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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of September 3, 2018
  • Rhododendron ‘English Roseum’ is favored for its ability to withstand sun, cold and humidity.  Its flowers are produced in clusters of 8-10 and are in shades of lilac-rose.  English Roseum’s leaves extend to 6” long and have a beautiful glossy look to them.  Growing to approximately 6’ tall and wide, it is hardy in zones 4-8.
  • Rhodochiton atrosanguineus (Purple Bell Vine) is a vigorous growing annual vine that climbs by twining its long petioles around structures and blooms with beautiful purple flowers.  This vine can be started by seed indoors approximately six weeks before you would like to plant them outside.  They thrive in full sun.
  • When preparing broccoli consider flavoring this vegetable with basil, dill, garlic, lemon balm, oregano, tarragon or thyme.
  • Rake up leaves of apple, pear, crabapple and hawthorn trees which may have fallen due to apple scab disease.  This disease can over winter in the fallen leaves.
  • Never pile mulch up against the trunk of trees.  Doing so will cover the “root flare” which needs to be exposed to the air.
  • Harvest okra when the pods are 3” long.  By harvesting them frequently, the plant will continue to produce.
  • Pulling weeds before they set seed makes the need to weed less frequent.  Weeding after a rain or after irrigating makes the task much easier because the roots of weeds cling tenaciously to damp soil.  Do not compost weed seeds.
  • xMukgenia Nova ‘Flame’ Mukgenia is a perennial with beautiful foliage both in the summer and fall.  Pretty pink flowers are a bonus on this bright red edged foliage with toothy leaves.  The leaves hold on to this plant much longer in the fall.  Hardy to zones 3-9.
  • ‘Bella Alpinella’ will bring a touch of blue to a rock garden with its flowers blooming from mid to late summer.  Growing only 4” high, this compact plant is perfect in a part-shade location.  Hardy in zones 3-7.
  • When harvesting carrots, use a garden spade.  Pulling by hand generally leaves you with a handful of leaves and the carrot still in the ground.  Place the spade approximately 4” away from the carrot and push it into the ground.  The carrots will be easy to wedge out.

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