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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 15, 2019
  • Avoid the use of Japanese beetle traps as a control for Japanese beetles.  Hand picking is the best method done in the early morning or late evening when the beetles are most lethargic.
  • Continue harvesting strawberries daily while they are still firm.  Strawberries ripen fast and will rot quickly.
  • Continue planting bush beans for a continuous yield throughout the summer.
  • Clematis that bloom early and have small flowers include ‘Broughton Star’, ‘Constance’ and ‘Frances Rivis’.
  • To enjoy baked winter squash this season, halve and seed acorn or other winter squash and place cut-side down in a pan of water.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.  Turn squash over, place 1 tablespoon of sage or sage-thyme herb butter in each cavity, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake until tender.  Delicious!
  • Heucherella ‘Plum Cascade’ is a compact, trailing perennial with lobed, silvery-purple leaves that add season-long color to the border of shady perennial gardens or containers.  Delicate, pink flowers appear on short stems throughout the summer.  Growing only 9-12” tall yet with a 32” spread, ‘Plum Cascade’ is hardy in zones 4-9.
  • Let your grass grow to 3” tall during July and August before mowing.  A taller lawn doesn’t require as much water, helps to shade out weeds and encourages more beneficial insects to keep the soil healthy.
  • Mowing higher also produces deeper grass roots.  Try not to remove more than a third of the top growth at one time.
  • Water container gardens daily during the hot weather.  Outdoor container plantings are especially vulnerable to dehydration because moisture evaporates on all side of the pots and the roots are confined to a small area.
  • To ensure good air circulation of outdoor container gardens, place pots at least 3” apart in groupings.
  • A delicious, late-season blueberry is Nelson.  Producing large, firm, medium-blue berries, Nelson is hardy in zones 3-7.
  • Placing rolls of newspaper or boards in the vegetable garden or the strawberry bed, gives slugs a place to crawl in or under during the day keeping them concentrated in a designated area.  Easy to find them makes it easy to remove them.

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