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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Plant Something MA!  Give thanks for the wonderful harvest this year.  Whether it be from fruits, vegetables or the beautiful dried flower arrangement, this is a wonderful time to feel grateful!

  • Heavy pruning is essential to apricot production.  Without it apricots will start fruiting with heavy crops but the crops will dwindle as lush foliage shades the lower fruit spurs.  Fruit will then be borne only high in the tree.  Thin and top the tree annually.  A well-pruned apricot tree has a stubby look with no long, thin branches.  Remove one-third of the new wood each year.  Do this in the winter when the tree is dormant.
  • Red Maples exhibit beautiful autumn colors.  They are also home to the American Robin, Prairie Warbler and American Goldfinch who find their branches simply perfect for nesting.
  • Wood chips and sawdust can be added to the garden after being mixed with grass clippings, manure, or other nitrogen sources and allowed to decompose for approximately one year.  It will become a wonderful organically rich product which can then be added to your garden.
  • Check indoor potted herbs of rosemary and thyme for signs of pests.  Both commonly experience infestations of aphids and mealy bugs.  The first sign of aphids is sticky sap on the leaves.  The first sign of mealy bugs is the appearance of small cottony masses of wax on leaves.  Insecticidal soap should rid plants of these pests.  Keep treated plants away from direct sunlight for a few days post treatment.
  • Be on the lookout for upcoming gardening classes and lectures to register for.  Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, the winter months offer great opportunities for learning and sharing.
  • Put your favorite or recommended gardening books and tools on your holiday gift list.  Let your family and friends know what you would like to receive this season.
  • Andromeda requires little pruning.  If necessary, shorten a stem to shape a bush.  Cutting back to a group of leaves results in several new sprouts; cutting back into bare wood usually produces only one.  Prune right after flowering.

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