Northshore Magazine

March 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 72 of 196

70 | MARCH 2016 importance of an early first appli- cation of plant food: The differ- ence you will see throughout the season is enormous." She swears by a four-part process of organ- ics composed of kelp, greensand, Plant-tone all-purpose plant food, and rock phosphate. Before strong new growth emerg- es is also the time to prune, whether that is renewal pruning or thinning. "Combine feeding and pruning for terrific results," says Lambert. April calls for an application of lime to roses, lilacs, and perennials. "Especially if you've been feeding them, they may be taking up a lot of nitrogen, which leads to strong growth, but not many flowers. Put lime on the lawn and on perennials that like sweet soil, like peonies. "You want the soil to be friable," she continues. "So now, when it is drying out, pull weeds. If you left your perennials standing over the winter, this is the time to remove dead stalks." She endorses the practice of leaving perennials uncut during the cold weather. "It protects the plant's crown, and birds eat the seeds during the winter." Early spring is the time to com- bat the winter moth. "It's every gardener's nemesis! Watch when tree buds start to swell in early and mid-April, and apply an oil spray to buds just before they break. If you wait until your leaves look like Swiss cheese, it's too late." Once new shoots spring skyward, your garden will head into the riot of growth known as May and June. Wolf Hill Garden Center is always brimming with season- appropriate plants. Corliss Brothers Garden Center and Nursery 31 Essex Rd. Ipswich 978-356-5422 Wolf Hill Garden Center 104 Eastern Ave. Gloucester 978-281-4480 wolfhillgardencenter. com CONTACT Colin Finn, the annuals and perennials manager at Gloucester's Wolf Hill Garden Center, says that area gardeners are fond of succulents and tropical plants. "In the past few years, succulent gardens have become huge," he says. "Gardeners in this area have also begun to use a lot of tropical plants, whether as accents or focal points, and they use them throughout the garden." Finn says that he sees an ever-increasing demand for organic herbs and vegetables. "As far as colors go," he continues, "a lot of gardeners are going for white gardens, both with white flowers and with variegated foliage. At the same time, they are trending toward bright colors in pottery. If there's a spot in the garden that needs something, a colorful pot can bring brightness." What's Growing on the North Shore photograph by Sarah Phillips

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