This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape
Week of June 24, 2019
- After harvesting strawberries, use hedge trimmers to remove leaves that are more than 2” above the crown. Be careful not to injure the crowns of the plant.
- Wood mint (Blephilia cilata) produces gorgeous stacked purple flowers. Blooming for weeks in midsummer, this plant is not only a prolific nectar plant but also a beautiful ornamental. It can thrive in dry, shady locations where many other plants cannot. Wood mint will spread easily by rhizomes and expands slowly into clumps wherever space is available. Blooming in shades of white, blue or purple, wood mint grows up to 2’ tall and is hardy in zones 4-8.
- Add fresh mint to tuna salad, then dress it with lime vinaigrette.
- Chippewa is a compact blueberry bush growing only 3’ tall and 4’ wide. Chippewa has classic blue-color berries with excellent flavor. Hardy to zone 3.
- Applying too much mulch is a common mistake. Thickly applied mulch can hinder the exchange of gases that occurs in trunk and root tissue and also affords shelter for potentially injurious insects, slugs and rodents.
- Spray garden phlox, roses and monarda with a solution of one tablespoon baking soda to a gallon of water to prevent white, powdery mildew on leaves.
- Spray hollyhocks with sulfur to prevent rust spots on the leaves.
- Pick blueberries in the morning and don’t wash them until you use them.
- Harvest garlic scapes when they begin to curl. They are delicious used in dishes that could benefit from a touch of garlic flavor such as salads, egg dishes and stir fries.
- Pea plants will appreciate a light layer of straw around the base of the plants. It protects their shallow roots from being damaged by weeding. It helps control weed growth and keeps soil moisture high. The cool soil that the mulch provides is also something that the peas love.