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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 17, 2019
  • Before transplanting clematis, reduce the bulk of the vines by pruning them down to within 2’ of the level of the soil.
  • To make a delicious herb cream cheese, begin with 8 ounces of cream cheese. Add ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon horse-radish and 2 teaspoons of chives. Enjoy!
  • Serving as a larvae host for several species of butterflies, Fire King musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana ‘J.N. Select A’) is a fairly new introduction for the home landscape. Growing only 20’ tall and wide, fire king musclewood displays beautiful yellow-red-orange autumn foliage. It is hardy in zones 3-9.
  • Water garlic regularly through late July unless natural rainfall is sufficient. If the soil is left dry, the result will be small garlic bulbs when harvested. When garlic plants are approximately 8” tall, apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer. This will aid in the development of large bulbs.
  • If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make a first sowing of sweet corn.
  • Continue to make additional sowings of leaf lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes.
  • Dig, divide and replant overcrowded bearded iris soon after they finish blooming. They won’t continue to bloom well unless they are divided and replanted every five years.
  • Be sure to cut suckers off of tomato plants.
  • Turn the compost pile.
  • A common mistake made when mulching is placing mulch in direct contact with the crown, stem or trunk of plants. This will trap moisture thereby providing a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to grow that can promote disease. Covering the base of a plant in mulch also encourages the development of shallow roots which will dry out and can become damaged. Keep mulch an inch away from the base of plants and avoid covering the crowns of dormant perennials.
  • An early to mid-season cultivar of blueberry is blueray. Producing dark blue berries, blueray will have the best flavor when grown in cooler climates. Be on the look-out for mummy berry on tight fruit clusters during a very wet season. Growing 4’-6’ tall, blueray is hardy to zone 4.

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