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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of January 15, 2018

There may be snow in the forecast but let’s talk about the spring and our vegetable gardens!

  • When planning your new vegetable garden, consider turning the soil over by hand using a fork or spade rather than using a rototiller.  By turning the soil over in this manner, you will soon realize how much garden space you are creating and, therefore, needing to maintain and care for throughout the growing season.  Using a rototiller can give you a false sense of how much garden space there will be and thereby creating a feeling of becoming overwhelmed once the garden is in need of maintenance.
  • Location is a very important consideration when planning your vegetable garden.  You will want to choose a spot in full sun.  Full sun means a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight on the garden.  More is even better!
  • Good drainage is a key consideration for the vegetable garden.  Avoid a location where the water puddles or the soil is high in clay content.  If this is the most suitable spot for your garden, however, consider raised planting beds for growing vegetables.
  • Agaves such as A. filifera, A. miradorensis and A. Victoria-reginae are good choices for window sill or tabletop houseplants.  They love a sunny, south-facing window and a cactus potting soil mixture.  Watering is required only approximately once per week and fertilize in the spring and summer only.  Will produce offsets which can be removed and repotted in spring or summer.  Agaves are an easy, low-maintenance houseplant.
  • The American Beech (Fagus grandiflora Ehrh.) is a very shade tolerant tree most often found in cool, moist locations in eastern woodlands.  It is hardy to zone 4 and begins producing nuts when the tree is approximately 40 years old.  The wild turkey, woodpeckers, blue jay, black-capped chickadee and tufted titmouse use the American Beech as a food source.
  • A beautiful blue globe onion, Allium caeruleum, (A. caeruleum) is a brilliant sky blue color!  The globular umbels are 1” across and the stems reach 1’ – 2’ tall.  This allium blooms from late spring to early summer.  It is beautiful in the front of the border and a gorgeous color to add to the garden for a long-lasting impact!

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