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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of November 4, 2019
  • Now is a great time to easily recognize and eradicate perennial weedy vines such as nightshade or bittersweet that grow high among hedges or shrubs.  Their fall color makes them easily recognizable.
  • Store lawn furniture and garden art that may be damaged by spending the winter months exposed to the elements indoors.
  • Not sure what to toss in the compost pile?  Perennial foliage that has been cut back, dying potted plants and annuals along with their root balls, leaves, grass clippings, straw, chipped brush, sawdust, pine needles, vegetable and fruit wastes, eggshells, coffee grounds and paper filters and teabags.
  • To add to a garden full of wonderful fragrance simply by rubbing the leaves, consider scented geraniums such as rose (P. graveolens) or pine (P. denticulatum).  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) and pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) are other great choices for a more fruiter fragrance.
  • Dig up and pot up a clump of chives for indoor use all winter.
  • Spread dehydrated manure over rhubarb.  Avoid using fresh manure as it can lead to disease.
  • Remember to cover newly planted garlic with a thick layer of straw once the ground begins to freeze.  When the first garlic shoots appear in the spring, uncover the plants leaving the straw alongside the plants as mulch.
  • When choosing a clematis for small gardens, consider ‘Entel’, ‘Hagley Hybrid’, ‘Miss Bateman’, ‘Pink Fantasy’ or ‘Tentel’.
  • Another great reason to leave perennial plants standing in the winter months is the birds.  They appreciate the cover provided by the plants and use the remaining garden materials in their nest making in the spring.  Invite birds into the garden with the attractive, seed-laden heads remaining on many flowering plants.
  • Lemon trees are easy to grow, can be kept outdoors in late spring, summer and early autumn, and then overwintered indoors.  The flowers have a wonderful fragrance and the fruit is delicious.  When bringing them indoors for the winter, choose a cool, bright location such as an unheated sunroom or unused bedroom.  The lemon trees do not like to be warm and dry and may drop leaves when first brought indoors.

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