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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