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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 22, 2019
  • Do not dismiss the consideration of the European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) when looking for a great plant for hedging or the perfect specimen tree.  Attractive smooth, gray bark with deep, green summer foliage, the European hornbeam offer a magnificent display of beautiful yellow fall foliage.  It is hardy in zones 4-7.
  • Blackberries and raspberries (Rubus spp.) are an important resource anywhere that honey bees are managed.  Blooming right after the tree fruits and before the white clover, they provide the perfect forage for honey bees as well as their tasty berries for you!  Both raspberries and blackberries are found across the United States and Canada.
  • Raspberries thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.6 to 6.0.  Iron deficiency will occur when soil pH is above 7.0.  Choose a sunny site with fertile, moisture-retentive soil and good air circulation.  Keep the plants away from any wild raspberries or blackberries which could transmit diseases to nursery-grown stock.
  • Mince onions, blanch them for two minutes, pat dry and freeze.  Add them as needed to sauces, soups and stews.
  • Coffee grounds are a slug deterrent in the garden.  A weak spray of ammonia or a sprinkle of table salt will kill them on contact.
  • If you are looking for a blueberry bush that will yield 5-8 pounds of berries per plant, choose Northblue.  Dark, blue berries with excellent flavor, consistently productive and self-fertile, Northblue grows only 2’-3’ in height.  It is hardy in zones 3-7.
  • Order and plant autumn crocus now.
  • Continue to feed annuals and potted plants, however, stop fertilizing perennials for the rest of the season.  This allows the plants time to prepare for winter.
  • Avoid removing leaves of tomato plants that shade fruit.   The fruit will suffer sun scald as a result.
  • For coneflower lovers, there is a new introduction called Echinacea Kismet Intense Orange.  Growing 16” tall and quite dense, this coneflower will also be quite wide at 24”.  A heavy producer of deep orange blooms in the summer, the blooms are both large and long lasting.  A perfect perennial for cut flowers.  Kismet Intense Orange is hardy in zones 4-9.

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