Grow Massachusetts!

This week in your Massachusetts garden

Week of February 20, 2017

Add sweet peas to your seed list. This is the ornamental sweet pea not the vegetable or garden pea, also known as English peas. It is a very fragrant plant that is underutilized in this cool climate.

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Week of February 13, 2017

Keep your eye out for Pussy Willows coming in to bloom. Not only cute as the dickens, they are also a great early source of pollen for bees. The silvery soft flower buds that we all loved as kids actually open when they turn yellow with pollen. We may think they have “gone by” at that point, but the bees are in heaven!

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Week of February 5, 2017

Buy seed of some annuals you’ve not previously grown. Try gazania, gomphrena (globe amaranth), nierembergia, blue bedder salvia, santivalia (creeping zinnia) and torenia.

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Week of January 30, 2017

Tapping a sugar maple will not harm a healthy tree. You will only collect about 10 percent of the tree’s sugar stores, from which it easily recovers. How much sap does it take to produce a gallon of syrup? 40 gallons!

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Week of January 23, 2017

What kind of light bulbs you choose to grow seedlings indoors is far less important than having an adjustable fixture, as long as they don’t emit much heat. The amount of light that reaches the plant decreases rapidly the further they are away from the source (the inverse square law for the math geeks). So keep the lights as close to the plants as you can, and raise the lights as they grow.

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Week of January 16, 2017

Do you write garden notes? You likely keep a journal, whether you know it or not, if you have a camera on your phone. Even if you never wrote it down somewhere (gee, do you think I meant it?) you probably have snapped a photo of what worked and what can be improved.

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Winter interest in the garden

Week of January 9, 2017

There’s nothing quite like a blanket of snow to showcase winter interest in the garden. Look at it like a blank canvas.

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Week of December 26, 2016

Resolve to practice water conservation in the landscape and gardens. Set up rain barrels to collect water, use mulches around plants, and plant drought tolerant species.

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Week of December 19, 2016

Don’t throw away seed catalogs received in the mail, even if you intend to save on ever-increasing shipping and handling costs by shopping at your local garden center. I use seed and plant catalogs as mini-encyclopedias to help in compiling my seed and plants lists for the upcoming year. The pictures and descriptions are quite useful.

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Week of December 12, 2016

Children especially would enjoy a dish garden or a terrarium. These require little care and make an interesting subject for inquiring young minds. In addition, they could add a salamander or boa constrictor for a more complete ecosystem…..hmmm, maybe not.

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