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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 26, 2017

“I do not think anything in Nature is more mysterious or more effective than a big tree ….Standing under this one and looking up with knitted concentration, quite baffled.  I got the impression that it emanated goodness.  It stood there firmly like a noble thought, which if understood would save the world.”
– John Stewart Collins, Trees, 1989

Having received it as a gift, and being presently engrossed in a book, a pastime that I love, The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben, reminds me of the often forgotten world amongst the trees in the forest.  The have their own hidden language and communicate through their root systems as well as their foliage.  “Trees are very social beings” ….. They help each other, warn each other of danger of insects and/or disease and help each other to survive such dangers.  There is a delicate balance, however, in that every tree wants to survive.  Our role as gardeners allows us to help maintain this balance by choosing and planting trees of various species within our landscapes.  Keeping the population diverse is our simplest way of keeping our landscapes healthy. 

  • Fertilize the lawn at least once a year to reduce weeds.  A slow-release, organic fertilizer is the best choice because it provides a steady stream of nutrients over a longer period of time.
  • Make another sowing of bush beans in the vegetable garden to extend the harvest.
  • Place straw mulch around garlic to keep the soil cool during the summer months and to aid in bulb development.
  • Harvest leaves of lettuce by cutting the outer leaves or all the leaves.  Leave the crown of the plant intact so it can produce new leaves.
  • Keep onions well weeded.  Onions are very shallow rooted and do not like to complete with weeds for water or nutrients.   The bulbs will grow fuller and larger if their spot in the garden is well weeded.
  • Some deer resistant plants include calamint, lavender, caryopteris, and Russian sage.  Planting any of these near and amongst lilies and roses will help protect them from the nibbling of deer.
  • Continue to plant annuals to fill in gaps in landscape beds and borders.

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