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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of April 10, 2017

Spring has sprung!

  • A mark of purity and grace throughout the ages, the regal white lily is a fitting symbol of the greater meaning of Easter. Gracing millions of homes and churches, the flowers embody joy, hope and life. To keep it pure white, growers pluck out the yellow pollen sacks before transporting them. Click here for some history and backstory.
  • At this time of the year, your local nursery may be receiving shipments of trees and shrubs from southern growers. Often ahead of their time, they’re being protected from the cold at the nurseries. You should continue to protect them on frosty nights if they are leafing out or blooming ahead of what is natural. If they get nipped by accident, don’t worry, no permanent harm will be done.
  • Almost everyone can find room in their garden to grow lettuce. It’s easy to plant some in a pot, or even a big salad bowl. Throw in some tongs for whimsy. Now is the time to plant for both seeds and transplants. Harvest the outer leaves of leaf lettuce (different from head lettuce) and new ones will keep growing. Harvest head lettuce in one fell swoop. Continue until the weather turns hot.
  • All potted bulbs you buy for Easter can be transplanted into your garden for blooms to years to come.
  • Continue with pruning chores when weather permits.  Also, prune out the oldest stems of multi-stemmed shrubs such as Forsythia, Weigela, Kolwitzia, Spirea, and lilac.  Hold off pruning roses until the flower buds of Forsythia show some yellow color.
  • Sow seeds of peas, carrot, radish, beet, parsnip, spinach, lettuce, arugula, and other cool season crops once soil is dry enough to till.
  • Fertilize asparagus with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer such as cow manure.  Or, apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at a rate of 1 to 1/2 pounds per 100 square feet.

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