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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of March 26, 2018

Spring is coming! 

  • The tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a member of the magnolia family and is called the tulip tree because of the silhouette of its leaves and the shape of its flowers.  A tulip poplar can grow as tall as 60’ to 90’.  It thrives in zones 4-9.
  • To invite a large assortment of birds to your landscape, be sure to plant blueberries.  Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, chickadees, and thrushes value them as a source of food.  Blueberry bushes are not only a source of food, but also cover for such bird species as sparrows and thrushes.
  • Sow seeds of peas, spinach, carrots, beets, lettuce and parsnip as soon as the garden soil is workable.  Crowns of asparagus and horseradish may also be directly sowed into the garden.
  • Begin seeds of eggplant and pepper indoors for transplanting into the garden later.  Eggplant and peppers grow slowly.  Do not plant them into the vegetable garden until nighttime temperatures remain above 55 degrees.  They are sensitive to cold nighttime temperatures.
  • When planting your seedlings into the vegetable garden, keep in mind their placement last year and be sure to rotate this year (avoid planting the same or related vegetables in the same area of the garden).  Crop rotation is one of the easiest ways to reduce the incidence of disease and certain insect pests in the vegetable garden.
  • To keep an indoor, fresh, flower arrangement fresher longer consider these simple steps.  Keep vases clean by washing with hot, soapy water and a little bleach to kill bacteria, rinse well and dry.  Fill the vase with cold, preferably unsoftened, water.  Add a capful of Listerine or hydrogen peroxide to the vase of water.  Before adding the flowers, cut off foliage that would be below the waterline.  Cut at least one inch off bloom stems before placing them in the vase.  If you are arranging roses, cut stems under water.  Keep your vaseful of flowers away from drafts, heaters and glaring sunlight.  Empty the vase of water that has a foul odor or look murky.  Enjoy!

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