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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of November 19, 2018

If fiery-hot peppers are your cup of tea, plan on growing Tibetan Lhasa chili peppers in your vegetable garden next year!  These four-inch-long peppers grow on a compact plant and mature from green to bright red in 70-75 days from transplant. 


If you burn wood this winter, save the ashes for use in your vegetable garden next year.  Wood ash is high in potassium which is a useful nutrient to crops such as carrots, turnips, radishes and onions.  However, is your soil pH is high, do not use it.  Store the wood ash, throughout the winter months, in a dry location until it is needed.  Scatter the ashes at a rate of no more than 2 ½ pounds per 100 square feet if soils are known to be acidic. 


Apply a layer of well-rotted manure over rhubarb plants.  Do not use fresh manure.  Fresh manure promotes some diseases of rhubarb. 


Clean spraying equipment with a solution of one cup of ammonia in one gallon of water.  After rinsing with clean water, hang the sprayer to dry.  Be sure the screen, nozzle and hose are cleaned as well. 


For shade-garden lovers, polygonatum falcatum ‘Silver Lining’ is a beautiful Solomon’s seal that has the added interest of a silver stripe running down the center of the foliage.  Forming large, ground covering colonies, Solomon’s seal is a very long-lived perennial and is hardy in zones 4a -9b.


If you have a pond and plan to keep fish in it over the winter, keep the pump running and arrange its intake to draw water from a foot above the pond bottom.  Clean out excess sludge and debris from the water too. 


Flowers for culinary use due to their color, flavor and/or fragrance are fennel, ‘Picotee’ cosmos, marjoram and arugula. 


Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) attracts a diverse variety of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the landscape.  It is an ornamental perennial that is edible, herbal and medicinal.  It blooms in the summer and is available in both white and purple.  Anise hyssop is hardy in zones 4-9. 


Flavor your turkey this Thanksgiving with herbs of basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.  Enjoy the day!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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