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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of May 20, 2019
  • When clematis are beginning to flower, stop fertilization of the plant.  If fertilization is continued at this time, it will shorten the life of the flowers and they will all open at almost the same time.  You may, once again, begin fertilizing when flowering is complete to encourage a second bloom for repeat-flowering clematis.  Slowly taper off fertilization and watering by mid-autumn.
  • Herb cream cheese is delicious!  Make a mixture ahead of time so that the flavors have a chance to blend together.  Mix 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of parsley and 1 tablespoon of dill weed.  Enjoy!
  • Fireside ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is a beautiful, sun-loving deciduous shrub with pinkish white spring flowers.  Growing 5’ – 7’ tall, fireside ninebark is an excellent choice for an area where you would like some summer-time screening.  With foliage emerging red, it changes to a red-purple in summer and once again a change to a deep purple in the fall.  Fireside ninebark is hardy in zones 3-7.
  • Start seeds of squash, cucumbers and melons in peat pots now for transplanting into the garden approximately two weeks after the date of the last frost.  The seeds will grow quickly.  Sow two seeds in each pot to be sure that one grows.  If they both grow, simply cut one off with scissors.  When you are ready to plant the seedlings in the garden, do so right in the peat pot.  No need to transplant as the roots of the crops will grow directly through the peat pot.
  • Gourds are fun for young gardeners.  If a young gardener is in your life, begin seeds now indoors.  Plant them outdoors after the threat of frost is gone on a trellis as they will spread with rambling vines everywhere!
  • Look for a natural product such as fish emulsion or seaweed extract and begin applying fertilizer to your seedlings.  It is best applied in a liquid form.
  • Do not allow suckers to form on trees.  You will notice them as soon as they appear coming up from the ground alongside the trunk or on the trunk itself.   Remove them with pruners as soon as you see them.  If not, you will soon end up with a messy looking shrub rather than a beautiful tree.

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