Profitable insructions for the manuring, sowing, and planting of kitchin gardens

Sowing and Planting of
Kitchin Gardens.
Very profitable for the common wealth
and greatly for the helpe and com
fort of poore people.
Gathered by Richard Gardiner
of Shrewsberie.
Imprinted at London by Edward Allde for Edward White,
dwelling at the little North doore of Paules at
the signe of the Gunne. 1599.


The Author his Preface, to his loving neighbours and friends, within the towne of Shrewsburie in the Countie of Salop. R. G. wisheth all happines and felicitie in Christ Jesus.

RIght welbeloved in Christ Jesus, neighbours and friends of this my native soile of Shrewsburie, I wish you all felicitie and happinesse in the true knowledge of our redemption in the merrits of our onely Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father, & the holy ghost, be all honor, praise and thankes for evermore. Beloved it is generallie knowne unto all men in this towne, that I have ever in good minde, desired the prosperity of the same, and in all good actions to my power and knowledge have preferred the same, without desire of lucre or gaine thereby, and did alwayes desire to doe the uttermost of my skill, as well to the common causes, as also to private mens workes, and now in my olde age, or last daies, I would willingly take my last farewell with some good instructions to pleasure the general number: as for spiritual instructions and good advertisments therein, I leave you to the good admonitions of the godlye Clergie, and to your good proceedings in the same, which God graunt for his mercies sake, Amen. Amongst all the practises, knowledges and experiences which ever I received from Gods mercies in temporal blessings, I doe undoubtedly perswade my selfe, that my practise and experience in Garden stuffe, or the good benefits therein, dooth best benefit, helpe and pleasure the generall number of people, better then any other practise that ever I tooke in hand in temporall causes whatsoever.

And therefore good neighbors and friends (of this my native soile) accept this my short and simple penning of this my practise and experience in Gardening causes heerein mentioned. And if any other man, now or heereafter finde occasion to better in writing any thing which I have omitted for want of full perfection by experience therein, I doe most hartily desire him, (that so shal finde cause to better[Page] any thing omitted by me or amend any thing by me penned) so to doe, that God may be glorified in his good gifts, the generall number the better comforted, and the poore the better releeved with Garden stuffe: whereas yet in this Countie of Salop, Gardening stuffe: is to small purpose, but I hope in God as time shall serve, my good beginning will be an occasion of good proceedings therein, and no doubt (beloved) if any man will hartily desire to doe good in these actions, then vaine, fruitlesse and superfluous things may bee taken out of good Gardens and sundry good commodities, to pleasure the poore planted therein: then no doubt the Almightie God will the better blesse your encrease, and blesse your walking in your Garden in that minde: and then no doubt but your good conscience will delight you as well as the great blessings that God will blesse the Garden withall .

Then shall you no doubt visibly beholde in your Garden, the blessed favour and mercy of you most mercifull God to your everlasting comfort, not onely in the great increase there to beholde, but also other wayes to your great comfort, which I omit at this present. And when you make sale to the poore, consider you are the Lords Stewards to sell with consciences and to lend and give: also doe it willingly, for we have the unfallable promise of God for double recompence, if we so favourablie will performe to all, and specially to the poore and needy: which God graunt for his mercies sake, wee may have grace to doe, and also to have speciall care to satisfie, content or pay the tithes thereof to the ministers of the holy worde, and not to suffer a bad custome to corrupt the conscience therein, which God forbid. And also I desire thee good reader to beare with my grosse and simple penning in so good a cause, and willingly to accept my good will therein. And in so dooing I shall thinke my travail herein to be well bestowed, and my good purpose the better performed, which God graunt for his mercies sake. Amen.


1. Edward Thornes Gent. in commendation of the worke, and the Author thereof.

HE that desires with skilfull hand,
to frame a Garden plot,
And to manure and make it apt
For Herbes that serve the pot,
Or choise to make of seeds and Plants,
and best of both to know:
And them in seasonable time,
to plant, to set, and sowe,
Let him peruse this little Booke,
which undertakes the charge,
Of all the fore recite points,
to shew the course at large,
Of Carrets first, and Cabbage close,
and how to keepe them sound:
And Parsnips also to preserve,
and Turnips faire and round.
Of Lettice next, and garden Beanes,
and Onions of the best:
Of Cowcombers and Artichockes,
and Radish with the rest,
These and such other hearbes and seedes,
hath Gardner, in good will:
Unto Sallopian neighbours his,
entreated of with skill.
His talent lent he doth not hide,
if all were understood,
But sets it foorth with willing minde,
to doe his neighbours good.
The poore which late were like to pine,
and could not buie them breade:
In greatest time of penurie,
were by his labours fed.
And that in reasonable rate,
when Corne and coine was scant,
With Parsnep and with Carret rootes
he did supply their want.
The rich likewise and better sorte,
his labours could not misse
Which makes them many times to thinke,
that Sallop London is.
Then rich and poore in friendly sorte,
give Gardner all his due,
Who shewes himselfe in all his acts,
so kinde a friend to you.
And wish as he doth well deserve,
his welfare and his health,
That hath so greatly profited,
Sallopians common wealth.

2. How to make choyce of the best Carrets, to plant for good seedes, and how and when to plant them.

AFter the Sun his entring into Libra about the twelfth of September, then prepare your ground readie to set your Carrets, for seede, make choice of the fairest Carrets and best, yellow colours, to the number as you will set your beds, being made ready before you take up Carrets, every bed being a yard and a quarter broad: then set your carrets in two rowes, one rowe on either side the bed, sixe or seaven inches from the edge of the bed, and full three quarters of a yard one from another.

Then have you nothing to doe with them untill about the last of Aprill, at which time they will bee growne about a yard in height: then you have neede to take care of them, for the winde will easily breake them by the ground: then must you prepare some kinde of packe-threed or lynen threed to set about them as a girdle, about two foote high from the earth as neede shall require by the growing of the braunches: gird some higher then other some.

