand from out of the ground, and the former by the use of lime laid round the young plants in a circle. When the summer months prove dry, the beds should be plentifully watered. As soon as the leaves decay in the autumn they should be cleared away, and the beds be covered with light fresh earth and sand to the thickness of an inch; the compost thus used having laid some time in a heap, and been turned several times, so as to be free from weeds, and the ova of insects as well as grubs. 

Upon the sandy loam dressing, about six inches in depth of light stable litter is to be applied, which completes the work of the first year. In the spring of the second, when the plants are beginning to push, the stable litter is to be raked off, a little of the most rotten being dug into the alleys, and another inch depth of loam and sand applied. Cutting this year is to be refrained from, notwithstanding some of the plants may rise strong, and the beds managed exactly as before during this winter season. In the third season, a little before the plants begin to stir, the covering laid on for the winter is to be raked off, and an inch in depth of pure dry sand or fine gravel now laid on. Then each circle of plants is to be covered with one of the blanching-pots already alluded to, pressing it firmly into the ground, so as to exclude all light and air, as the colour and flavour of the shoots are greatly injured by exposure to either of them. When the beds are twenty-six feet long, and four wide, they will hold twenty-four blanching-pots, with three plants under each, making seventy-two plants in a bed. 

They are to be examined from time to time, the young stems being cut, when about three inches above the ground, care being taken not to injure any of the remaining buds below, some of which will immediately begin to swell. In this way a succession of gatherings may be continued for the space of six weeks, after which period the plants are to be uncovered, and their leaves suffered to grow, that they may acquire and return nutriment to the root for the next year's buds. When seeds are not wanted, the flowers should be pinched off by the finger and thumb, as long as they appear. Where the expence of blanching-pots is objected to, the beds must be covered with a large portion of loose gravel and mats; but the saving is trifling, when the time and trouble of removing and replacing the gravel, for the cutting of the crop and securing the plant, are considered. By this mode of management, sea-kale is said to have been cut which measured ten, eleven, and even twelve inches in circumference, and that each blanching-pot on the average afforded a dish of it twice in the season. The blanching-pots for this use are somewhat of the same shape and size as the large bell-glasses commonly employed in market gardens for raising tender vegetable crops, but made of the same materials as the common earthenware, having a handle at the top. 

They may be about a foot and a half in diameter at the rim where they apply to the ground. _Forcing sea-kale._--It is supposed that no vegetable can be so easily and cheaply forced as this, or require so little trouble; as the dung is in the finest state possible for spring hot-beds, after the common crop has been cut and gathered. The principal circumstance necessary in this business, is that of being very attentive and particular in guarding against too great a heat. The temperature under the blanching-pots should constantly be kept as near fifty-five degrees of Fahrenheit's scale as possible, and on no account higher than sixty at any time. In this intention, in either of the two concluding months of the year, as the sea-kale may be wanted more early or late, a suitable quantity of fresh stable dung should be collected and prepared, to cover both the beds and the alleys from two to three feet in height; as in the quantity to be laid on, a great deal must always be left to the judgment of the gardener, as well as to the state of the season as to mildness or severity. It should invariably be well pressed down between the blanching-pots, heat-sticks being placed at proper intervals, by the occasional examination of which the heat below will be readily shewn. 

When the dung has remained in this situation four or five days, the pots should be examined to see the state of the shoots It not un-frequently happens that worms spring above the surface, and spoil the delicacy of flavour in the young shoots. In order to prevent this, it is best to cover it with dry sea-coal ashes, which have been sifted neither very small nor very large. Salt has also the power of destroying them in an effectual manner, without injuring the sea-kale. The crop, it is said, will be ready to cut and gather in three weeks or a month from the first application of the heat; but as much danger and mischief are the consequence when this is violent, it is advised to begin soon enough, and to force slowly, rather than in too quick a manner. It is likewise necessary to cut the leaves off a fortnight or three weeks before they decay, in those plants which are intended to be forced at a very early period. It is also suggested that the blanching-pots used in forcing should be made in two pieces, the uppermost of which should fit like a cap upon the lower; as the crop might then be examined at all times without disturbing the hot dung. Sea-kale is cooked, and sent to the table in the same manner as asparagus.