Garden Journal

Planting planning: Fall is a great time to plant trees, and right now is a good time to consider where you have space for apple, cherry, peach or other fruits. Bear in mind that most apples are not self-fertile (meaning you’ll need two for cross-pollination) and that even so-called semi-dwarf trees will cast a long shadow when mature.

Winter greens: It’s not too late to start kale from seed for a fall and late-winter crop. Considered the most robust and tolerant member of the cabbage family, kale will grow in almost any soil — and merely laughs at the cold. That said, you’ll get a better crop in rich soil, so dig in some compost before sowing seed. And remember that while it tolerates cold, it prefers direct sun.

Vampire repellent: August is garlic-harvest time. Loosen the soil and pull them up by their tops. Braids are attractive and a fun project for warm afternoons on a shady porch, but however you choose to cure the bulbs, be sure to leave the greens attached for a month or so. (Bundling is a speedier approach than braids.) When the tops are dry, trim them about an inch from the cloves, clip off excess roots and shake or gently brush remaining dirt from the bulbs. Then store them in cool, dry, dark container.

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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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