Then shortly after you must have stakes in a readines, and as the Carrets must stand one against the other in the bed: so likewise the stakes must stand one against the other, to everye foure Carrets two stakes. The stakes must bee a yard and a halfe above the ground, and a sure holde within the earth for danger of winde: then must you prepare pack threed or other threed to goe from stake to stake all the length of the bed, one course of lynes must be about two foote high, and another course of lynes must bee neere the top of the stakes, so that there must bee two courses of lynes on the utter side of the stakes on both sides the bed. Then must you have crosse lynes, to every two Carrets a crosse lyne made fast to the side lynes, the crosse lynes must be both above and beneath, as the side lynes doe goe, and a[Page] crosse rod to every two stakes tyed fast with somelynnen thréed or thrumbes: then both the upper course and nether course of the rods and the short lynes must have a lyne going amidst of the bed, so that by that meanes every Carrets branches will stand in a square both in the upper and nether coarse of rods and lynes, in sure manner for the winde. If this bee not done perfectly, the losse of Carret séedes will bee more in value then the Charges of stakes, roddes and lynes.

The stakes must bee set in this manner: First two stakes at the end of the bed, then over passe foure Carrets, and in the middest betweene two Carrets set a stake on either side the bed, and the lines & rods as aforesaid, then as the Carret branches doe grow, they must be somewhat tended to keepe them in good order within the lynes: this being done about the last of August, the Carret séedes will begin to bee ripe, and as they doe change to some browne colour, so to bee cut from time to time, untill the last bee sufficiently ripe about the first of October: Then place the Carret seedes as you doe cut them on a Chamber floore to drie, & when they be drie, beate the seedes out with small staves, or beast with the edge of a lath, and clense them from the composte or refuse (as you finde best by experience) with ridle and sive. There are three kindes of Carrets, two of them are profitable and the third is not: The great long yellow Carret, and the great short Carret are principall good, but the common or wilde Carret, which is pale yellow coloured and small and long, is to be refused, for they yeeld small profit, neither are they so good meate as the other two kindes by much. The séedes of the two best kindes of Carrets doe change into diverse colours: and if you choose a roote of any colour that doth best like you, then set the same for séede, and so shall you have store of rootes of that colour that so is set for séede when time serveth: if you doe make choyse of the best Carrets and set them for seedes as aforesaid, then your séedes are very bad and not profitable to bee used by any, but deceiveth the sower[Page] and yeeldeth not so good rootes as the set roote séedes doe by much.

3. How to have principall good Cabadge seedes to sow, whereby you may have good store of good Cabadges as time serveth.

WHen you have Cabadges in your garden that bee ripe to cut, make your choice of the best and fairest Cabadges for seede in this maner, that you may have the benefit of the best Cabadges and good séed of the same stocks or rootes. Also when your Cabadges bee ripe, take a hand sawe and cut the Cabadge off, as neere to the Cabadge as you can, and have so much of the stocke as you may: but take heede least you rent the stocke in cutting it with the sawe, you must cut those Cabadges which you would so preserve for séedes in the new of the Moone, of the first ripe Cabadges, and so let them grow to beare seedes the yeere following, and that seede will be as good as may be (whatsoever is said to the contrary) And if you desire to have much Cabadge seedes to sowe and to sell: then your best way is to provide some place in the Garden where the shadow of them may doe least harme to other séedes or fruits.

Then prepare the ground in narrow beds and take up the Cabadge rootes with as much earth at the roote as you can in the new of the Moone in October: and place them one row in a bed almost a yard a sunder, and then another row in an other bed likewise: so that every row or every roote be almost a yard one from another, and then let them stand untill they be growen almost a yard high, then beset the braunches with rises and gird the braunches & rises, with a string of packe thréed or such like, or els the weight of the braunches and the winde will breake them to the losse of the seedes: and when the seedes doe beginne to bee ripe, then take héede to them, for the birds called the Bull Finch will destroy them sodainely,[Page] unlesse you do provide to save the séedes with nettes to be set theron sundry waies as seemeth you best to doo: and when your Cabadge Seedes bee ripe, cut them and dry them, cleanse them and keepe them untill the best times to sowe them: of which times I will make mention at large, as hereafter followeth in order, if you take heede to choose the principall Cabadges for séedes as aforesaid, you shall both the better pleasure your selfe, and done good to the common wealth: Also let not gaine nor deceipt alter, nor corrupt a good conscience heerein to the hurt of any.

4. How to make your best choyse for Parsnep seedes.

P Repare such place in your Garden as is most convenient for the setting of Parsneps for séeds: first digge and make your ground ready in beds, like as you would sowe any other seedes, then make choice of the fairest Parsnep roots, and plant them in the beds a rowe of rootes on either side the bed, about sixe inches from the edge of the bed, and a rowe of rootes along the midst of the bed or beds, and set every roote so néere as you can, to be xv. inches one from another: and when the first séedes doe begin to be ripe, then cut them daily as cause requireth: for the seedes of Parsneps are very apt to fall when they be ripe, to the losse of the best séede (if they be not heedefully looked unto.) Thus doone, you shall have good Parsnep seedes to pleasure any person in that behalfe, otherwise it is not so good nor so profitable.

5. The best way to have principall seedes of Turneps to sowe.

THere be sundrie kindes of Turneps, and to write therof particularlie would be somewhat tedious: but the[Page] best kinde for the common wealth, is the large round Turnep, which are but of late come to this Countie of Salop: The best way to have excellent seedes of those Turneps, is thus: Make the beds a yard and quarter broade, then choose the onely round and faire rootes, and set them thrée quarters of a yarde one from another, two rowes in a bed.

These seedes will not abide or brooke any binding or supporting of them: but your best way is to let them growe in their owne kinde, and let them fall to the earth (as they will by nature) and when the séedes doe begin to be ripe, take heede, for sundrie kindes of birdes will devoure it, kéepe it with nettes or otherwise, which I omit to your best consideration therein: and when the seedes be fully ripe, cut them and drie them to your purpose: your best time to set them for séedes, is in the new of the Moone, in October or November.

