Cloth For Hotbeds

Would cloth do to cover a hotbox to raise lettuce, radishes, etc., for

winter use where we get a very heavy rainfall?

Yes, if you make the cloth waterproof for its own preservation from

mildew and other agencies of decay. The following recipe for

waterproofing cloth is taken from our book on "California Vegetables":

Soften 4 1/2 ounces of glue in 8 3/4 pints of water, cold at first; then

dissolve in, say, a washboiler full (6 gallons) of warm water, with 2

1/2 ounces of hard soap; put in the cloth and boil for an hour, wring

and dry; then prepare a bath of a pound of alum and a pound of salt,

soak the prepared cloth in it for a couple of hours, rinse with clear

water and dry. One gallon of the glue solution will soak about ten yards

of cloth. This cloth has been used in southern California for several

years without mildewing, and it will hold water by the pailful. Where

the rain is heavy and frequent, the cloth should be well supported by

slats and given slope to shed water quickly. Of course, this is only a

makeshift. Glass would be more satisfactory and durable in a region of

much cloudiness and scant sunshine; the greater illumination through

glass will make for the greater health and growth of the plants.

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