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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 31, 2017

“There are two awakenings in the garden; one in spring, and one in autumn.”  Elizabeth Lawrence, Gardens in Winter, 1961.

August is a great month to begin planning fall planting additions to the landscape.  When considering such additions to the landscape, August is a great time to consider fall color.  There are so many beautiful plant selections that exhibit gorgeous fall color as a bonus!   Rose of Sharon and Hydrangea are wowing us with their colorful blooms in the fall as are the flowers on the Franklin Tree.  The foliage of the summersweet, enkianthus, blueberry and viburnum are especially vivid during the autumn.  Be sure to check with your favorite garden center for the best selections of plants to add to your landscape to keep the color in your landscape going right through autumn.

Other tips for this week:

  • Examine tomato plants for signs of tomato hornworm.  Signs of their presence include stripped leaves and large, dark granules of excrement.  Hornworms, although quite large, are difficult to see because they are so well camouflaged.  Tomato hornworm is a green caterpillar with white v-shaped markings along each side.
  • Sink a pie pan or tuna fish can (any low-sided pan will work) into the ground in your vegetable garden and fill it with beer.  It will attract, trap and drown garden slugs.
  • Harvest beans before the pods begin to bulge.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water, take needed breaks and wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen while working out in the garden.
  • Create a beautiful autumn container combination to include sweet potato vine ‘Blackie’, sedge ‘Toffee Twist’, Calibrachoa ‘Crackling Fire’, Ajuga reptans ‘Catlins Giant’, Rosemary ‘Salem’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’, Rudbekia ‘Indian Summer’ and Ornamental Pepper ‘Black Pearl’.
  • If you have Rhamnus cathartica Buckthorn in your landscape, know that it is an invasive shrub.  Consider swapping it out for Hamamelis virginiana Witch Hazel.  It is such a beautiful alternative!
  • Examine perennials, grapes and strawberries for signs of powdery mildew which are white powdery patches appearing on the leaves.  Check with your favorite garden center for the best management approach and control.

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