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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of October 29, 2018
  • The orange quince is a self-fertile tree that is small and compact and perfect for a small space in the garden.  Each spring the orange quince produces beautiful fragrant flowers. Once the plant is approximately 3 years old, it will produce fruit; and beginning in October, it’s large, bright yellow, pear-shaped fruit ripens and is delicious.  It can be used in chutney and desserts.  The orange quince requires well-drained soil, a pH of 6.5 – 7.0 and is hardy in zones 5-8.
  • To provide a healthy habitat to provide food for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and moths, monitor your plants to make sure they are healthy; and when purchasing plants, inquire to be certain the ones you select are pesticide free. 
  • When preparing potatoes, choose herbs such as basil, chives, dill, fennel, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme to make them the most flavorful!
  • Do not cut down hydrangeas with colored flowers or they will not bloom next year.  You can remove the flower heads to keep the garden neat.  If your blue hydrangea fails to bloom each year, cover it completely, this fall, with a mound of bark mulch, leaves or straw to protect the buds from the harsh winter winds.  Uncover it at the end of March.
  • Unhook and drain garden hoses completely.  Roll them up and store them off the ground in a garden shed or garage.
  • Store lawn furniture and garden accent pieces indoors to prevent them from becoming damaged by remaining outdoors during the winter. 
  • A beautiful, small, ornamental grass to consider for your landscape next year is Sesleria autumnalis (Autumn moor grass).  It forms clumps of narrow leaves approximately a foot tall and wide with 18” wide wands of flowers that turn silvery-white in autumn.  It is the perfect size for smaller gardens and is hardy in zones 5-9.
  • If unusually colored vegetables are something you would like to grow in your vegetable garden, consider ‘Depurple’ cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis).  The florets on this cauliflowers are a beautiful purple color.  They look beautiful on a raw veggie platter.  To retain the color when cooking, lightly sprinkle lemon juice or vinegar on the florets.

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