6. The best meanes to have principall Lettice seedes, which will be both great, hard and white Cabadge Lettice.

THere be sundrie kindes of Lettice, the one is principal, the other two are indifferent, and the fourth is the wild Lettice. The best are very white seedes: the second are russet white séedes, and are callad Lumbard Lettice: the third are black seedes, some of al these three sorts wil close, but the perfect white is the best. This sort is to bee chosen and the seedes thereof to be sowed, and when the Lettice are young and smal, then you must take the wéedes cleane from them, and also you must wéede so many of the Lettice away untill they be two or thrée inches a sunder, and when those remaining, do touch almost one another, then draw away more of them until they be 6. or viii. inches a sunder, then they must growe untill they be closed, and if there be any which seeme that they will not close, take them away, and let those which are best closed remaine for Séedes,[Page] and so from yeare to yeare ever choose the best closed for seede: and you shal have such Cabadge or closed Lettice, by these meanes in two or three yeares, the best that may bee had.

This being mine own order for close Lettice séede, I commonly have such Lettice, that many doe say there are not the like to be had in London, or so good. The manner of sowing or times when to sowe I omitte untill in order in this my treatise it shall more at large appeare.

7. The best way to obtaine seede Beanes for Gardens.

THere be thrée kindes of Beanes, whereof there is but one perfect good for Gardens, that is the great and large white Beane: and when your Beanes are fully ripe, choose yearely the greatest of them for séede, and you shall finde great profit in so doing, if you have cause to sowe many of them, and your Beanes will proove very profitable in the common wealth.

8. For to have good Onion seedes.

ABout the first of February when you perceive the extremity of winter to be past, and the weather somewhat faire, then take your Onions & set them or séedes in the new of the Moone, where the Sun is alwaies to shine in his course both Winter and Summer: and when they growe high, dresse them with rises or roddes or breaking with winde: and when the seede is ripe, dry it well in the heate of the Sunne, then let it remaine with the pulse or refuse till after the first of February: I desire that all which would sow Onion or others aforesaid in Gardens, to provide séedes of their own growing & not to be deceived yearely as commonly they be, to no small losse in generall to all this Land, by those which bee common sellers of[Page] Garden seedes, I cannot omitte nor spare to deliver my minde, concerning the great and abhominable falshoode of those sortes of people which sell Garden seedes: consider thus much, admit that all those which be deceived in thys land yéerely, in buying of olde and dead séedes for their gardens, had made their accompts of their losses: First their money paide for false and counterfeit seedes, their great losses in manuring and trimming their Gardens, and the rents paide for Gardens through out this land: then consider how many thousands are yeerely deceived in this manner by them, and also consider howe many thousand poundes are robbed yeerely from the common wealth by those Catterpillers: I doe undoubtedly perswade my selfe if a true accompt might bee had thereof, those that doe willingly deceive others by false séedes, doe robbe the common wealth of a greater summe then all other the robbing théeves of this whole land doe by much, and more worthie in conscience to be executed as the most notorious théeves in this land, (one other profession of people excepted.)

And although the lawes of this realme as yet take no holde whereby to punish them, the almighty God doth beholde their monstrous deceipt, and except those doe repent with speed, both God and man will abhorre them as outragious théeves: The Almightie God turne their hearts or confound such false procéedinges against the common wealth: And also I would wishe all those that are seede sellers would have a care to sell good seedes for Gardens, and would also have a care to sell in reason and conscience, for the dearth of Seedes for Gardens is a great hindrance to the profit of Gardens, and a great losse to the common wealth.

Also my good wil shall not be wanting to do good therin, whiles it shal please God that I doe remaine heere in this life, his holy will be done at his good pleasure. There be many other séedes do belong to gardens of lesse accompt & so common in use: that I purpose to omit leaving them to the practise of others which use Gardens, because I[Page] desire not to bee tedious, but to procéede to my speciall purpose in those causes which best do concerne and benefit the common wealth, which God graunt for his mercie sake.

And before good seedes (provided as aforesaid) be used or sowed in any garden, I wish you to prepare to mucke or make your garden sufficient rank to receive such séedes as is convenient, or els you make spoile of good seedes to your owne losse, and then shall you misse greatly the profit of your garden in your house keeping: you must have a speciall care to mucke wel your garden once in two yeares, or else you shall lose more in the profit of the Garden, then the mucke is worthe by much: if your Garden be pared, and made cleane from weedes about the first of November, then it is good to lay your mucke thereon all November, and till the midst of December, and if you can so prepare your garden in this time as aforesaid, then it is best for to fallow or digge it so farre as you have so mucked, and in so doing, your Gardens will be most excellent to receive good seedes in the last end of February or in March, according to the nature of the séedes therein to be sowed: and if you omit the dunging and fallowing the Garden till after the feast of Christ Jesus, I take it best (as I finde by experience) thus to doe.

When you purpose to sowe your garden, some few daies before, let it bee cleane pared and the weedes carried to some convenient place in the Garden to rotte, then mucke well if there bee cause that yeare, then digge the garden very small, and as you digge it, picke out the rootes of the weedes as cleane as you can, and rake it well, then will it be in good order to sowe: but the first manner of fallowing and dunging is best, if you doe not omit the time: and when all the parings and wéedings all the whole yeere is well rotten, then it wil be very fine and good earth to make levell or plaine any part of the Garden and is verie good to rancken the Garden in want of other mucke.


9. A declaration of divers manners of seedes to be sowed in Gardens, and a reason by experience which is the best manner and most profitable.

THere bee two manner of sowing of Gardens heere in this Countie of Sallop, and as I finde by experience those two maners usual & common, are very unprofitable. The one maner is to open the bed and set the earth on both sides, then to sowe the séedes on the bed, then to draw with a Rake the earth from both sides to cover the seedes, but when the seedes doe growe in sight, there is nothing growing within a quarter of a yard to the edge of the bed, wherby much ground is lost on both sides of the bed, and very unprofitable to the owner.

The second manner of usuall and common sowing of Gardens, is when the bed is made, the seedes are sowed thereon, and then earth is sifted therupon, to cover ye séeds, and when the seedes be sprong and begin to growe, they be so ebbe under the earth, that every small frost or colde raine which commeth dooth destroy the new spring of the séedes, and sometimes all is lost thereby.

