Grow Massachusetts!

This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape


Week of November 13, 2017

Before storing for the winter, clean all pots and flats for seed starting for next season.

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Week of November 6, 2017

Be sure to check on the green tomatoes that you had stored.  They should be red by now.  If they have remained green, you can use them in relishes or simply fry them up!

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Week of October 30, 2017

Harvest Brussel sprouts after a frost. Cut or break off the sprouts as needed. The sprouts that remain on the plant will continue to grow well into the fall.

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Week of October 23, 2017

Prune Ilex spp. (Holly) as needed for good structure and form but avoid cutting back into leafless portions of the plant if you want regrowth. Prune while the plant is dormant.

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Week of October 16, 2017

If you have been reusing the soil in your containers for several years, give it new life by dumping out the soil onto a tarp or into a wheelbarrow.  Mix it with pine needles, perlite and vermiculite in equal parts.  Put it back into the container.  You can also compost it and start with fresh soil next year!

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Week of October 9, 2017

To store Dahlia tubers for next year, wait one week after a blackening frost, where foliage turns dark and wilts.  Cut the stems to 1” – 2” from the soil surface and then dig them up.  Wash the clump of tubers to remove excess soil.  Dry stem side down for two to three days so moisture drains out of the hollow stems and won’t mold.  Store covered in slightly moist sphagnum peat or vermiculite in boxes or plastic bags with perforations. 

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Week of October 2, 2017

To ripen green tomatoes, place them in a paper bag with a ripe apple.  Why an apple?  As fruit ripens, it give off ethylene, a naturally occurring growth regulator.  Ethylene, being a gas, can permeate the air and stimulate the repining of adjacent fruit.  In the same way, ethylene given off by the apple will hasten the ripening of tomatoes in the bag.

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Week of September 25, 2017

Aloe vera plants’ gel is high in Vitamin C and reputed to have numerous health benefits. Some people slice the leaves lengthwise and use the gel to soothe sunburn. Be careful, however, not to get the yellow layer (just beneath the rind) on your clothes. It will stain; and if ingested, causes diarrhea and cramping.

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Week of September 18, 2017

Boxwood requires little pruning unless shearing into a hedge.  Prune whenever needed, however, keep in mind that where winters are cold, pruning at least one month before the first frost is best for the plant.

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Week of September 11, 2017

To maintain the beauty and shape of hemlocks, clip or shear trees in midsummer.  They are very forgiving of pruning and will resprout after being cut back quite severely.

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