Stop harvesting rhubarb and asparagus. The plants are now storing energy for next year’s growth. In October after all foliage has died back cover the crowns with 4 to 6 inches of chicken manure or 2 to 4 inches of compost and one pound of Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0). For longer stems, in the spring when new shoots appear cover the crown of the plant with an inverted large plastic pot with the bottom cut out. Stems will stretch to reach the light thus rendering longer stems to harvest.
Harvest potatoes if vines have died down. Rub potato skins to see if they have hardened. If the skin comes off easily, wait a week or so before harvesting.
Delay harvesting parsnips, rutabagas and carrots until after a sharp frost for better flavor.
Begin curing onions and garlic. As tops begin to yellow, push the top over. About three weeks after bending the tops, dig them up. Spread them out in a shady dry space to dry for about 5 to 10 days. Store where they will be dry and have good air circulation.
Pick all under-ground crops (beets, onions, carrots, etc.) in the morning. Pick all above-ground plants (lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, etc.) in the late afternoon or twilight. The sun’s energy runs from the foliage to the root at night, which is why you should pick root crops early in the day while the sun’s energy is still there.
Watch for powdery mildew on Dahlias, Squash, Grapes, Hollyhock, Sunflowers, Roses and other ornamentals. It’s a common plant disease caused by a fungus. It appears as a grayish white powdery spots and patches on leaves and stems. Leaves eventually turn yellow and die. Treat this disease with a Fungicide containing chlorothalonil or the organic fungicide containing Neem Oil.