A third way there is, but not usuall or common, which is when the bed is ready made the seeds are sowed theron, then one taketh the Rake & choppeth the teeth of the Rake very thicke over all the bed, then the seedes doe fal into the hoales which the teeth of the Rake did make, and thereby many seedes doe fall in one hole, and doe destroye one another, except you doe remedie that by pulling some of them away the first wéeding .

The onely best way to sow beds in gardens, as I did ever finde by experience, is when the bed is made to take a staffe of the greatnes of a mans thombe or somewhat greater, of a yarde and a halfe long, makeing the ende thereof somewhat sharpe, and then with the sharpe ende thereof strike a small Rigall or Gutter on either side of the bed, within two or thrée Inches of the edge of the bed, and about an Inch deepe, then[Page] sowe your seedes in those two gutters somewhat thin, then strike other two rigals or gutters in like manner, and so by two and by two till you come to the midst of the bed, & those gutters must bee made foure or five inches a sunder according to the nature of the séedes which you doe sowe: so that the bed ready made being a yard and quarter broad will take for Onion seedes seaven gutters or rowes, and for Carrets and Parsneps likewise seaven, and for Turneps five gutters is sufficient on either side the bed, one in the midst, and then two other, as you may well sée the places where: but for expedition in sowing time, the best way is, as one person doth strike the gutters or rowes, with the staffe, so let another follow in sowing the rowes, and you shall finde great expedition therein, for two persons in this manner will sow more in two or three howres, then two persons will or can sowe otherwise, in a whole day, and this kinde of sowing dooth save the one halfe of the séedes, and defendeth the seedes best from weather, because it is reasonable deepe in the ground: you must have a speciall care that the rowes be striken straight, and you must take heede to sowe the rowe or gutter, first striken, before you strike another rowe or gutter, for the striking of the second rowe will fill the first with earth, that it will be too ebbe to be sowed after, then it is both comely and profitable. I doe assuredly proove by experience there is no manner of sowing so perfectly good as this manner is, for all kinde of seedes, but onely Pumpions, Cucumbers, Beanes & Radish seedes, they must be otherwise set further a sunder as reason and experience doe agree therein, and in manner héereafter more at large is expressed: and when your séedes be sowed in rigols or rowes in manner aforesaid, then they are to be covered thus: ake the Rake and with the head thereof drawe it very light over the Rigols along the bed, untill the bed be plaine and the Rigols filled, with the backe side of the head of the Rake, and if you then doe beate them plaine with the head of the shovel, the beds wil[Page] be the more comely, and breed lesse weedes by much.

10. The manner how and when to sowe Carret seeds, and what grownd is best to their liking, and the manner to use them in their growing.

First see that your grownd be sufficient ranke as aforesaid: then sow your Carret seeds very thin in the rigols or rowes as aforesaid, the best time is about the last of Februarie, or beginning of Marche, when the weather is seasonable and faire, then you néede not to care for the age of the Moone, so that it bee not within three dayes of the change, for I doe perfectly know by experience, that any time else is not amisse, so that the weather be dry and faire. Carrets do best like in a dry ground: and if the Garden be in shadowe or somewhat wet at sowing time, then it is not perfect good for Carrets. Such ground is better to sowe Parsneps and Cabadges in, then Carrets, for the Carrets wil mislike in the Spring time, and also be eaten with wormes that bréed in themselves, by their owne kinde and nature: and when your Carrets be faire and young above the ground, then you must prepare people to weede: when the weeds are able to be taken up, then must you have speciall care to the Carrets that growe in the rowes or other wayes, for you must weede or take out of them, til there be two inches betweene everie one of them, and throw those drawne Carrets away with the weedes, if you doe take pitty to pull them out, or detract the time too long before you do weede them as aforesaid, your Carrets will be very small, and yéeld you small profit: you must wéede them wel from weedes as néed doth require, and so soone as they be of any bignes, about Midsommer you must draw away so many of the Carrets till those that remaine bee at the least thrée or foure inches a sunder, and also if any of the Carrets do happen to shoote to beare séed, pull them up likewise, for the best séeds of Carrets, some of them will shoote, & must[Page] be taken out least they hinder the rest that grow, throw then away: if you misse so to doe, your Carrets will bee small to your purpose: The good Carrets which are to be drawen from the rest, will easily bee drawen into a good ground with hand, and the easier to bee drawen in the fore noone and best after a shower of raine.

And you may have good profit by those Carrets so drawen and sowed, for they are novelties and desired of many soe timely in the yéere. Then about the twentith of July, your Carrets in a good ground will be somewhat faire to sell: and if you sell them then or shortly after, so that you take them up before the fourtéenth of August: you may as you rid the ground of Carrets, sowe Turnips séede or Radish séede in their place, so that you have the best kinde of Turnip séede to sow, and in so dooing you may have two croppes every yere and both with good profit. And if it happen that the Carret seedes doe faile in the spring time by hardenes of weather, or by wormes of the earth: Then about the midst of May or the end of May you may set Cabadge plants in those places, where the Carrets doe want, and in want of Cabadge plants you may sowe good Turnips séedes, or Radish séedes thereon. And thereby have good profit: Also the short kinde of Carrets will grow in worse and colder ground then the long Carrets will, and doe well agree with the clay Land also.

11. How and when is best to sowe and plant to have good Cabadges, both timely about Midsomer and late in the yeere.

IF you will have timely Cabadges, then sowe your Cabadge séedes in Rigols as afore said about the last of August three or foure daies before the ful of the Moone, where they may have the warmnes of the Sunne in winter. so neere as you can, and keepe them cleane from weeds, then let them grow, till three or foure daies before the ful Moon[Page] in March or Aprill next after, then set your Cabadge plants a yard a sunder, and as you choose plantes to sette, choose the fairest and lykelyest of them for your purpose, for the small and refuse plantes will growe to bee small Cabadges, and as many as doe séeme eyther wilde or very small throwe them away, for the losse is not great, and in this manner you may have timely close and hard Cabadges: Also it is a principall time to sowe Cabadges in February or March, three or foure daies before the full of the Moone as aforesaid, then sowe the seedes very thinne in rowes, and keep then cleane from weeds, and when they be faire and large to plant, in May or about the first of June, is best to plant them three or foure daies before the full of the Moone, and if necessity doe compel you, it wil serve the whole quarter after the ful of the Moone: And also as they growe, from time to time take care to kill the wormes which eate the leaves: and take heede that no leaves bee broken of those which you would have to bee Cabadges, for it is hurtfull to the closing of the Cabadges.

