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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of August 26, 2019
  • Lawns will benefit from a deep watering at this time of year.  This will help them to maintain their vigor and give them a good start going into the fall which is a prime growing season.
  • Peonies resent transplanting and do not need dividing.  Resist digging up established plants unless you must.
  • Continue weeding before the weeds set seeds.  Weeding after a rainfall is much easier because the roots cling to the damp soil.
  • Plants in the mint family such as bee balm (Monarda spp.) and hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) spread a bit slower than the culinary mint.  Bee balm can be pulled out easily if they spread beyond their designated spot.  Hyssop may spread by seed if the conditions are right.  Both plants bloom over a long period of time and produce many flowers per plant.
  • To keep Japanese beetles under control, continue with hand picking.
  • Continue to hand pick Colorado potato beetles and their larvae from potatoes and eggplants.  Drop the beetles into a jar of soapy water and crush the orange egg masses that appear on the underside of leaves.
  • Discontinue watering onions and potatoes as their leaves begin to die.  This will help harden bulbs and tubers in preparation for harvesting and storing.
  • If you are looking for a clematis with the best red flowers choose ‘Allanah’, ‘Crimson King’ or ‘Niobe’.
  • To make a delicious sour cream sauce, mix ½ cup of sour cream with 2 tablespoons minced chives, parsley, and dill weed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use with fish, eggs, cucumber or tomato salad.  Enjoy!
  • Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) thrives in wet, soggy soil and will grow to heights reaching 30’ – 50’.  A very attractive tree in the fall, black gum’s brilliant orange and red foliage is complimented by its dark gray bark and blue-black fruit that is a favorite food for the birds.  Black gum thrives in full sun in acidic to slightly alkaline soil and is hardy in zones 5-9.
  • When planning your berry bed for next season, keep in mind harvesting times for the best fruit production all season.  Begin with ‘Boyne’ and ‘Latham’ for early-to-mid summer harvesting of raspberries.  Both are hardy in zones 3-8 and ‘Boyne’ has medium-sized berries while ‘Latham’ has large-sized fruit.  Both are disease resistant.

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