This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
There will be much to do in the vegetable garden this month in the way of planting out (for winter) the main crops of Kale, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Savoys; also succession crops of Lettuce, Cabbage, Spinach, and Turnips require frequent attention. Larger breadths of these may now be sown and planted, as there will be less likelihood of them running to seed, especially if the ground chosen is cool, and well prepared with manure. Good soakings of water are also necessary if the weather is dry. Surface sprinklings given frequently only disappoint: allow good soakings when it is given, and when the surface becomes dry, the hoe or steel fork should be freely used to prevent cracking. Liberal mulching, when it can be applied, will give sweet, crisp, and juicy produce. Before planting, let drills be drawn as for Pease, which will clear away the dry soil; and when the hoe is used afterwards (for cleaning as well as surface stirring), the closing in of the drills will act as an "earthing-up." Two feet apart between the plants, if the ground is good, will not be too much for strong kinds of Kale; and for Broccoli, 2 1/2 feet each way may be allowed. On poor sandy soil, 18 inches each way may be enough. When planting, let the roots (not the necks) be firmed moderately.
Dipping in a puddle made with a little soot, red-lead, earth, and water, will in a great measure prevent the attack of grubs, etc. Vermin are so common in old gardens that it is with difficulty plants can be preserved. A handful of soot and lime placed round the collars of each plant is a good old practice. Cabbage may be planted double the thickness they are intended to remain: every alternate one can be cut out as soon as fit for use. An early and a later kind, planted plant for plant, answers well for double cropping, as the early sort can be cut and used, leaving the late kind to monopolise the ground. Spinach (not to waste valuable ground) may be sown between any of the above-mentioned crops, or between rows of fruit-trees. New Zealand Spinach, grown on good soil, saves much trouble in keeping up successions of the round kind. A good breadth of Swedish Turnips sown towards the end of this month will be found valuable where sweet crisp Turnips are required all through the winter. It is well to sow two or three kinds at one time, as a good succession is thus easily kept up. Red and White Stone and Snowball are great favourites with us for sowing at this season. Young Carrots can be kept in succession all through the season.
As formerly advised, fresh earth, free from manure, in some localities is almost indispensable for producing Carrots of any kind. Beet should be thinned, and the best of the thinnings transplanted if required. Onions (except those for pickling), Salsify, Parsnips, and all such plants, if they have been only partially thinned, should now be finished without delay: when they are allowed to become matted at the roots, they are greatly injured by it. Plant out Leeks in heavily-manured ground; make good-sized holes with the dibble, and let a little earth fall to the roots only. Shallow ridges generally give fine long blanched Leeks. They are extra feeders, therefore manure (solid and liquid) can hardly be given too liberally. Potatoes and Cauliflower require plenty of surface stirring with fork or hoe. The latter, if on poor ground, will be greatly improved by mulching, and a soaking or two of manure-water. Wal-cheren Broccoli may be sown with all safety in the south for a crop, but it is often chance work in the north so late in the season. Broad Beans may still be sown for a late crop if wanted: give mulching and water to those on light poor ground, and top them to induce podding. Pease require attention by staking in time: plenty of water may be necessary if weather,is dry.
Top those which may be growing rank, and if too many are coming in at once, topping will keep them back. We have seen the shears used for this purpose, but it does not look well for a time. To keep Pease in bearing, the pods should be taken off before they ripen, and mulch as formerly advised. Celery may now be planted for a main crop, giving plenty of manure and abundance of water at the roots: dryness soon stunts the growth, and if premature seeding does not take place, tough stems are certain.
Lettuce, sown in rows thinly on the tops of the ridges, is a suitable crop for such spaces. When fit to handle, they may be thinned to one foot apart. Imperial white Cos is still one of the best for summer crops. Lettuce, like most other kinds of vegetables, are difficult to get true.
Asparagus should not be cut too late in the season, which would weaken the roots considerably: dustings of salt will help them. French Beans and Scarlet Runners may be sown now for a full crop. Negroe's old dun-coloured are still favourites for late crops. Tulmer's and Sion House are also good. Newington Wonder, to be sown often and used quickly, is one of the best, the pods being small, round, and crisp: they come in great quantities at one time. Ridge Cucumbers may now be planted out, preparing beds of dung in the ground, throwing the soil right and left, then covering it over the ridge of manure nearly the thickness of a foot: a little light turfy soil starts the plants off into free growth. The stems should be trained regularly over the surface of the ridge, preventing them from becoming matted, pinching out the tops above the fruit. Similar treatment is required for Vegetable Marrows. They require less attention. Tomatoes plant out against walls to be trained where space occurs. If a number of the latest are kept in pots, they will be useful for taking in-doors when frost shows itself, though they do almost as well in the south, planted out like potatoes, as on walls, etc.
The latter is a simple method of growing them, and space may be profitably occupied with them.
Strawberries may now be increased by pegging down the layers in small pots, to be grown on into larger pots, or planted out when sufficiently rooted. A little attention at the beginning will secure an early and vigorous growth, and fine fruiting plants will be prepared for bearing next season. Mulch, if not already done, the fruiting plants for this season. Clean straw is the best material for keeping the fruit clean, but few are ready to afford it for this purpose. We use the clean wasted straw from the stable-yard - when well washed by rains, it is little inferior to ordinary unused straw. Grass is used by some, but it brings with it endless crops of weeds, and is a harbour for slugs, etc. The thinning of fruit on walls may be proceeded with now with some degree of safety, but going several times over is much safer than doing it all at once. Among stone-fruits, the best-exposed and most vigorous-looking fruits should be left, and if spread regularly over the whole surface of the tree, so much the better; but where wood and foliage are strongest, the crop should be left thickest.