This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape
Week of October 1, 2018
- When choosing garlic to plant this fall for next year’s harvest, don’t overlook ‘German Red’ garlic. It’s strong and spicy flavor make it a favorite among garlic lovers. It reliably produces large, satiny white to purple heads and the cloves are especially easy to peel.
- Torenia (Wishbone Flower) is an annual that simply does not last long. The plant itself will remain healthy, however, flower production begins to fade in the heat of the summer. Torenia does much better in northern gardens than in the south and much better in containers than planted directly into the garden bed. Torenia prefers afternoon shade.
- To “spice up” carrots when cooking, try flavoring them with basil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, sage or thyme.
- If planting spring bulbs are on your fall “to do list” in the garden and deer have been a problem, choose daffodils instead of tulips and allium instead of crocus.
- Remember to bring houseplants indoors when nighttime temperatures stay around 45 degrees. Be sure to first inspect them for pests and diseases. Spraying all houseplants (except succulents) with an insecticidal soap mixed with water prior to bringing them in is helpful.
- If you are having difficulty growing grass in the shade and have tried shade-loving grass seed mixtures, consider planting a shade-loving groundcover instead. Pachysandra and vinca are beautiful choices.
- Keep mowing the lawn as long as the lawn keeps growing. Be sure the gas tank is empty before storing your lawn mower away for the winter.
- Pull up and compost spent annual plants. Harvest edible sunflower seeds.
- A beautiful, ornamental grass to add to your landscape that will bloom from July through September is ‘Goldtau’ (Tufted Hair Grass). Growing 1’-2’ tall, Goldtau has dark-green, narrow leaves forming a dome shape. Its long-lasting seed heads look beautiful in the winter landscape. Goldtau is hardy in zones 4-9.
- A new introduction in the David Austin rose series is Imogen (‘Austritch’). This shrub rose is pale yellow, has a mild fragrance and frilly petals. Its upright growth habit has it reaching heights of 3’-4’ tall and 2’-3’ wide. Growing in full sun, ‘Austritch’ is hardy in zones 5-9.