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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 11, 2018
  • To flavor steamed or boiled vegetables with herbs, add the herbs to melted butter and allow to stand for 10 minutes before seasoning the vegetables with them.
  • A David Austin new rose introduction for 2018 is the ‘Roald Dahl’ shrub rose.  This shrub rose is a beautiful peach color with a wonderful tea rose fragrance.  It is hardy in zones 5-9.  As always, visit your favorite nursery or garden center for the best selection.
  • Keep removing flower spikes on basil plants as they continue to grow.  This will encourage more leafy growth.
  • Pinch off the blossoms of newly planted strawberry plants.  The plants will be stronger and they will develop a better root system if you do not allow them to produce fruit their first year.
  • When transplanting peppers, plant them a little deeper than the pot or flat they grew in.  Deeper-planted peppers produce higher yields than those planted at normal depths.  The plants will also be able to stand tall and strong later in the season when they are heavy with fruit.
  • A beautiful border perennial and strong producer of abundant periwinkle flowers is Geranium Rozanne (Cranesbill).  This plant is both heat tolerant and likes either full sun or part shade.  It will thrive in moist soils and will bloom from early summer into fall.  It also makes a wonderful container plant that can then be added to the perennial garden in the fall.  It is hardy in zones 5-8.
  • Ornamental peppers (Capsicum annuum) are often forgotten when planting containers.  They are easy to use and only mature at 1’ tall.  They bear white flowers which give way to green or white fruit maturing to brightly colored fruit.  Some favorites include ‘Explosive Ignite’ and ‘Holiday Flame’.  If bronze foliage is more to your liking, ‘Explosive Ember’ is for you!  Purple peppers are in and amongst bronze foliage.  Grow in full sun.
  • Apply mulch or straw around strawberry plants to keep the ripening fruit from coming in contact with the soil that could cause the fruit to rot.  Pick strawberries and other fragile berries in the morning after dew on the plants has dried out and before temperatures get too hot and the fruit will be firmer and stay fresher longer.  To keep mold from developing, do not wash berries until just before you use them.

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