How to get fruit plants ready for winter: Start preparing for a successful harvest. Unharvested apples and apple mummies in an apple tree.

Once you’ve picked the last of your fruits this season, you may think your work with your fruit plants is over. However, a few tasks can be done in the fall to set yourself up for a successful growing season next year.

Peaches on tree

August is National Peach month, and who doesn’t love fresh peaches! Not only is the whole month dedicated to celebrating peaches, but we also have Eat a Peach Day on August 22nd and National Peach Pie Day on August 24th. If President Reagan was really thinking, he would have also named August National Ice Cream month because who doesn’t love ice cream with peach pie, cobbler, crisp, or just peaches by themselves!

Scarlet runner beans growing on a fence

When we think of the typical home landscape, our garden areas are usually separated by the type of plant being grown. We have a separate bed for flowers and ornamental plants, one for vegetables and one for herbs. Often the vegetable and herb gardens are tucked away in the backyard and out of view from the neighbors. However, in recent years there has been an increasing trend to incorporate edible food crops into landscapes or edible landscaping.

pictures of the 2020 AAS Winners Cucumber Green Light F1, Pumpkin Blue Prince F1, Tomato Apple Yellow F1, Tomato Celano F1, Tomato Early Resilience F1 Watermelon Mambo F1, Coleus Main Street Beale Street, Echinacea Sombrero® Baja Burgundy, and Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush

The garden catalogs are coming thick and fast this time of year. There may be no better way to beat the winter blues than to thumb through these catalogs and start planning this year’s garden (it will be time to start seeds before you know it). While making plans for this year’s garden, take some time to review your notes from last year. What varieties and cultivars did you grow last year? What produced well, what didn’t? What tasted good, what didn’t?

picture of cranberry plants and ripe cranberry fruit

Cranberries are a common sight this time of year. Americans consume nearly 400 million pounds of cranberries per year, and we consume about 20 percent of that during Thanksgiving week! Whether you eat them fresh, dried, as sauce or jellied or drink them, they are staples at many holiday meals. They can also be used in a variety of ways while decorating for the holidays.