45April 20, 2017

We are back to a few very warm days followed by a few cold days.Ah, spring in New England!

As new growth emerges on our plants, it is time to get out your plant supports and get them into place. Every year, we have people who have beautiful peony plants that just come into bloom and a rainy day or a thunderstorm knocks the plants and the flowers into the mud. If you put plant supports over the emerging peony plants, the supports will keep the plants from falling over in the rain. This is one of those projects that should to be done early in the season. If you wait until later in the season, it is almost impossible to get all the stems tucked into the plant supports. Many of your tall growing perennials will benefit from a placement of a plant support.

The leaves are beginning to emerge on the maple trees and this will mean that the winter moth caterpillars will be hatching out soon. Watch your trees and apply BT insecticide to the leaves of your trees. This product will kill small caterpillars very quickly and the spray is not a threat to bees.

We recently received our first shipment of the cold tolerant vegetable plants. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leaf lettuce and head lettuce are plants that can take the cold weather that is sure to happen between now and the end of May. Don’t even think about planting tomato, pepper, squash, cucumber or basil at this point in the season. You will gain nothing by planting those plants early in the season and you run the risk of the plants dying if we get a frost.

Now is the time to plant onion sets. Theses are small onions that are planted now and they will grow and mature into full size onions. We have both the yellow and the red varieties in stock at our store.

We also received our shipment of seed potatoes. These potatoes can be planted in the ground and they will yield a large supply of fresh potatoes.

The forsythia is in bloom so it is time to get your crabgrass control down on the lawn. Crabgrass seed sprouts at a soil temperature that is close to the soil temperature that makes the forsythia go by flower. We have rain coming on Friday and crabgrass control is one of a few weed killers that should to be watered in order to release the crabgrass control. Time to get busy with the lawn.

Warming soil temperatures means that it is time to patch up those dead spots in your lawn. You should dig up any bare spots that are larger than a baseball. You should apply a good layer of compost or topsoil and mix it into the top 6 inches of soil. This will loosen up the soil and allow the grass seed to get its roots deep into the soil. Once you get the grass seed in place, make sure to keep the soil consistently moist until the seed sprouts in 10 to 21 days. If you do not keep the soil moist, the grass seed may die. Once the seed sprouts, you can slowly wean the grass off a constant supply of moisture.

Some of our perennials are ready to be planted. We usually get new plants in each week just in time for weekend shoppers. Some of the shrubs have arrived and now is a good time to get those shrubs in the ground. Planting now will allow the shrubs to get a strong root system into the soil before the heat of the summer arrives.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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