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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of August 12, 2019
  • Sow seeds of beets, chard, spinach and lettuce for a fall harvest.
  • The best way to camouflage a concrete walkway is to create a mixed border of perennials along either side.  Make the bed on either side of the walkway as wide as the walkway itself.  Make it even larger if the space is available.  Wide beds make the walkway appear lest prominent and allow plenty of room for a wonderful mixture of plants.
  • Harvest pickling cucumbers when they are 2” – 6” long.
  • Collect seed pods of radishes for use in cooking.
  • Sow seeds of parsley in pots for later use indoors.
  • Choose ‘Ascotiensis’, ‘Gipsy Queen’ or ‘Huldine’ if when looking for a late-blooming clematis with large flowers.
  • Prepare an herb butter using ½ cup of butter, 1 tablespoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon thyme, 2 tablespoons parsley, a pinch each of rosemary and sage, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion.  Slice a loaf of rye bread nearly through and spread the prepared herb butter before wrapping in foil and backing in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes.  Enjoy!
  • Mid-August is the perfect time to take soil tests to check on nutrient status in your home orchard.  The results will allow you more information on the need to obtain specific soil amendments for a fall application.
  • When planting raspberries and upright blackberries, provide some means of support to keep the plants from falling over.  Some suggestions are to tie the canes to stakes or posts placed every 3’ along the row.  Another thought is to put up a fence consisting of strands of smooth wire on each side of the row.
  • Toss thinly sliced red radishes with minced scallions, minced fresh oregano, lemon juice and olive oil and serve on a bed of shredded spinach.  Enjoy!
  • To cure butternut squash for storage, keep it in a warm, dry place for approximately two weeks.  This will help to harden the skin and heal over any wounds.  Move the squash to a dark, cool (58 – 68 degrees) well-ventilated room for long-term storage.  Butternut squash will keep for 4-6 months when properly cured.

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