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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of August 19, 2019
  • Inkberry (Ilex Glabra) is a shrub or small tree that produces berries which are an excellent source of winter food for the birds.  Its summer-blooming, white flowers attract a variety of bees making inkberry a preferred choice of plantings for beekeepers.  Thriving in part shade and moist soils, inkberry is hardy in zones 4-9.
  • When harvesting acorn squash, place it directly into cool storage where it will keep for up to three months.  Check the squash regularly for any signs of rot.  To make removing the skin of the squash much easier, cut off the stem and prick the squash several times with a fork.  Microwave on high for approximately three minutes.  A vegetable peeler will then remove the skin very easily.
  • Prepare a sauce for cold beef, shellfish and pasta by pureeing a bunch of parsley with garlic, olive oil and ricotta cheese in a food processor or blender.
  • If raspberries and blackberries are on your planting plan for next season, choose a site with well-drained soil and full sun.  Don’t plant red raspberries within 100 feet of wild berries.  Buy cultivars that grow well in your area.  Prepare a weed-free soil and plant in early spring.
  • To make an at-home, delicious tartar sauce, begin with 1 ¼ cups of mayonnaise, add 1 tablespoon each of chopped dill pickle, shallot, minced parsley, tarragon and chervil, 1 teaspoon mustard and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Enjoy!
  • Choose ‘Abundance’, ‘Betty Corning’, ‘Duchess of Albany’ or ‘Minuet’ for a late blooming, small flowered clematis.
  • Keep herbs cut back to keep the plants full.
  • Continue to harvest vegetables daily.
  • Harvest okra when pods are 3” long or smaller.
  • Plants in the aster family (asteraceae), such a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), blazing stars (liatris spp.) and sunflowers (helianthus spp.) are butterfly magnets.  The many small, nectar-producing flowers in each flower head open in sequence so that any one flower head includes nectar-producing flowers at various stages.  When a butterfly lands on any of these flowers, it may be able to drink from many florets without having to move anything more than its tongue.

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