Fruit and veggie tips

  • Store apples, not touching each other, in baskets or boxes lined with perforated plastic or foil. Check often for any damaged fruit—apples give off a gas that speeds ripening, and injured fruits emit even more, accelerating ripening of nearby apples (thus the "one bad apple" saying). Apples are best stored at near-freezing temperatures (30–32 degrees F). Apples stored at this temperature will last up to 10 times longer than those stored at room temperature.
  • Harvest turnip roots when they are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and before heavy frosts begin.
  • Pick any green tomatoes before frost and wrap them individually in newspaper to ripen in a cool room.
  • Pick outer leaves of collards and kale for cooking. If you leave a central growing point, plants will continue to produce new leaves.

Hort Shorts

  • If you lack indoor space to store pots of tender impatiens, begonias, coleus, fushias and potato vines, take cuttings before the first frost. Cut 4- to 6-inch sections of stem and place in water in a small jar, bottle or vase. Pinch blooms and remove any leaves below the water line. When roots form, plant in small pots and keep in a sunny location. Cuttings often survive in water alone. Just be sure to keep the containers filled with water above the root line, trimming roots a bit if they become too matted. These can then be potted closer to spring and re-introduced into the garden after danger of frost.
  • Don't fertilize perennials at this time of year. They need to ready themselves for winter dormancy.

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