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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of December 21, 2020

Low light and temperatures may reduce African violet flowering. Low light and temperatures may reduce African violet flowering. 

Multi-level plant stands accommodate many houseplants in a small space. 

The gift of a cyclamen plant is wonderful for the holidays. These long-flowering plants come in an array of colors such as maroon, pink and white. Choose plants with lots of buds under the leaves and place them in a bright location away from direct sun. Water from the bottom and fertilize every two weeks. They will flower until March at which time you will want to move them outside for the summer and place them in a sunny location. Water when the soil in dry and repot in late summer when new leaves appear.

Build a rack to hang garden tools. 

When choosing cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) as an annual for your garden next summer, you will also be attracting several species of pollinators including hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Select simple, flat-petaled varieties in pink or white; avoid those with double petals. Cosmos bloom all summer and into fall. They will thrive in fairly poor soils as long as they have adequate moisture and full sun. They are a member of the sunflower family and will do best at attracting pollinators when planted in masses.

Small-leaved plants like azalea and beech are good choices for bonsai. 

Once the holidays are over, recycle your tree rather than putting it out in the trash. It can be chipped and shredded into mulch for your garden. You can also cut off the boughs and place them on perennial beds for added protection against spring thaws or place it near a birdfeeder to give birds shelter from wind and predators. Also check with local goat farms as some may take them for feeding their animals. Be sure to remove all decorations, lights and tinsel.


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