This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
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. Some say that if plants are raised at this season, or cuttings made from old plants now, they-will fruit very early next year. It may be worth thinking of at this time.
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 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 <>i' straw should be thrown over it. A lew radishes may be sown with the spinach 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 live 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 Buffered 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 he sown now to prepare for the planting. The cabbage lettuce is the kind usually employed.
In planting fruit trees it will be found best to go to work as soon as the leaves change color.
If they have good roots, are not dried before planting, and are hammered in very tight indeed, they need not be much pruned; but as the season advances before Winter sets in, prune in proportion. Many go to considerable expense in preparing ground for trees, but if the trees are heavily surface manured after planting, it often does just about as well.
Some talk, in preparing an orchard, about making " one huge hole " for all the trees. This seems witty, but it is an expense which very few orchards will ever repay. Water is likely to stand in the deep holes we recommend; but in such cases we would, rather than go to the expense of subsoiling the whole orchard or un-derdraining, plant higher than they grew before - higher than the surrounding soil, mounding the earth, as it were, above the level. No water will ever stand here. And the money usually spent on making "one big hole "of the " whole" orchard, or in underdraining, we would spend in annually surface-dressing the ground.
Trees that have long stems exposed to hot suns, or drying winds, become what gardeners call "hidebound." 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.