And when the first planted Cabadges be ripe, sell or spend them shortly, for within fourteene daies after they be hard they will grow so fast within that they wil rent and cleave a sunder, and so perish and rot: And when your Cabadges doe ripe and bee hard sell them or spend them, for there is small profit to kéepe them, because the snailes and other wormes doe pearce them dayly, but those which doe close farre in the yeare in September and October may bee better kept in Winter for your purpose: but of al wormes or caterpillers Knaves, which are the greatest devourers of Cabadges and doe consume many of them at one time: those catterpillers doe never repent, untill they come to Tyburne or the gallowes. Therefore take good care to your enclosures for your better safetie.


12. For sowing of Parseneps, and best using of them.

Some wil sowe Parsenep séeds at Michaels tide, to have timely Parsneps, and doth serve their purpose, to have them about twenty dayes sooner then those which do sowe in February or March, but it is not best to sowe many in that order, but a few for novelties: but to sow to have best profit, as when the weather is fayre in Februarie or in March, sowe your Parseneps, not respecting the age of the Moone, but the goodnes of the weather, and when they be ready to weede, have care to wéede them cleane in time: if they be too thicke sowed, pull them out also with the wéeds, till every Parsenep be two inches a sunder at the least, then wéede them as cause is, and let them grow till they bee to serve your turne. Parseneps will growe well in worse ground then Carrets, and reasonably well in colde Gardens: and if you doe sowe your Parsneps in rigols as my accustomed manner is, it is best for your purpose and profit: and this kinde of sowing in Rigols doth save the better halfe of the séedes, of any kinde whatsoever, as by experience is prooved.

13. For sowing of Turneps, and the best time when.

IF you desire to have timely Turneps, you may do thus: a wéeke before the full Moone, or a wéeke after the full Moone, in the end of Aprill or in May, sowe your Turnep seeds, and when they are ready to weed, then pull out with the wéeds, so many of the Turneps, till the rest of the Turneps be a hand bredth a sunder: and as they doe grow ripe about Midsomer, drawe the greatest first, to make them thinner all over, & when they be of any greatnes, sel or spend them away, for those timely sowed Turneps wil not tarry good but a few daies: for they will be hard roots, & be eaten with[Page] wormes, and grow to séedes, and so will many Turneps, which bee sowed before Midsommer.

But those which are sowed in July, and to the 14. of August, wil remaine good all winter. And when they bee to serve your turne, take the greatest first, and let the rest remaine, and they will increase much, when they have some libertie, and at all times it is to be chosen, to sowe and wéede as aforesaid: & looke from what ground you take your first fruites away before the 14. day of August, you may thereon sowe good Turnep séede to good profit. But if you sowe after the 14. of August, it is to no good purpose, but to have small Turneps little worth, and empayre your ground for no profit: you may in this manner have two croppes of Turneps in one place of land in one yeare, and both perfect good.

14. The best meanes to have principall close Lettice, and to have them as timely as is possible.

THe first of September or within fouretéene daies then next after, is best to take your Lettice séedes and sowe them in a drie banke, or dryest place in the garden reasonable thinne, wéede them cleane when there is cause, and let them grow as they doe proove, till thrée or foure daies before the full of the moone in March, then take them up and plant them in new digged ground, sixe or eight inches asunder, and kéepe them cleane from weedes, and you shall have timely Lettice.

And by this meanes I have yéerely such close or cabidge Lettice, better cannot be had, and they will be ready some yéeres in Aprill, and the beginning of May: I do also sow Lettice séeds in February and March, in manner aforesaid, and plant them againe as aforesaid. And thereby I have principall close Lettice: till Midsommer you may have very good Lettice, and not remoove them: so that they be well asunder, but the other manner is best. And keepe some of the best of them for seedes: my[Page] Lettice bee yéerely solde for two a penney, for one of them is a reasonable dish for a table, and as white as is possible, and many doo say, the like Lettice are not to be had in London. And I do suppose, that this kinde of Lettice is not common to be had in London as yet, or else the Gardiners there no doubt do not carefully provide for principall Lettice. But if any request me for principall Lettice seedes: I have ready to performe his desire, whiles they doe endure unsolde, yearely if it please God, whiles I remaine living.

15. The nature and quallity of Garden beanes, and how you may have best profit by them.

IF you desire to have timely beans to serve your purpose, as a fewe for novelties, set them about the middest of December, where the sunne hath some power in the Garden. And if you desire to have profit by beanes, this may be your best course, in any shadow Garden, or under the shadow of fruite trees, where nothing will growe but nettels and other wéeds, pare cleane that ground about the middest of Januarie, or all Februarie, and then digge the said ground, and in digging thereof, let the rootes of wéedes or nettles be cleane picked out, then set your beans therein.

And as there is cause wéed them cleane, and when the beanes be faire blowed five or six joynts of them, then you were best to pinch off about a handfull, or a span of the toppes of them with your hand, or cut them away, but they will more easier and sooner be pinched then cut. Then by this means the beanes so pinched or cut, will stand stiffe of themselves, that there needeth no rises nor boughs to bee sticked amongst them, to keepe them for breaking with the winde, And they will also beare the more beanes, and the sooner will be ripe, because there be no rises or boughs to shadow them. But if it happen that great tempestes of winde or raine do throw some of them downe.

