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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 4, 2018
  • Plant tubers of dahlias, corms of gladioli and bulbs of tropical plants.  If you plan to dig them up in the fall for winter storage, consider planting them all in one place.  You can plant gladioli corms every two weeks now through July for continuous flowers for bouquets.
  • Transplant peppers, melons, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and eggplant seedlings into the garden.  If these seedlings have been grown in peat pots, tear off the rim before setting them in the soil to prevent moisture from wicking out of the root area.
  • Cutworms chew off new seedlings at the base of the plant at night.  To prevent cutworms, make a protective circle around each stem with aluminum foil and push it into the soil.
  • When planting a rose bush, place a banana peel in the bottom of the planting hole.  Banana peels are very good for roses as they provide calcium, magnesium, and phosphates in considerable quantities as they break down.
  • Caladiums are a beautiful annual for a partial to heavily shaded spot.  The large, pastel pink leaves of ‘Fannie Munson’ are amazing and the tricolor palette of ‘Fire Chief’ is a real eye catcher.  The cooler off white and white shades show up particularly nicely in a shade garden.  There’s ‘Gingerbread’ and ‘White Queen’ and both are simply stunning!  To overwinter caladiums, dig them up after the leaves begin to die back in the fall.  Place the tubers in dry peat moss and place in an area that doesn’t freeze.  Replant in containers or in the ground when the soil warms up the following spring.
  • Rudbeckia Fulgida var. Sullivantii ‘Goldstrum’ (Black-Eyed Susan) is an easy to grow, low maintenance perennial for a full sun to light shade spot in the garden.  It blooms for several weeks and its seed heads provide winter interest and food for the birds!  It likes average to moist soil and good air circulation.  It is hardy in zones 3-9.
  • Sow seeds of sweet corn.  Plant seeds in blocks of at least four rows to ensure good pollen dispersal as corn is wind pollinated.  Use floating row covers to protect the seeds from the birds and to warm the soil.

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