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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 10, 2019
  • Mince fresh mint and combine with plain yogurt and sliced cucumbers.
  • Wild Indigo (Baptisia spp.) has vivid, lupine like flowers in shades of blue, white, yellow and rose.  Blooming in the late spring to summer, wild indigo is slow growing, however, the root systems are deep and extensive.  Thriving in full sun, pollinators are attracted to the flowers.  Wild indigo can grow up to 4’ tall and is hardy in zones 4-9.
  • Weed control is essential when growing strawberries.  Grass and weeds shade leaves of the strawberry plant and compete with these shallow-rooted berry plants for nutrients and moisture.  Weed frequently throughout the year and use a thick mulch in between the rows.
  • The bluecrop blueberry produces light blue berries that are very large and flavorful.  Light red stems give way to bright red fall foliage.  Bluecrop is very hardy producing year after year.  Fruit ripens in mid-July and bluecrop continues producing berries for up to one month.
  • When choosing mulch for your landscape, do some research.  Not all mulches are the same.  Some are comprised of ground up pallets and tree stumps and others are dyed.  Neither of those mulches are of good benefit to your landscape.  Choose a natural, shredded bark mulch that is only the outer casing of the tree.  The proper mulch will aid in moisture retention, control weeds, protect plants from mowing injury, add organic matter to the soil and is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Don’t let the grass get too long in between mowing so you can leave the cuttings on the lawn as fertilizer.
  • Cut off spent peony blossoms but leave the stalk.  If blossoms are left on the plant, moldering flower heads can promote botrytis blight.  Remove any stalks or leaves that turn black from this blight before it spreads to the rest of the plant.
  • Watering in the mornings rather than the evenings can reduce slug damage to plant leaves such as hostas.
  • Shear the tops of spring-blooming perennials such as candytuft, gold dust, rock cress and moss phlox.  This will ensure a uniform and ornamental foliage for the remainder of the season.

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