This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape
Week of November 18, 2019
- When beginning a compost pile, start with a bottom layer of coarse material such as corn stalks or wood chips to create good air circulation. Turn the compost pile using a pitch fork occasionally so that the bottom material ends up on top. This will aerate the pile and keep the older, ready-to-use compost on top.
- Protect young fruit trees from gnawing mice by wrapping the trunks with metal tree guards made from 18-inch-tall cylinders of mesh hardware cloth.
- Finish raking up any remaining lawn leaves and add them to the compost pile.
- Continue to water newly planted trees and shrubs until the ground freezes. It is important that they go into the winter months well-hydrated.
- If bromeliads are a consideration for the landscape next season, ‘Fireball’ comes highly recommended. It is both durable and consistent in its performance. Used either as a groundcover or cascading plant in a container, ‘Fireball’ shows off with beautiful red foliage in the sun and green foliage if planted in the shade.
- If leeks are to remain in the vegetable garden over the winter, cover them with a layer of straw.
- When growing rosemary indoors over the winter, be sure to keep the soil moist at all times for healthy plants.
- Wash spraying equipment with a solution of 1 cup ammonia in 1 gallon of water. Rinse with clean water and hang to dry. Don’t forget the screen, nozzle and hose as well.
- Check the owner’s manual for instructions on pre-winter maintenance of the tiller. Changing the oil, draining the fuel or adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank may be mentioned. Clean the tines of soil and remove any debris around the engine parts.
- Place bird feeders in locations where birds can easily access them and you can enjoy watching them. Near a tree where they can seek cover, if needed quickly, is most favorable.
- Build a small brush pile with tree and shrub trimmings in an out-of-the-way area. Top it off with evergreen branches for added protection. Birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians will appreciate this safe haven.