Then take[Page] a fewe rises or sprigges to support them which so doo fall, and in this manner, of one pecke of beanes so set, I have received sixtéene peckes of seasonable drie beanes in gaine, In shadowe ground where nothing else wil grow but nettels, and other weedes under trees, those beanes so set in shadow places or under trees, must bee somewhat thinne, about seaven or eight inches a sunder. And in this manner they will beare beanes sufficient good store either to be eaten greene, or kept drie for seedes to be set againe.

16. Of Onion seedes to be sowen.

THe best time and season to sowe any one séedes in the marches of Wales, is about the first of March, when the weather is somewhat faire & seasonable, then prepare to sowe your Onion séeds. And if your Garden be dunged or fallowed in December as aforesaid, then is it most principal for sowing of Onion seeds. And the drier the garden is, the sooner you may sowe it. And if it be somewhat wet and cold, then the longer you can tarrie, the better it is. So that you doe sowe before the last of March, according as your garden doth proove in drinesse, for colde and wet earth is altogether bad for Onion seede. And when your Onyon or Jubballes do beginne to waxe somewhat readie to be used or spent, then make them reasonable thinne, for if they grow to thicke, they will bee verie small, but if you draw them reasonably, you shall have faire Onyons and best for your profit. The best time to sowe Onyon seede, is a weeke before the full of the moone, and the wéek after. And best when the weather is very drie and faire.


17. The meanes to have faire large Cucumbers, & the best order for them within the Countie of Salop, or in the marches of Wales.

ABout the last of Aprill, or the beginning of May when the weather prooveth to be somewhat faire & warme, then take the séedes of Cowcumbers and put them in newe milke over night. And if the next day after proove a faire Sunne shine day, take the seedes and put the milke and all in a pewter platter in the heate of the Sunne three or foure houres, then put them into the earth where you would have them to growe, and they will spring and appeare above the ground within foure or five daies. And if you do not so place them in the heate of the sunne, then the next day after their wetting in milke, set them in the earth likewise, and when they bee sprung above the ground, the snailes and wormes will devoure them, except you finde meanes to prevent them. The ground upon which you sowe cucumbers seede must be very ranke and faire, where the sun giveth best heate in the garden, or most principal in a faire banke, that sheweth it selfe to the noone Sunne. If your cucumber seedes do happen to grow too thicke, then take out the woorst till they be a yard a sunder, for the more roome they have, the better they will beare the fairer fruites, you may remove the plants of Cucumbers when they be young, and plant them in another place, convenient as aforesaid: there are sundrie other means used with horsedung to set and plant cucumbers: which is not to my liking, and which I omit, as not so good as aforesaid. And to have milons, gourds, or pumpions, do the like as is expressed heerein by cucumbers, if the spring season doe serve your purpose thereunto.


18. The meanes to have principall faire Artichokes, and how to have them in all Sommer time.

IF you desire to have timely Artichokes, then take uppe your olde rootes, in the latter halfe of September, or the first halfe of October, then choose the fairest plants and pull them from the olde rootes, then plant them in a very ranke earth, trenched about three quarters of a yard déepe, with dung mixt with some earth, and set your plants therein, and you shall have timely Artichokes in the spring next following. And also in the beginning of March take uppe the olde rootes which have borne fruites three times, then take the greate plantes and set them as aforesaid. Take also the middle fort of plants, and set them by themselves, likewise as aforesaid well dunge. So by this meanes I have had faire and large Artichokes all the Sommer.

And many of those which be set in September and October, as aforesaid, will beare faire Artichokes both betimes in the spring, and also in August and September the same yéere: best time of the age of the moone to plant them, is thrée or foure daies before the full of the Moone. The olde rootes of Artichokes, and the small slippes growing on them, are not to bee set for Artichokes, except you plant or set the small slippes for encrease, or to sell or give for encrease to others, for commonly they will not beare fruites the first yeare that you doe set them: there be sundrie kindes of Artichokes, the largest kinde is best to bee chosen for your purpose, there bee but two kindes principall good héere in this land to my knowledge, if you desire to have great store of Artichokes to sell, then your best way is to make (as it were a nurcerie for plants) in this manner, make certaine bankes the greatnesse of a bushell, round like a loafe of breade, so that you may goe betwixt them, and set one plant in the toppe of everie hillocke, and from thence yearely chuse the fairest plants to set.

19. The meanes to provide Radish rootes best for your profit.

IN March or Aprill where you have sowed either Carrets, or Parsneps, or both, when your carets or Parsneps[Page] are above ground, then you may perceive wher the ground is bare, then set the seede of Radish a fewe, five or sixe in a bed, and so over all your beddes, if you so please, & when this radish rootes bee readie, then take them away, for those timely radish rootes will tarrie but a few daies good, for they will shoote for seede, and they will also hinder the growing of the other fruites, if you sowe Radish onely without mixing of any other hearbes or fruites, you may set them from March, till the first of August, at which time it is too farre in the yeare for that purpose.

And if you doe sowe radish by themselves, set them sixe inches a sunder, and let them be kept cleane from weedes, and when they be readie to be spent, away with them as you may, for they will perish both by growing to seede, and also by wormes: if you do desire to provide radish seedes for another yeare, your best way is to sowe a bedde, and when the rootes be readie to spend, leave the best and fairest for seedes, and let them so left for seedes, be halfe a yard a sunder, and when the seede doth begin to bee ripe, then the birdes will devoure it, except you doe provide in time for safeguard thereof: and your radish for seedes must be sowed in beddes in the Month of March.

20. The best use for Porret and Leekes.

B Ecause Porrets and Leekes is a necessarie and profitable hearb for housekeeping, I cannot omit to write therein: if you desire to have Porret for your purpose, then you must first have good seedes thereof, and to obtaine good seedes: In August or about the first of September, prepare your ground well mucked and well digged, in place where the sun hath reasonable power in the garden. Then take up your Porret and set them before the twelfth of September, or else the Porret will not take sufficient roote to beare fruite the Sommer following: if you faile this to do, you shall not have profitable seedes, for they will bee light and deafe, without perfect substance to growe when you sowe them.

