Instead of trusting plant tags with tantalizing but often meaningless promises, there is now a wealth of information on plants available via websites – both annuals and perennials – that attract birds, bees, and butterflies (and sometimes bats). Check sites such as Grow Native Massachusetts (https://www.grownativemass.org/Great-Resources/databases), where you’ll find links to New-England-centric resources (including Native Plant Trust’s ‘Go Botany’ site (https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/), an easy-to-use tool for finding out which plants match your specific needs.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Your favorite perennials should all be up by now, but have not yet set flower buds. This is a terrific time to divide them. The plant will benefit from discarding its dead center. Use a spade to divide the perennial into sections; return the largest one to the original site, and plant the others wherever you want color and texture or donate them to your garden club’s plant sale.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Whenever you go out to garden, take a few seconds to spray your clothing – especially below the knees, but a spritz elsewhere – to deter ticks that want to jump on anything warm-blooded for their next meal. Use a spray that specifies it uses EPA-registered ingredients that are tick repellents. These include DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and PMD. New England ticks now carry not just Lyme disease, but pathogens that destroy white blood cells (Ehrlichiosis) and red blood cells (Babesiosis).
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
What a difference a few weeks makes! The latest Drought Monitor shows the ‘moderate drought’ across New England has substantially receded, as has the ‘abnormally dry’ conditions. The U.S. Weather Service forecast for the region indicates continued above-average precipitation. Monitor rainfall with an inexpensive rain gauge so you don’t waste time or water by watering when the plants don’t need it.