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Fall means pomegranate season, and pomegranates are one of our favorite, edible landscape shrubs. The beautiful foliage, decorative fruit, and relative drought tolerance make it such a great shrub for our dry, hot summers. Come fall we like to make a batch or two of grenadine, that beautiful, garnet-colored syrup.
Olive season is upon us, and if you've ever wanted to cure your own olives now is a good time to try it. Last year Carla cured a batch of olives and they turned out quite well. She picked the olives when some were turning dark ripe and some were still green. They can be picked totally green for firmer finished olives.
Sowing seeds of cool weather cover crops in the fall is an excellent way to build your soil. During the winter a fall-sown cover crop will help hold the soil during winter rains (providing protection from erosion), help keep nutrients from leaching away, and add organic matter to the soil. The roots of a cover crop help keep an active exchange with soil microorganisms.
We recently met a gardener who had stopped growing tomatoes in his home garden because of the damage that bugs had done to his fruit in past years. A little questioning revealed that the insects his tomatoes were attracting were the ubiquitous harlequin bug.
Melon plants can take up quite a bit of room in the garden, sprawling their way over pathways and into neighboring beds. We find that growing melons is such a treat. When that first ripe melon is ready for picking, at just the right time, we cannot resist but eat the sweet offering. Even in our small garden, our melon does not have to take over the whole garden because we are growing it a trellis.