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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of September 16, 2019
  • If aphids were a problem in the garden this season, plan a defensive strategy for them next year by planting small-flowered plants like mints or yarrow throughout the garden.  Avoid over fertilizing with nitrogen as well.
  • Enhance the sweetness of fruit salads without sugar by adding rosemary.
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) also known as shadbush or shadblow are excellent pollinator plants.  Blooming very early in the spring, serviceberry’s delicate, white flowers stand out against otherwise bare trees.  Growing in sun to part shade, serviceberry can grow up to 40’; and many species are hardy to zone 4.
  • Thornless, upright blackberries with a long-harvest season and rust resistance include ‘Arapaho’, ‘Darrow’, ‘Illini’ and ‘Kiowa’.
  • Recommended varieties of sunflowers for next year’s garden include ‘Titan’ with heads that grow 24” across and plants that reach 12’ to 14’ tall.   If a smaller and shorter variety is for you, consider ‘Super Snack’ which grows 5’-7’ tall.
  • With apple picking season upon us, here’s a new way to enjoy apples this year.  Dip thick slices of cored apple into melted butter and arrange on the grill.  Cook for a few minutes and turn.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Enjoy!
  • If clematis with pink flowers is on your wish list for next season, consider ‘Asao’, ‘Bees Jubilee’, ‘Elizabeth’, or ‘Pink Fantasy’.
  • Apply a light application of a high-nitrogen fertilizer to strawberry plants now.  This application will aid in the development of fruit buds for next year.
  • Keep the vegetable garden clean of leaves and stems that no longer look good.  Keeping the garden clean will help deter the spread of disease or insect infestations for next season.  Do not compost any foliage that was diseased.
  • Start seeds of basil, parsley, cilantro and oregano for growing indoors this winter.  Place the pots in a window that receives direct sunlight for most of the day.
  • Deadhead Echinacea and heliopsis to keep them blooming.  Cut back summer perennials that have finished flowering so their foliage does not detract from the fall bloomers.
  • If deer have been a problem in the landscape this season, consider planting flowers this fall that are not favorites of deer.  Choose daffodils instead of tulips, allium instead of crocus, astible or bleeding hearts over hostas.

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