HELEN LANG: Getting closer to the harvest season

The balcony is looking very bare but those wonderful geraniums are still standing tall and beautiful.

It’s getting close to time to bring indoor plants that have spent the summer outside, in the mottled shade of a tree, back inside — soon, as the weather changes from hot to “cooling down,” lest the plants lose their leaves.

If you do it while outside temperatures are about the same as the one indoors, your plant(s) won’t suffer from the shock of the change, act temperamental and start to drop leaves, have others turn yellow and just generally act as though you don’t love them any longer and don’t care if they die!

What a ridiculous bunch of horticultural morons!

Of course we care! Who do they think remembers to give them a drink of warmed water, feed them with expensive fertilizer, tell them how lovely they are (regularly)?

Maybe a threat would be a good idea? How about: “Be good or I’ll leave you out in the rain and “forget” to bring you inside when there’s the nasty threat of frost!”

Do you suppose they are listening? They better be (said she, flexing her eyebrows).

The balcony is looking very bare but those wonderful geraniums are still standing tall and beautiful.

Hint: plant more geraniums next year. We should discuss propagating geraniums from “cuttings,” or winter them over and make cuttings next spring when they are full of enthusiasm about a new year. Or we should make some cuttings now and more next spring.

We are now working up to the harvest season. By that I mean harvesting for storage of  fruit and vegetables for winter’s meals. Not everything has to be put in storage already but we are just trying to plan a bit.

It’s probably too early to pick most apples but the Bartlett pears may almost be ripe, so why not eat them now and store the Bosc pears which ripen later?

Italian prunes and Greengages will be ready soon and may be picked, and eaten, or washed in cool water and frozen whole to be eaten later. Other methods include stewing them until soft, freezing them to be served later with a whipped cream topping. Summer is almost over, so please enjoy the fruits it produces and those wonderful vegetables too.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.