And also you doe loose halfe the waight of seedes, which otherwise is to bee had by timely setting of Porret, and the buyers are deceived by those seedes of[Page] porret which is set so late in the yeare. Porret seedes will growe in some shadowe place reasonable well and large, so that you doo not sowe them to thicke .And the Porret for Leekes to be spent, will also proove well in a shadow place, and you may set or plant them to be eaten or spent in Leekes when you please, in August, September, or October, do very well, for seedes as aforesaid.

21. How to preserve and keepe Carret rootes, and to have them readie to serve all the winter, and till the last of March next after with very small charge.

IN the two months of October and November, when you have leisure in drie weather, then provide a vessell or wine caske, or some other: then lay one course of sand on the bottome of the vessell two inches thicke, then a course of the carret rootes, so that the rootes do not touch one another: then another course of sand to cover those rootes, and then another course of rootes, and in this manner untill the vessell be full to the top, and if you have a ground seller, you may packe them in some corner in this manner, you must cut away all the branches of the carrets close by the roote, and somewhat of the small endes of the Carrets, and they must be so packed in sande unwashed and about the last of December: sometime when there is no frost, you must then unpacke them againe, and then the carret rootes will begin to spring in the top of the roote, then if you desire to keepe them untill a longer time, then you must pare off the upper end of the roote, that they annot spring any more in the top, and then packe them againe in sand as aforesaid, so may you keepe them well till Lent or Easter. And in this manner you may preserve and keepe the rootes of Parsneps and the Turneps, for I have prooved it to bee true and profitable.

I could yet heerein take occasion to write of divers rootes and hearbs, for sallets, to bee planted and sowed in gardens, which do not serve my purpose, for I rather desire to provide sufficient victuals or the poore and greatest number of people, to relieve their hungrie stomackes, then to picke dainty sallets, to provoke appetite to those that doe live in excesse, the which God amend.


Beloved in Christ Jesus, I desire you to accept of this my good enterprise, in respect I desire the benefit of the common wealth héerein, and is a speciall meane to helpe and relieve the poore, as by experience was manifest in the great dearth and scarsitie last past in the Countie of Salop and elsewhere, for with lesse garden ground then foure ackers planted with Carrets, and above seaven hundreth close cabbedges, there were many hundreds of people well refreshed thereby, for the space of twenty daies, when bread was wanting amongst the poore in the pinch or fewe daies before harvest. And many of the poore said to me, they had nothing to eate but onely carrets and Cabedges, which they had of me for many daies, and but onelie water to drinke. They had commonly sixe waxe poundes of small close Cabedges for a penny to the poore. And in this manner I did serve them, and they were wonderfull glad to have them, most humbly praising God for them. And because I did manifestly see and knew, that so littl garden ground, as lesse then foure ackers, did this great effect in the common wealth, and especially in helping the poore thereby.

Therefore I desire all good and godly people to accept of my good will therein, and to put in practise this my experience and knowledge herein mentioned. And then I have my wished desire. That the Almighty God may be glorified in his owne workes, and the poore the better relieved thereby, and thus for Gods love and your owne profit also. And if any person desire to know of one further then I have héerein expressed, if you come to me, I hope you shall not want your desire, for as I was willing to write, so am I willing to instruct as many as will request my good will therein, most willingly while it please God I remaine in this mortall life to the end. And thus the Almighty God blesse your good proceedings therein.

It is not unknowne to the Citty of London, and many other townes and cities on the sea coast, what great aboundance of carrets are brought by forraine nations to this land, whereby they have received yéerely great summes of mony[Page] and commodities out of this land, and all by carelesnes of the people of this realme of England, which do not endevor themselves for their owne profits therein, but that this last dearth and scarsitie hath somewhat urged the people to proove many waies for their better reliefe whereby I hope the benefit of Carret rootes are profitable, I will reveale my knowledge héerein: and first the use of them amongst the better sort by the Cookes. The Cookes will take Carrets devided in péeces, and boile them to season their stewed broth, and doth wonderfull well therein as dayly is knowne in service to the better sort. Also Carret rootes are boyled with powdred béefe, and eaten therewith: and as some doe report, a fewe Carrets do save one quarter of béefe in the eating of a whole beefe: and to be boyled and eaten with Porke, and all other boyled meat of flesh amongst the common sort of people, & amongst the poorer sort also: Carrets of red colours are desired of many to make dainty sallets, for roast Mutton or Lambe with Vineger and Pepper. Also Carrets shred or cut small one or two of them, and boyled in pottage of any kinde, doth effectually make those pottage good, for the use of the common sort. Carrets well boyled and buttred is a good dish for hungrie or good stomackes. Carrets in necessitie and dearth, are eaten of the poore people, after they be well boyled, instéed of bread and meate. Many people will eate Carrets raw, and doe disgest well in hungry stomackes: they give good nourishment to all people, and not hurtfull to any, whatsoever infirmities they be diseased of, as by experience doth proove by many to be true.

Carrets are good to be eaten with salt fish. Therfore sowe Carrets in your Gardens, and humbly praise God for them, as for a singuler and great blessing: so thus much for the use and benefit had in the commonwealth by Carrets. Admit if it should please God, that any City or towne should be besieged with the enemy, what better provision for the greatest number of people can bee, then every garden to be sufficiently planted with Carrets?

I doe desire all people, which have cause to sell Garden fruites or séedes to the use of others, that they would sell in[Page] reason and conscience, and for thier better instructions, I have heerein mentioned a bréefe rate, how they may well be offorded and soulde, and how I doe make sale of fruites and seedes to others as heerein is expressed. And so long as it shall please God I doe remaine in this mortall life, I will be ready to performe the same to the uttermost of my power in good will, to the benefit of the common wealth, and especially to the poore inhabitants of t is towne of Shrewesburie.

The price of Carret seedes of both the best kindes: that is to say, the large yellow Carret and the great shorte yellow Carret, the best and fairest roots chosen to set to beare seedes as before is expressed: my price of those principall Carret seedes, is after the rate of two shillings the waxe pound, without deceipt.

