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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 1, 2019
  • Angel-face Cascade White Angelonia (Angelonia ‘ANCASWHI’) is a beautiful annual for containers.  Growing 8”-14” tall and loving the heat, Angelonia can fill in and spill over the edges of containers for a gorgeous look.  Clear, white blooms are produced throughout the summer.
  • Make a basic herb butter by mixing ¼ cup of butter with 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.
  • Clematis are particularly susceptible to snail and slug damage.  Symptoms of such damage include irregularly shaped holes in the leaves, chewed flower buds and stems stripped almost white.  Young clematis shoots are particularly at risk.  Remove the snails and slugs by hand.
  • Sow seeds of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli for a late-season harvest.  Start the seeds in pots, flats or small garden beds.  Transplant the seedlings into areas of the vegetable garden that have been vacated by early-season crops such as peas.  Seedlings will be ready for transplanting in approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • Apply straw mulch around garlic plants.  Garlic bulbs do not thrive in soil temperatures that exceed 68 degrees F.  Straw mulch will keep the soil cool and moist aiding in good bulb development.
  • Because herbs prefer dry soil conditions, apply pea stone or gravel around herb plants.  The stones help drain water away from plant stems.
  • Remove any diseased leaves or plants as soon as you see them.  Cut back pest-infested, yellowing or declining foliage on columbines, hollyhocks, daylilies, tall bearded iris, geraniums and any other plants.
  • Remove row covers on vegetable plants if the temperature has reached 80 degrees.  Overheating will damage plants.
  • To keep the aphid population down, plant marigolds which draw hover flies.  Hover flies kill aphids by injecting their eggs into them.
  • As mulch naturally breaks down and decomposes, it creates a nitrogen deficiency in the soil.  The soil microorganisms responsible for decomposition of organic matter also require nitrogen.  If they are unable to obtain sufficient nitrogen from the mulch, they take it from the soil.  Symptoms of a nitrogen deficiency include yellowing of the leaves and stunted new growth.
  • The first blueberry of the season to ripen is found on an Earliblue blueberry bush.  A moderately large berry is produced on a vigorous, upright bush.  Earliblue is hardy to zone 4.

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