New England

April, 2011
Regional Report

Tool or Gardening Product

Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower
According to the manufacturer, the new technologies used in the design of the Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower make it 40% easier to push than other reel mowers and eliminate the need for annual blade sharpening. The cutting height can be easily set from 1 to 4 inches and the padded handle is also height-adjustable. The mower is available online from Fiskars for $249.99 at http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Reel-Mowers/Momentum-Reel-Mower. It is also carried by many other online and retail sources.

Favorite or New Plant

French Tarragon
Adding fresh tarragon to a dish, as opposed to the dried herb, is a revelation. The anise-like taste and fragrance are so much more vivid, it's almost as if it's a completely different herb. That's why this tall and somewhat unkempt perennial is a must in my herb garden. Growing about 2 feet tall, with narrow leaves, Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa seldom flowers and never sets seed. This means that plants must be propagated from cuttings or by division. (Plants grown from seed are the flavorless Russian tarragon.) So make sure you start by purchasing a true French tarragon plant. Plants need well-drained soil and full sun, as well as consistent moisture to keep producing fresh leaves throughout the summer. I have two plants in my herb garden, one of which I cut back by about half in late June. I harvest from the unpruned plant in the summer, and from the fresh growth on the cut-back plant from late summer into the fall. Every three or four years I divide my plants to keep them vigorous. I have never had a problem with insects or disease on my plants.

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