This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
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 same time. This is particularly true of dwarf Pears which are often grafted on rather long Quince stocks. Cut away all of the Quince root tout 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 subsoil the more necessary it is 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.
Whitewash is frequently resorted to by farmers, but the great objection is its unsightly appearance - the result is otherwise good. The great opposition to washes formerly was, that the pores of the bark were closed by them - this was on the supposition that the bark was alive, but the external bark of most trees has been dead years before the time of application; and " the breathing" if so the operations of the pores can be called, it is through the crevices formed in the old bark by the expansion of the growing tree, by which the living bark below has a chance of contact with the air. No matter what kind of coating is applied to the bark of a tree, it will soon crack sufficiently by the expansion of the trunk to permit all the " breathing" necessary.
The main crop of Spinach 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 Spinach for Fall use.
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.
Celery and Endive will still require the attention in blanching described in former hints.
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 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.