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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of September 7, 2020

Now is a good time to control poison ivy. Also keep in mind that oil in poison ivy is still active in dead stems and roots.

Now is the most important time to fertilize the lawn.

Don’t harvest winter squash or pumpkins until they attain their full mature coloring or until after the first light frost.

Purchase straw now to have on hand to mulch garlic, shallots and strawberry beds.

Pull up spent vegetable plants, add compost to the soil and plant winter rye as a green-manure crop. Vegetable garden soils will remain healthy and productive if this is done annually after all crops are harvested.

If you have been admiring the beautiful sunflowers in bloom and would like to plant some in your garden next year, choose a well-drained, moderately rich soil with a near-neutral pH and even moisture. Avoid too much fertilizer and too much nitrogen which will give you large plants, however, it will delay and reduce the number of flowers. Once they are established, sunflowers are drought tolerant and not bothered by pests nor disease. They are, also, particularly beneficial to the honey bees.

A wonderful addition to the berry patch next season is a black, summer-producing raspberry. An early harvest of large fruit on disease resistant plants can be found on ‘Bristol’ or ‘Jewel’. Both are hardy in zones 4-8.

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