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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of May 27, 2019
  • To harvest the best berries, be sure that all berry plants receive at least an inch of water per week.  More water is needed if the soil is particularly sandy.  The use of a soaker hose placed along rows of strawberries or around blueberries are an efficient and easy way to water.  They keep water off the leaves and dry leaves are less susceptible to disease.
  • Various bee species are drawn to wild geranium (Geranium spp.).  Thriving in full sun to shade and growing up to 2’ tall, wild geranium will produce flowers in shades of white, yellow, lavender or pink at various times throughout the growing season.  They are hardy in zones 3-8.
  • Substitute marjoram for oregano when preparing pizza, lasagna, and eggplant parmesan.
  • An organic mulch consisting of shredded bark, ramial wood chips, aged sawdust, leaf mold and/or pine needles kept renewed annually and applied approximately 3” deep will result in more uniform soil moisture for blueberries.  Mulch reduces soil temperature and promotes better bush growth.
  • As fall approaches and bees scavenge for food, having common witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooming will draw the pollinators in.  With its yellow petals and strong fragrance, common witch-hazel can grow up to 20’ tall and displays beautiful fall foliage.  It is hardy in zones 3-8.
  • Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors to garden.  Also, wear a hat.
  • Deadhead bulbs but don’t pull or cut the foliage until it turns completely yellow.  It is storing food for next year’s flowers.  If the bulbs do not get a chance to trap energy from the sun for an extended period of time, the blooms will decline in quantity as well as quality until there are none.
  • Cut asters and chrysanthemums back by a third to make them shorter and bushier.  Repeat this at the end of June.
  • Plant container gardens now.  Fill containers with a high-quality, professional planting mix.  If the mix you choose does not have the pre-measured, time-released fertilizers and water-holding crystals in it, add a gradual-release fertilizer to the soil prior to planting.  Choose your favorite annuals and water well!

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