This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It takes a long while for a good idea to become popular. The Gardener's Monthly long ago showed the advantage of rooting Strawberries in small pots for fall planting, and expressed an opinion that the trade would soon find an advantage in getting such plants ready and advertising them. The idea slept for a while, but now it has come into general practice. A pot-rooted plant is worth a dozen plants taken fresh from the plant, and will always bring a price proportioned to the labor of preparing it.
The thinning of fruit, - watching of insects, especially the borers in Dwarf Pears, Quince, Apple and Peach, - and summer-pruning are the main subjects of attention at this particular season. Where the soil is not very good, as may be noted by a weak growth of the trees, a surface manuring may be yet given with advantage. Every day's experience more decidedly shows the great advantages to the pomologist of this method of applying manure.
It used to be, and it is yet to a great extent, the recommendation of writers to cut away raspberry canes as soon as they have borne fruit; fruit-growers know better now. The slight shade these old stalks afford, is agreeable to the new growth which is to bear next year.
In regard to training fruit trees, this is the most important month in the year. If a shoot appears where it is not wanted, pinch it off; this throws the sap into other directions where strength and vigor is desired. A good summer pruner does not leave much to be done in the winter time.
The time when currants and gooseberries mildew and drop their foliage is at hand. Some have found a mulch of salt hay to be good against these troubles, but in fact anything that cools the surface and thus helps to keep the atmosphere about the plants, is good. A heavy mulch of old corn stalks we have found to be excellent help to success in growing these fruits.
Preparation for the Celery crop is one of the chief matters in this department at this season. No plant, perhaps, requires a richer soil than this, and of all manures, well decayed cow dung is found to be the best. After so many trials with different ways of growing them, those who have their own gardens, - amateurs, for whom we write, - find that the old plan of sinking the plants in shallow pits is about the best. Trenches I are dug about six inches deep, and three or four: inches of manure then dug in, of which cow manure is the best. They can be watered better this way in dry weather, when in these trenches, and it is so much easier to fill the earth about them for blanching purposes than when grown on the level surface. Salt in moderate doses is usually a wonderful special fertilizer for the celery plant.
Late Cabbage is often planted in gardens between rows of potatoes, where it is an object to save space. Some fancy that the cabbage is better preserved in this way from the cabbage-fly, which they say prefers the potato; but on this point we are not sure. We do not think the cabbages do quite as well as when they have the whole ground to themselves; but of course a double crop could not be expected to be quite so fine.
Tomatoes trained to stakes give the sweetest fruit, and remain in bearing the longest; but many cultivators who grow for size and quantity only, believe they have the best results when growing them on the level ground.
For winter use, Beets are occasionally sown now, and also Cucumbers for pickling purposes; but not often: and at any rate it must be attended to early in the month.
The Lettuce is another cool-country plant. It can only be grown well in hot weather when in very rich and cool soil.
Bush Beans may also be sown for late crops. A very deep rich soil is necessary to tender, crisp pods. The Lima Bean will now be growing rapidly. It is time well spent to tie them up to poles as they grow. The poles should not be too high; about eight feet is enough. They commence to bear freely only when the top of the pole is reached.
In many amateurs' gardens late Peas are valued. It is essential that they be planted in the coolest part of the ground. The pea is a cool-country plant, and when it has to grow in warm weather, it mildews. The Marrowfat class are usually employed for late crops. They need support. All peas grow better and produce more when grown to stakes.