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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 30, 2018
  • A beautiful, new Heuchera ‘Wild Rose’ is a 10” tall mounded perennial with red-violet foliage that thrives in the shade garden.  Pale pink flowers bloom on burgundy stems reaching 20” high.  Hardy in zones 4-9.
  • Remove new shoots from the tomato plant that grow out of the base of the plant or lateral shoots that appear in leaf crotches.
  • Keeping the soil evenly moist around tomato plants and applying a layer of mulch at the base of the plant helps reduce the incidence of blossom-end rot.  Blossom-end rot is a condition in which dry, sunken areas of the blossom-end of the tomato are evident.
  • Continue to water strawberry plants once a week if the weather is dry.  Watering now will dramatically increase next year’s fruit production.
  • A new shrub rose worth talking about is Calypso.  Growing only 2’ tall, it is a nice, compact rose that is perfect for containers or a small spot in the garden.  As the name suggests, the color of the flowers change throughout the season with shades of pink, red and yellow.  Calypso blooms from spring to fall and is hardy in zones 5-10.
  • Discontinue any further application of fertilizers to perennials for the rest of the growing season.  This will allow the plants to begin to prepare for winter.
  • Storing herbs before they are completely dry can result in them becoming moldy.  Place the well-dried herbs into a tightly covered glass jar away from light and heat.  They will remain flavorful for approximately one year.  Don’t store them near the stove as the heat will dissipate their flavor.
  • A beautiful rhododendron to consider for the shade garden is rhododendron catawbiense ‘Boursault’.  Eventually reaching up to 6’ tall, this rhododendron’s large, ball-shaped displays of purplish pink blooms with reddish brown markings light up the shade garden.  Hardy in zones 4-8.
  • Lantana is an annual that is resilient to heat and humidity.  Thriving in full sun, lantana is also very forgiving of a hard trimming during the growing season.  Whether it be to shape the plant or reduce its size, lantana won’t miss a beat.

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