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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of November 25, 2019
  • Take time today to give thanks to everything and everyone that you are grateful for in your life.  Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is an excellent plant for the low maintenance garden.  It prefers damp areas, however, if the soil is constantly saturated, it will not thrive.  Partial shade is also ideal.  Consider spicebush as a component to the mixed border.  In a naturalistic landscape, it is particularly beautiful.
  • Sauté strips of roasted pepper in olive oil, minced garlic and thyme.  Serve over pasta or rice.  Delicious!
  • Scattered on top of flower beds, crush eggshells discourage slugs, snails and cutworms.
  • Catnip (Nepeta spp.) will bloom for several months in the landscape.  They thrive in fertile, damp soils.  Attracting huge numbers of honey bees and bumble bees, catnip is frequently planted as a ground cover or border plant.  Plant in full sun and enjoy white or blue flowers in zones 4-8.
  • Now is a great time to lightly prune espalier trees.
  • A mild day in late winter or early spring is a good time to prune blueberries.  Cut back the tops of any plants that are growing too tall.  Each year, cut a couple of the oldest branches (those at least 5 years old or more than 1” thick) completely to the ground.  Thin out branches that are crowding each other cutting back to a main branch.  Always remove branches that are rubbing on another.
  • If leaves are unavailable for mulching in plants for the winter months, consider using another organic material such as grass clippings, bark chips and compost to help insulate the roots of woody plants and perennials.  Hold off on any mulching until there have been a couple of hard frosts to help reduce pests and disease.
  • If leaving parsnips in the ground until spring, cover the plants with soil.
  • Check with local botanical gardens or gardening clubs about what will be offered in courses or lectures this winter.  Sign up early.

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