This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Trees that have long stems exposed to hot suns, or drying winds, become what gardeners call "hide-bound." That is, the old bark becomes indurated - cannot expand, and the tree suffers much in consequence. Such an evil is usually indicated by grey lichens which feed on the decaying bark. In these cases a washing of weak lye or of lime water is very useful; indeed, where the bark is healthy, it is beneficial thus to wash the trees, as many eggs of insects are thereby destroyed.
We would, however, again refer to linseed oil as a wash, as far more effective for insects, and would, perhaps, do as well for moss and lichen. After all, these seldom come when trees are well cultivated. It is neglect makes poor-growth, and poor growth, lichens.
The planting of the pear, apple, plum and cherry will soon be in season; peaches, apricots and grape vines, except south of the Potomac, being for the most part left till spring. Choose a dry piece of ground. If not naturally dry, it is best to throw the earth up into banks or ridges and plant on them. This is cheaper and better than underdraining. In planting, if the roots appear deep, cut away some of the deeper ones, and shorten some of the top of the tree at the game time. This is particularly true of dwarf pears which are often grafted on rather long 1 quince stocks. Cut all away of the quince root but about six inches, and if this should be found to leave few roots, cut away the top correspondingly. Most of the failures with dwarf pears come from bad quince roots, so deep in the ground the lower parts decay, and this decay gradually communicates upwards until the whole system becomes diseased. The more tenacious the sub-soil the more necessary is it to attend to this matter. We spoke of pruning in proportion to injury.
It will* be found that all trees are a little injured by removal, therefore all trees should be a little pruned at transplanting.
The vegetable season is almost over, though some care may be used to advantage.
Tomatoes will still repay care bestowed in keeping them in shape. Those grown on stakes should be tied up, and will continue bearing for some time yet. Where the ground is very dry waste water from the kitchen will benefit them. Egg plants like* plenty of moisture, with sun and air. If the ground be dry, give them abundant manure water; they will bear until frost.
Potatoes, as soon as the tops are well decayed, are best taken up at once, as they appear less liable to rot afterwards, than if left long in the ground.
Turnips also may still be sown. In fact, if the soil be rich, a better quality of root for table use will be obtained than if sown earlier.
The main crop of spinage should now be sown. Properly cooked, there are few vegetables more agreeable to the general taste, and few families who have gardens will wish to be without it. It is essential that it have a very well enriched soil, as good large leaves constitute its perfection as a vegetable. As soon as the weather becomes severe, a light covering of straw should be thrown over it. A few radishes may be sown with the spinage for fall use.
Cabbage and cauliflower are sown this month for spring use. The former requires some care, as, if it grow too vigorous before winter, it will all run to seed in the spring. The best plan is to make two sowings - one early in the month, the other at the end. The rule is, get them only just . so strong that they may live over the winter in safety. Many preserve them in frames; but they should have wooden sashes or shutters instead of glass, so as not to encourage them to grow much.
Cauliflower, on the other hand, cannot well be too forward. Most persons provide a pit of stone, brick or wood, sunk five or six feet below the surface of the ground, into which leaves, manure, or any waste vegetable matter is filled. When quite full it is suffered to heat a little, when it will sink somewhat and have more material added to it; about six inches of good rich loam is then placed on it, and early in November the cauliflower is planted out. The object in refilling the leaves so often is to insure the plants remaining as near the glass as possible, which is very essential in the growth of cauliflowers. Lettuce is treated in the same way, and seed should be sown now to prepare for the planting. The cabbage lettuce is the kind usually employed.