Grow Massachusetts!

This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of March 27, 2017

No room at the inn? Not in your garden! Along with providing plenty of nectar by planting something for pollinators, consider providing nesting sites, like this homemade one seen at the Boston Flower Show last week.

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Week of March 20, 2017

A fragrant viburnum is always welcome in the garden. They have a spicy sweet scent with lovely blooms that last several weeks. Many also produce colorful fruit that is very attractive to birds and close the season with stunning fall foliage.

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Week of March 13, 2017

Consider buying a push reel mower as a means of reducing gasoline consumption. Today, reel mowers are light weight and easy to push.

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Week of March 6, 2017

Change this habit: Pulling apart roots before planting. The only time this is necessary is if the roots are spinning in a circle in the pot and you are planting a shrub or tree with woody roots, which may eventually girdle, or strangle, the stem. Otherwise, new roots will grow just fine from the original root ball. Breaking apart roots can potentially do more damage if you break too many.

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Week of February 26, 2017

Look for signs of new growth on houseplants now that the days are getting longer. Once you see it, it is time to fertilize.

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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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