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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of September 30, 2019
  • Steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa) and white meadowsweet (S. Alba) are very attractive to pollinators including a wide variety of insects, butterflies and bumble bees.  Thriving in full sun, both species bloom from late spring to early fall and can reach heights of 4’.  They are hardy in zones 4-9.
  • Lay fresh sage leaves on a pork roast before cooking or make slits in the roast and insert the fresh leaves.  Enjoy!
  • As a defensive strategy in the fall against Colorado potato beetle, cultivate the beds where the potatoes where harvested to expose and destroy overwintering adults.  In the spring, rotate the crop, apply straw 4”-6” deep around plants and choose early-maturing varieties to avoid peak damage.
  • Begin repotting and bringing in any plants that will be saved from this year’s containers.
  • Bring any terra-cotta containers inside for the winter.
  • Once all containers are emptied of summer annuals, wash them thoroughly before storing for the winter.
  • When planting blueberries, incorporate plenty of peat moss and compost before planting.
  • Choose two of the same species of blueberries and plant at the same time.
  • Consider space requirements for blueberry bushes prior to planting and allow enough room within the landscape for the plant to reach their mature size.
  • Let the seed heads of sunflowers dry on the stalk or cut them and hang them upside down in a dry, well-ventilated indoor location.  Once the seeds have completely dried, rub them off the head by hand and store them in airtight containers.
  • To spice up the flavor of plain white rice, add 1 ½ teaspoons of dried lemon peel, 1 tablespoon of dill weed and 1 teaspoon of chives.  Enjoy!
  • For a beautiful clematis with white flowers, consider ‘Albina Plena’, ‘Henryi’, ‘Kaiu’ or ‘Snow Queen’.
  • If tomatoes, peppers and eggplant did not set fruit in your vegetable garden this season, it could be due to either very warm or very cool nighttime temperatures.
  • If cucumber plants wilted suddenly in your vegetable garden this season, it most likely is due to bacterial wilt disease.  The cucumber beetle carries the disease and often introduce it as they feed on the plants.

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