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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of April 29, 2019
  • Chop fresh leaves of lemon balm and add them to orange marmalade.  Delicious!
  • If blueberries are on the list of fruits to add to the garden this season, remember that blueberries have three basic requirements.  Acidic soil with a pH between 4.8 and 5.5, consistent moisture which is helped by mulching and plenty of full sunshine!  Add plenty of organic matter to the soil when planting.  Blueberries are hardy to zone 3.
  • Pollinators love a cultivar of chenault coralberry (Symphoricarpos xchenaultii) called ‘Hancock’.  Producing small, pink flowers in mid-summer, these suckering shrubs grow approximately 2’ tall and are able to spread up to 12’.  Once summer has ended, ornamental, pink berries appear persisting into winter.  Hancock is hardy in zones 4-7.
  • Now is the perfect time to re-seed or over-seed your lawn.
  • When new leaf buds appear, spray roses with dormant oil to create a protective barrier.  The temperature needs to be above 40 degrees.
  • If you saved last year’s dahlia tubers, now is a great time to get a jump start on this year’s flowers.  Plant the tubers indoors in pots.  They can be divided with a sharp knife as long as each remains attached to a piece of stem.  Water once and store in a warm, dark place until they sprout.  Continue watering and plant outdoors in late May when the threat of frost has gone.
  • A wonderful understory plant in the home orchard is selfheal (Prunella vulgaris).  Competing well against other vegetation, selfheal will form robust colonies that will tolerate occasional mowing if seeded at high densities.  Honey bees and other beneficial orchard insects find selfheal to be a sought after foraging plant.  Growing in sun to part shade, selfheal only grows a foot tall.  Blue flowers emerge in early summer and the plant is hardy in zones 4-7.
  • Clematis will thrive with an application of well-rotted manure or compost in the spring.  Scatter the recommended dosage of a general-purpose, granular fertilizer with a handful of bone meal and water in thoroughly.  A layer of shredded bark mulch and you have a very happy clematis!

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