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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of June 5, 2017

“And for our work – though showers and autumn frosts destroy – our greatest pay’s not measured in fruit and flower we’ve treasured, but in the golden hours that brought us health and joy!” Frederick Frye Rockwell

Treasuring our fruits and flowers is what we do, isn’t it?  It makes us happy to see our vegetables grow and harvesting often times includes sharing with family and friends. Creating a bouquet of freshly cut flowers from the garden and bringing them in to enjoy or share brings smiles!  Treasure your time in the garden; treasure those hours that bring health and joy and share.  Sharing helps spread the joy!

  • Keep garlic regularly watered (Mother Nature has sure helped with this chore!) through late July.  Garlic bulbs will be small if dry conditions exist.  An application of high-nitrogen fertilizer when plants are 6”-8” tall will also help with large bulb development.
  • If you are managing landscape plantings that are very pH specific, a soil test before planting as well as annually thereafter, will aid in establishing the correct soil pH for the plantings.  Recommendations will be outlined on the pH test results returned to you.  UMASS soil diagnostic lab offers soil testing at a very reasonable fee.  Visit here for more information.
  • Heavy moss growth in shady areas of the lawn is an indication of the need to apply lime.  Apply a granular limestone to sweeten the soil.  Timing of the application close to a rainfall will help with the absorption.
  • Apply a professional perennial grass seed over bare or thin spots in the lawn.  Scratch the surface of the soil first and water the seed in lightly.  A thin layer of straw will help with moisture retention and keeping the birds away.  Remove the layer of straw very carefully so as not to disturb the new seedlings approximately 7 – 10 days later.
  • Apply well-rotted manure to grapevines or mulch grapevines with a compost made with large amounts of manure with straw combined.  No other fertilization is required.  Your grapes will thank you with a higher yield of fruit!
  • Include edible flowers such as pansies, violets, and calendulas in annual plantings this year!  Do not apply pesticides to any plants whose flowers will be used in food recipes.  Edible flowers make a beautiful display on a favorite summer salad!

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