As I’ve written and said many times before, my calendars, both old and new, help me be a better gardener.
That’s because my favorite, the UMass Extension Garden Calendar, provides daily tips, hints, reminders and information for gardening in our Northeast growing conditions. I collect them from year to year and never throw them away. In addition, the photographs are always beautiful to peruse.
According to Ellen Weeks, the calendar has been produced for more than 25 years by the staff of the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program. The 2014 calendar had a feature on Gardening Basics for plant survival. The 2015 calendar delves into fertilizing flowering garden plants. The 2016 calendar has extensive guidelines on how to attract pollinators to our gardens.
The following are some examples of the daily tips and information:
- To produce berries, female winterberry plants require a male winterberry, like ‘Raritan Chief’ or ‘Jim Dandy’, planted nearby.
- Photograph the landscape throughout the year.
- Sow pansy and geranium seeds now.
- Start tuberous begonias indoors now.
- A study has shown that women who garden and do yard work are less likely than joggers and swimmers to get osteoporosis.
- Raised beds are a great way to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs if the location does not provide adequate drainage.
- Trees and shrubs will usually grow well without the addition of soil amendments, such as peat moss, etc.
- Remember to plant your plants at the correct depth and not too deep. Among other things, planting the roots too deep will deprive the roots of the oxygen they need to survive. Planting too deep is often a major cause of tree failure.
Daily sunrise and sunset times, as well as the different phases of the moon, are also included.
The calendars cost $12 plus shipping. For information about the 2016 calendar, including how to order, visit www.umassgardencalendar.org.