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.
About this season of the year, trees and shrubs transplanted in spring will often show signs of weakness. If so a severe pruning will help them. Sometimes there are hollow spaces about the roots - places where the soil does not touch. In such cases pounding by a heavy ram-imer has often been found to do a heap of good. If the soil be very dry a watering maybe necessary. For this make a basin about the tree so that the water will be compelled to soak in and not run away. And all this is true of shrubs and flowers, hedge plants and vines.
Some trees and flowers will be benefited by a mulch to keep the earth cool. The heat of the climate seldom hurts anything; it is from the heats of the ground that so many things -suffer. Roses are now pegged over the ground, instead of being trained to stakes; and they show by the increased flowering, how much they like the coolness the branches make by shading the ground. Speaking of roses reminds us to say that most people now know that the more flowers are cut from rose bushes the more they bloom. They stop blooming when they have to mature seeds; and this is true of most flowering things.
Flowering shrubs are often pruned into shape" in the winter; and an ugly thing a pruned bush becomes. If useless branches are taken out in the summer time, and the stragglers nipped back, it is wonderful how different the result will be.
Many grafted trees throw out suckers from the stocks, and people wonder why the stem becomes diseased and the plants die. Watch for suckers now and take them oft' as they appear. This is very important in the cases of Kilmarnock Willow and grafted roses.
No trees, evergreens especially, should be suffered to have grass grow about them for a year or so after planting. It becomes " rank" in the deeply loosened soil, abstracts moisture, and otherwise seriously interferes with the tree. When the tree gets a fair start, grass does less injury, and when it becomes a tough sod, and the tree by its shade, or say by frequent mowing keeps the grass short, the grass roots do not penetrate deep, and the sod is of benefit, by keeping the surface spongy, and the substratum cool.
Many herbaceous plants, such as Phloxes, Hollyhocks and similar things, that are scarce and valued, may be propagated now very easily, by taking portions of their flower-stems before the flowers open, and inserting them as cuttings in a half shaded, cool, and not dry situation. Layering of many things, shrubs, half shrubby perennials, etc., should be done before the young wood becomes too hard, if good plants are required the first year. Most plants root more quickly by having a notch cut in the layered shoot. Good, rich soil, put just about the layers is very important. Good soil favors an abundance of roots. One of the greatest mistakes in gardening is the prevalent notion that plants in a poor soil have a greater proportion of roots than in a rich one.
By the modern rage for bedding plants, the old-fashioned hardy herbaceous plants have been sent into back corners. At this season there will be many gay flowers out, and those who love these things, should note their names as they see them in their neighbor's grounds, and get them in season. Too often hardy plant borders look bad, because of a want of system in selection. Those which bloom in May should be put together, and those which flower in June, and so on. An autumn group of Asters, Soli-dagos, etc., is a beautiful sight.