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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of October 8, 2018
  • Leave over mature green beans on the plants to fully ripen.  When the pods turn brown, you are able to harvest them as dry beans.
  • To ripen green tomatoes, place them in a paper bag with a ripe apple and place the bag where the temperature will range between 60 degrees and 75 degrees.  The ethylene, given off by the ripe apple, stimulates the ripening of the tomatoes.
  • Draw a plan of this year’s vegetable garden.  Having a plan to refer to in the spring will help with crop rotation.  Knowing where everything was planted this season lets us plant our crops in the best location next season.
  • A beautiful, new oak tree, a bit on the smaller size, is ‘Mesa de Maya’ Southwest Heritage Oak (Quercus xundulata).  It won the 2017 Farwest Best of Show award.  This hybrid oak does best in dry conditions and was developed by Allan Taylor.  It will mature at 25’ tall and 20’ wide.  Its beautiful blue-green leaves are an added bonus.  Hardy in zones 5-8.
  • An exciting blueberry as part of the BrazelBerries series from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery in Oregon is ‘Pink Icing’ (Vaccinium corymbosum).  Its spring foliage shines in shades of pink, blue and green.  The foliage ages to a shade of iridescent turquoise blue.  The berries are large and sweet and the plant matures at 4’ tall and 3’ wide.  Once you’ve chosen a sunny spot in your garden for your new blueberry plant, remember to do a soil sample.  Blueberries are very soil specific.  Hardy in zones 5-10.
  • A beautiful shade tolerant vine is the Japanese Hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides).  It will mature at 10’ tall and 6’ wide although it is very forgiving to pruning.  A trellis is not required for this vine.  It will grow up a wall.
  • To maintain the health of your lawn, conduct a soil sample to check pH levels.  The ideal pH for lawns is 6.5-6.7.  This level allows the grass plant to take full advantage of the use of fertilizer.  If lime is needed to reduce the acidity of your lawn, look for calcite or dolomite lime.   Calcite lime should only be used, however, every other time you apply lime.

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