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The Propagating House

I will only give a description of a lean-to of the cheapest kind, for
which any common hot-bed sash, six feet long, can be used.

Choose for a location the south side of a hill, as, by making the house
almost entirely underground, a great deal of building material can be
saved. Excavate the ground as for a cellar--say five feet deep on the
upper side, seven feet wide, and of any length to suit convenience, and
the number of plants you wish to grow. Inside of the excavation set
posts or scantlings, the upper row to be seven feet long above the
ground, and two feet below the ground; the lower row four and one-half
feet above the ground, so that the roof will have about two and
one-half feet pitch. Upon these nail the rafters, of two-inch planks.
Then take boards, say common inch-plank, and set them up behind the
posts, one above the other, to prevent the earth from falling in. This
will make all the wall that is needed on both sides. On the ends,
boards can be nailed to both sides of the posts, and the intervening
space tilled with spent tan or saw-dust. Upon the rafters place the
sash on the lower side; the upper side may be covered with boards or
shingles, where also the ventilating holes can be left, to be closed
with trap-doors. The house is to be divided into two compartments--the
furnace-room on one end, about eight feet long, and the propagating
house, The furnace is below the ground, say four feet long, the flue to
be made of brick, and to extend under the whole length of the bench. To
make the flue, lay a row of bricks flat and crosswise; on the ends of
these place two others on their edges, and across the top lay a row
flat, in the same way as the bottom ones were placed. This gives the
flue four inches by eight in the clear. The flue should rise rather
abruptly from the furnace, say about a foot; it can then be carried
fifty feet with, say six to nine inches rise, and still have sufficient
draft. Inside of the propagating room we have again two
compartments--the propagating bench, nearest to the furnace, and a
shelf for the reception of the young plants, after their first
transplanting from the cutting-pots or boxes. Make a shelf or table
along the whole length of the house; at the lower end it should be
about eighteen inches from the glass, and five feet wide. To a house
of, say fifty feet, the propagating bench may be, say twelve feet long,
and the room below it and around the flue should be inclosed with
boards, as it will keep the heat better.

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