New England

February, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Lipstick' Sweet Pepper
Cool Vermont is not exactly known as prime pepper producing territory. That's why 'Lipstick' sweet pepper has become one of my favorites. No matter what the summer weather brings, I always seem to harvest a good crop of 4-inch long, tapered fruits. While I enjoy some green, I can depend on them to reliably ripen to a deep red in my growing season. I start seeds indoors under lights about 8 weeks before I set transplants in the garden. I buy my 'Lipstick' seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds (http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-5567-lipstick-og.aspx).

Clever Gardening Technique

Leave Branch Collar Intact When Pruning Trees
To promote healing, avoid cutting tree branches off flush with the trunk. Start by locating the branch bark ridge, a raised area on the upper surface where the branch meets the trunk. Begin your cut just outside this ridge, angling it down to the outside of the branch collar, the bulge that forms at the base of the branch where it intersects with the trunk. Leaving the branch collar intact will help the cut close over more readily. But don't cut farther out and leave a stub, as this will interfere with healing. Current recommendations are to leave pruning cuts unsealed. Research shows that sealing cuts and wounds on trees doesn't speed healing and can, in fact, promote decay.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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