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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 16, 2018
  • Apply fertilizer in between the rows of the vegetable garden alongside the crops.  Doing so twice during the growing season is most beneficial.
  • Weed onions, shallots, leeks and garlic regularly.  These crops have a very shallow root system and do not appreciate the competition of weeds surrounding them.  The weeds will soak up the water and nutrients before the crops get a chance to and the result will be smaller bulbs.
  • When harvesting leaves of lettuce, cut the leaves leaving the crown of the plant intact.  By doing so the plant will be able to produce new leaves.
  • Hylotelephium ‘Matrona’ (Stonecrop) is a wonderful drought-tolerant perennial for a dry location in the garden that receives full sun.  The soil needn’t be rich in organic matter, however, good drainage is needed.   In late summer, the leaves of this plant turn from green to purple and pink flowers bloom.  The seed heads are attractive during the winter months and it is hardy in zones 3-9
  • The variegated foliage of Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon’s Seal) is bright and beautiful in the shade garden.  Its sweet, small flowers bloom in the spring adding to the beauty of this plant.  Its gently arching stems makes it a great filler for large spaces providing vigorous growth throughout the season.  In the fall, its leaves turn a bright yellow to add to the garden’s fall display.  Hardy in zones 3-8
  • To keep the aphid population in check, simply spray a strong blast of water from the garden hose onto the plants where the aphids are.  Planting marigolds, which attract hover flies, will help control the aphid population.  Hover flies inject their eggs into the aphids thereby killing them.
  • Keep your perennials healthy during the heat of the summer by watering established plants every two weeks if they have been without rain.  Once a week watering is recommended for newly planted perennials.
  • Keep your lawn at a height of 3”-4” during July and August.  A lawn that is a bit taller doesn’t need as much water, helps shade out weed growth and encourages more beneficial insects to keep the soil healthy.  Deeper grass roots are developed when the lawn is cut higher as well.

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