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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of March 4, 2019
  • Add grated fresh horseradish to mayonnaise for spreading on sandwiches and dressings for salads.
  • Welcome spring with beauty and fragrance by adding dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia) to the garden.  Its fragrant, bottle-brush type flowers light up the garden with their white blossoms.  The flowers emerge in early spring before the leaves and attract the bees.  Showing off again in the fall with foliage shades of orange, yellow and red, fothergilla is a must!  Hardy in zones 4-8.
  • Have fuel stabilizer on hand.  As soon as you think the snow thrower has cleared the driveway for the last time, add the fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.  Run the engine for at least five minutes to circulate the conditioned fuel.
  • Attract pollinators to the landscape and enjoy colorful blooms in shades of purple, blue, white and yellow by growing lupine (Lupinus spp.).  Growing in sun to part shade and reaching heights up to 6’ tall, lupine blooms from spring to summer and is hardy in zones 3-7.
  • Practice conserving water with the use of a rain barrel.  Inexpensive rain barrels can be made with the use of a garbage can to collect water at a downspout.
  • When watering seedlings, use room-temperature water.  Cold water will slow the growth and development of seedlings.
  • Sow seeds of cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage for transplanting into the vegetable garden.
  • Cotoneasters (Cotoneaster spp.), Spruces (Picea, spp.) and Viburnums (Viburnums spp.) in the landscape will attract towhees, robins, grosbeaks, chickadees, woodpeckers and bluebirds as well as many other bird species.  These plants offer nectar-rich flowers, berries, and protective nesting sites.
  • Providing nectar for hummingbirds and bees from late summer until frost, Salvia ‘Dark Shadows’ is a beautiful addition to the garden.  Growing three feet tall and wide with beautiful dark purple blooms, dark shadows is hardy in zones 5-9.
  • If planting fruit bushes or fruit trees is a consideration for your landscape this year, keep a few things in mind when planning.  Make sure you have enough space; decide which fruits you like and which fruits you would like to grow; perform a soil test; make sure the site you have chosen has enough sun and good air circulation; finally, make a plan to scale.

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