Grow Massachusetts!

This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of January 22, 2018

If you choose a site for your vegetable garden that has very dry soil or soil that drains too quickly, don’t be discouraged!  You can simply add lots of organic matter to your soil in the form of straw, chopped leaves, grass clippings or compost and it will reduce evaporation. 

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Week of January 15, 2018

Agaves such as A. filifera, A. miradorensis and A. Victoria-reginae are good choices for window sill or tabletop houseplants. They love a sunny, south-facing window and a cactus potting soil mixture.

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Week of January 8, 2018

Blue jays bury acorns in the fall for food in the winter.  They don’t bury just a few acorns but rather thousands.  One single blue jay can bury 4,500 acorns in a single fall. 

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Week of January 1, 2018

When repotting houseplants, add a layer of pebbles in bottoms of larger pots to help improve air circulation; it is a must for containers without drainage holes. For small pots, use ½ inch of pebbles and for large pots, use up to 3” of pebbles.

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Week of December 25, 2017

When potting up your houseplants, keep in mind that for plants best keep “dryish” or plants that are susceptible to overwatering, porous clay pots are the best choice.

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Week of December 18, 2017

Plant Paper Birch (Betula papyifera Marsh.) to invite the downy woodpecker, blue jay, tufted titmouse and American goldfinch to your landscape. All of these birds find the branches of the paper birch excellent for cover. All, but the downy woodpecker, find the seeds to be a nutritional food source too.

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Week of December 11, 2017

Daylilies are edible. You can eat the flower buds, raw and cooked, and add the opened blooms to salads. The tubers, which look like baby fingerling potatoes, can be eaten either raw or cooked. They have a crisp texture paired with a nutty sweetness that is delicious pan fried or roasted until tender. For culinary purposes, stick to H. fulva rather than daylily cultivars; and please note – the Lilium species are toxic.

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Week of December 4, 2017

Pot up bulbs of amaryllis and paperwhites for holiday gift giving.

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Week of November 27, 2017

Young rhododendrons tend to be leggy.  Encourage branching by pinching off terminal growth buds just before growth begins and by pinching growing shoots before their leaves fully expand.  You can recognize terminal growth buds by their slenderness in contrast to the fat stubbiness of flower buds.

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Week of November 20, 2017

Heavy pruning is essential to apricot production.  Thin and top the tree annually.  A well-pruned apricot tree has a stubby look with no long, thin branches.  Remove one-third of the new wood each year.  Do this in the winter when the tree is dormant.

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