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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of September 23, 2019
  • To attract butterflies to the garden, incorporate pollinator-friendly plants into your landscape.  Butterflies are attracted to large blocks of color so planting in large masses or groups will increase the likelihood of seeing them in the garden.
  • Salvia and asters are deer resistant as are most herbs with fragrant leaves.  If deer are a problem in the landscape, consider incorporating these plants into your garden this fall.
  • Bring all houseplants indoors when nighttime temperatures stay around 45 degrees.  Prune them back first and inspect for insects and disease.  Spray all houseplants, except succulents, with water mixed with an insecticidal soap before bringing them inside.
  • When planning spring bulb planting, consider planting under deciduous trees because the bulbs will bloom before the trees leaf out.  Plants in large drifts this month for a profusion of color next spring.  Now is an excellent time to plant early-spring bulbs of snowdrops and crocus.
  • Be sure to draw a plan of this year’s vegetable garden.  Having a plan in place for next year will help with crop rotation.
  • Now is a great time to have the soil in your vegetable garden tested.  If limestone is needed to raise the pH or sulfur to lower the pH, fall is the best time for either application.
  • If potatoes are to be stored, do not harvest until the tops of the potato plants have completely died back.  If storing potatoes long term, keep them in a cool and humid location.
  • Some beautiful selections to consider if a purple clematis is on your list of garden additions next season include ‘Akaishi’, ‘Fireworks’, ‘Monte Casino’, ‘Rooguchi’ and ‘Tartu’.
  • For a delicious way to enjoy fresh tomatoes from the garden, cut in half, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Add 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley and basil.  Enjoy!
  • Sunflowers are ready to harvest once the backs of the heads turn brown.  To keep the squirrels and birds away from the maturing seeds, cover the sunflower heads with a fine nylon mesh or cheesecloth and secure it with twine.
  • Planning an addition of blueberry plants to the garden next year?  Consider a site with well-drained soil and full sun.  Test soil pH for an ideal 4.5-5.5.  Amend the soil if needed which may take a year or two to accomplish before you plant.

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