Grow Massachusetts!

This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of May 14, 2018
  • Interplant thyme and sage with cabbage to deter the cabbage moth.  Also, deter bean beetles by planting basil near beans, planting garlic near roses for fewer aphids and parsley near asparagus for fewer beetles there too!
  • Planting moss takes a bit of planning.  When you are ready, rough up the soil with a rake and lay the moss pieces down slightly overlapping the edges and tamping down the moss as you go.  When the moss is all in place, water it well avoiding overwatering.  Tamp down a second time.  Moss is best planted in the spring and fall.  Aftercare includes watering the moss for five minutes two times per day until it is established.  Once it is established, you will notice new growth around the edges and the tips.
  • Apply sunscreen and wear a hat before heading out to the garden.
  • Deadhead the blooms of bulbs but do not pull out or discard the foliage.  The foliage is storing food for next year’s flowers.  Cut back the foliage of bulbs once it has turned completely yellow and died back.
  • Plant herbs in the vegetable garden such as rosemary, chives, catnip, thyme and mint to discourage some pests.
  • Harden off cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprout transplants for 7-10 days before planting them in the garden.  Harden off seeds you started indoors as well.  Place the transplants outside in a sheltered spot away from sun and wind the first day and leave them outside for 2 hours.  Gradually increase the amount of time and exposure to sun each day thereafter.
  • While the seedlings are still indoors, to grow sturdier stems, set up a small fan to stimulate a light breeze blowing over the seedlings.  The key is to get seedlings to bend as if they were exposed to the wind.  Use of the fan may dry the seedlings sooner, watering may need to be done more often.
  • Keep garlic watered regularly.
  • When choosing a new tree for your landscape, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.  Consider the amount of sunlight the location receives in a given day, examine the moisture level by digging a test hole and feel the soil to see if it’s full of stones, lose, hard packed or sticky and clay like.  Filling the test hole with water to check for adequate drainage is also most helpful.  Finally, use a tape measure to verify available space and have this number in mind when shopping for your new tree at your favorite nursery or garden center.

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