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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of January 22, 2018
  • A dainty, yet tough, species of Allium is Allium flavum (yellow-flowered garlic).  It displays 2” tousled umbels of pendulous lemon yellow florets.  Perfect in the front of the border garden as it grows only 10”-12” tall.  It is beautiful in a rock garden where it is appreciated for its delicate, quirky, asymmetrical and sunny, yellow color.  It has grassy blue-green basal foliage which dies back as the flowers start to open in the late spring to early summer.  Be careful, however, as it naturalizes very well and will pop up when you least expect it in the most surprising places in the garden!  Hardy in zones 5-8.
  • The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.) grows to the greatest size of any northeastern conifer, commonly to 100 feet.  It serves as a frequent nesting site for robins, mourning doves, blue jays and many others.  The seeds are a food source for many species of woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, finches and many more.  It is an ideal tree for wildlife cover serving as important protection from the elements and predators.  With good growing conditions, eastern white pine may live for several hundred years.  Tree growth can, however, be affected by the white-pine weevil, a small insect that attacks and kills the terminal shoots.
  • A Donkey-Tail (S. morganianum) is a beautiful houseplant that loves a sunny east, south or west window.  This plant likes to be fertilized all year, however, its watering needs are light.  Water well, then not again until the surface soil begins to feel dry.  A donkey-tail is displayed beautifully on a pedestal or in a hanging basket.
  • If you choose a site for your vegetable garden that has very dry soil or soil that drains too quickly, don’t be discouraged!  You can simply add lots of organic matter to your soil in the form of straw, chopped leaves, grass clippings or compost and it will reduce evaporation.  Be sure to consider the wind.  If the location of your vegetable garden is a site that tends to be windy, wind will speed up the evaporation of moisture from your soil.  Consider a wind break such as a fence to help with evaporation.

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