Large yellow Carrets of those two best kindes after the rate of two pence the stone, ten waxe waights to every stone, and also the like large Carrets which I doe keepe and preserve in sande as aforesaid, til Januarie, February, and Marche, my price is iii. pence the store.

The small roots of yellow Carrets, of both the best kinds all the rate o sixe waxe pounds for a penney.

Principall close Cabadge séeds, after the rate of iiii.d. the ounce, the which seedes are hardly saved in this cun [...]e of Salop, for being devoured with birds.

Faire and large close Cabadges, after the rate of two waxe pounds for a penney: and the smal close cabadges better cheape o the poore, as occasion shall serve.

Turnep séedes of the best and largest kinde, after the rate of xii. pence the pound.

Faire and large Turneps, at rate of ii. pennce the stone.

Principall garden Beanes of the best kinde, good and drye to sit, after the rate of ii. pence the quart. Like garden beans greene to eat, at the rate of ii.the.quart [...]

Faire Hartichoks of the greatest sort, at i. d. a péec e, and the other, two or thrée for i, d. as they proove in greatnes.

These aforesaid, & all other garden fruits, rootes and séeds whatsoever, which I have to sell, are at a reasonable price,[Page] and perfect good without deceipt, and so many as will bee content to buy with reason, come and welcome.

And if any other person desire to buy any store of principall carret seedes, as before is expressed, to sell for reason to others, to benefit the comonwealth, I am willing to serve his turne better cheape the before is declared, because I am willing to procure the use of carrets, knowne aswell to all people in this parte of England as Wales, which God graunt for the better helpe and comfort of the poore, and although I do not know in al this land where to buy the like arret seeds for v, s. a pound, yet my price is ij s the ware pound, or lesse, as cause is to my liking, till the peole may have store of their owne growing for their gardens, which is my desire, if it may so please God.

22. An exhortation to love, wherby all good works do effectually proceed eyther to the glory of God, or benefit of the commonwealth.

BEloved, the holy word saith: That if we have faith to remove mountaines, if we have not love, it dooth not prevaile us any thing. This love required of us, doth consist in few words, that is. Love God above all things, & thy neighbour as thy selfe. To love God above all thinges, is humbly to give him most hearty thankes for our creation & our redemption, in the merits of our onely saviour Jesus Christ, and also to love him in a heartie desire, to obey him in the precepts conteined in his most holy worde, and also to love him for all his benefits both spirituall & temporall, to love him for his wonderfull providence of heaven & earth, and all that is therin, for the helpe & comfort of mankinde, and to love thy neighbor as thy selfe, is to cherish him, and courteously to admonish and intreate him, to avoid sinne, and to comfort him with those blessings which the Lorde hath made thee steward of for that purpose: and when the Lord calleth thee to make accompt of thy Stewardship, if thou willingly doe endevour thy selfe to performe the love aforesaid, then true faith, and true repentance, will bring thee (as it were) hand in hand, to the presence of the Lord, where thou shalt make a joyfull accompte, onely accepted in the merrites of Christ Jesus.


This is the totall summe of thy Stewardship, whatsoever thou bee, and if thou careleslye omit to doe thy office heerein, thou makest a hard accompt for thy selfe, which God forbid, if it bee his good pleasure therein. And therefore love God above all thinges, and thy neighbour as thy selfe. And then I shal surely and effectuallye have my desire heerein, and greatly for the profit of the common wealth . And thus I desire thee good Reader, to take in good parte this my last farewell to my native soyle of Shrewsburie, except I be urged in conscience further to procéede, as cause and time dooth require therein, and for the better expelling of sinne, which is the onely hindrance of all good workes: let us humbly end with hartie prayer to our heavenly Father as followeth.

O Heavenly Father, have mercie upon this commonwealth and congregation, & graunt that we doe not resist nor quench thy holy spirit any longer, but that we may utterly abolish and forsake contention, ambition, vaine glory, and all manner of crueltie, periverie & smooth disembling hipocrisie, & all other greevous sinnes daylyen committed against ay devine Majestie: Graunt also O heavenly Father, that the Preachers & distributers of thy holy word & gospel, have not cause any longer to mourne, lament, and greeve, in that they cannot prevaile against these notorious sinnes aforesaid, and many other daily committed, not in the space of fortie yeares past, to any good purpose, whereby sinne is growne to be rotten ripe, dayly urging the presence of thy judgements against us and graunt likewise if it be thy good pleasure that our owne great number of bookes, wherin thy holy word is conteined, & by thy great mercie we doe possesse them in peace many yeares past, that they be not witnesse against us in the day of thy feareful visitation.

Graunt also for thy mercies sake that all these which do seeme to professe thy holy worde and Gospel, may also truely & effectually practise the same in their lives and conversation without shamele ipo [...]sie or blinde selfe love . O Lorde behoulde and reforme the great multitude of seditious persons, that have presumed into the place of auncient peece makers, whereby thy holy word and Gospell hath taken all effect in his commonwealth, for many yeares past, by reason thereof ,O Lorde reforme their abuses, & shorten their contentious proceedings, for thne elect sake, Graunt also O heavenly father, that wee fained love & charitie, may possesse the hearts of all men: & that sedition and binde selfe love may be utterlye vanquished unto Sathan, from whence it dooth proceede into the hearts of the ungodly, against the true peace of thy holy worde and Gospel. Grace mercy and peace from God our heavenly Father, bee with us all, now and evermore. Amen.



This is the full version of the original text


dwelling, kitchen, manure, planting, sowing, wealth

Source text

Title: PROFITABLE INSRUCTIONS FOR THE MANURING, Sowing and Planting of Kitchin Gardens. Very profitable for the common wealth and greatly for the helpe and com fort of poore people. Gathered by Richard Gardiner of Shrewsberie. Imprinted at London by Edward Allde for Edward White, dwelling at the little North doore of Paules at the signe of the Gunne. 1599.

Author: Richard Gardiner

Publisher: Edward Allde

Publication date: 1599

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bib name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 11570.5 Physical description: [32] p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery

Digital edition

Original author(s): Richard Gardiner

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > manuals and guides

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.