Garden Tips and Monthly Chores

What Is The Best Type of Manure?
In order to have a healthy, flourishing garden- you need to take good care of it. One way to ensure your garden grows big and strong is the addition of fertilizer. Fertilizer (or manure) is a way to return nutrients into the soil that may not be present; such as nitrogen. Different types of animal […]
How to Dry Flowers
Dried Flowers are beautiful to look at and can be used for many crafts and decorations. Many people buy their flowers already dried from the flower shop, but here is an easy way to dry your own flowers at home (saving you money.) If you want your flowers to retain their color, you should cut […]
How To Care for Poinsettia Plants
Every December, poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are given or received as gifts. These beautiful red plants have become a sign of the holidays, but usually are thrown out as soon as the holidays are over. They are specifically grown for the holidays (those bright red leaves just scream Christmas,) but what if you could keep […]
7 Ways to Minimize Your Carbon Footprint
Stop Eating (Or Eat Less) Meat – When you think of climate change, you don’t automatically think of cows and chickens being responsible. But raising livestock for consumption creates a large amount of fossil fuels and emissions. Red meat is more responsible for these emissions than their poultry counterparts. Animals that are categorized as red […]
Mosquito Mate
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have given permission to a company that says they want to “breed the worst mosquitoes out of existence.” Known as Mosquito Mate, the company intends to release nonbiting male mosquitoes into the environment. These males are infected with a strain of bacteria that kills eggs; The goal is for these […]
Lone Star Tick
Long Island is no stranger to ticks. Since our last post on the summer tick outbreak (which you can read here), a new contender has rose to the top of the pest pyramid; The Lone Star Tick. This tick has brought on a new symptom to occur after being bitten by the pest. The symptom is […]
14 Garden Tips and Tricks
Gardening is a fun and leisurely activity, but having tips and tricks can make it a even more stress-free pastime. Here is a list of 14 tips and tricks as presented from HGTV. Salt Deposits – Combine equal parts of white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to clay […]
12 Ways to Save on Your Summer Garden
Every Spring, everyone has the same idea- create a garden that is show-stopping and award-worthy. However as you sit on your back porch with friends enjoying the August heat, you realize your plan has failed. But it’s not too late! Here is a helpful list of tips for saving money on summer upgrades from garden […]
Black Wasps
Its a known fact that people do not like wasps, and with good reason. All they do is fly around bothering you while you are trying to enjoy the great outdoors. But there is one type of wasp you should keep your eye on– The Black Wasp. This wasp has a big black body with […]
Gardening Clubs on LI
All over Nassau and Suffolk County are garden clubs where people can get together and discuss their favorite gardening tips and chores. You are bound to find one that is perfect for you, here is a list of the garden clubs located around Long Island.  American Rhododendron Society Meets: September – May  Planting Fields Arboretum, […]
Tick Outbreak on Long Island
Scientists have predicted that this upcoming season is going to show an explosion in tick populations. With the mild winter we have had, and the warm weather becoming stagnant they have stated we will also see an explosion in acorns and mice. Ticks carry a deadly disease called Lyme Disease that not all ticks carry, […]
What to Plant for a Bee-Friendly Garden
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the bee population is rapidly declining. Most people dislike bees, they are scared of them and think they sting; when in reality they are super-friendly little guys who like the fly around from flower to flower  to pollinate! While it is true that bees can sting a human, they […]
How to Make A Bee-Friendly Garden
Without bees, everything we know would cease to exist. Bees are the reason why we have vegetables, flowers, and many plants. They travel from plant to plant, cross pollinating and making new life grow. Many people have misconceptions about bees, they are not out to harm. Bees are not aggressive, unless threatened or being attacked. […]
Plants to Grow For a Healthy Garden!
Here is a list of 16 plants that you can plant to have a healthier garden at home! These plants are very helpful, most repel pests like aphids, mosquitos, moths and worms, Some can even trap pests like beetles! Having these plants in your garden will create a healthier soil, and allow you to have […]
Add Some Color To Your Garden!
For a long time, dietitians have advised to eat a colorful diet. Many yellow and orange plants are rich in Vitamin C and Betacarotene, Green plants are rich in Iron, Calcium and Folic Acid, and Red plants add Lycopene and other important nutrients to your body. Filling your plate with an array of colors creates […]
How To Start A Rain Barrel
For every inch of rain that falls on 500 square feet of roof, you can collect upwards to 300 gallons of water in a rain barrel. Using a rain barrel can save you significant amounts of money in one season! In most areas of North America, this means you can collect over a thousand gallons […]
Buy once, Grow forever!
Most people cut off the root portion of fruits and vegetables and throw them in the trash or compost. However, if you are resourceful enough you can regrow them over and overHowever, if you are resourceful enough you can regrow them over and over! Certain fruits and vegetables are prime for planting and re-growing. While […]
What Is The Best Rock Salt?
It’s winter- which means cold weather, snow and ice. To avoid slipping and seriously hurting you or your family, it is necessary to melt that ice. Although all salts and de-icers work in the same way, they are not created or contain the same materials. Some of which, are harmful to the environment and pets. So what […]
Mystery of the Monarchs
Marc Morrone writes a Question and Answer based column in the pets section of Newsday. He recently received a question on why there has been a lower and lower population of Monarch Butterflies on Long Island. Here is the question and answer, and helps solve the mysterious problem of the Monarchs. Question: “I have lived […]
Don't Refrigerate My Tomatoes?
If you have ever bought tomatoes from a farm stand, you probably heard to keep them out of the fridge, or they will lose their flavor. Have you ever wondered why? Well scientists have too, and concluded its all in the genes. One study concluded that when the tomato plants genes “chill out” in the […]
Stink Bugs!!
Chances are you have had the luck of finding stink bugs in your garden or worse- your home this past summer. Hopefully, you haven’t squished any and if you have already done so, you have gained a full understanding on the reason behind their name. When you crush one of these 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch shield […]
How to Plant Bulbs in the Yard for a Colorful Spring!
It’s almost time to plant bulbs for the spring, which means figuring out a design plan for where all your flowers will grow. Neat rows and clusters are most popularly envisioned. But have you ever thought about naturalizing them? To naturalize bulbs, means to plant them in such a way that they appear to have […]
Cover Crops
By now, you have started to overwinter some of your favorite plants. With your garden bare, it is the time to plant cover crops. What are cover crops you ask? These are plants used to help protect and renew your soil. Cover crops can: Suppress weeds Protect soil from rain or runoff Improve soil aggregate […]
4 Ways To Keep Cut Flowers Alive Longer
Everyone loves fresh cut flowers from the garden, but they wilt and die so quickly. Even flowers bought from a florist or grocery store have the same results after a mere week. Here is a list of 4 tips to help you keep your flowers alive longer. Sear the stems. Searing has a miraculous effect […]
Combat Fungus Gnats In a Pinch!
The first frost will be upon Long Island soon, so it’s time to start over-wintering your plants. One issue that arises during the process of moving your beautiful plants inside, is fungus gnats. These little buggers fly everywhere once inside, and always seem to be right by your face. Born in damp soil, the larvae […]
Intercostal Cleanup at Knapps Lake
Photos attached of our day on Knapps Lake at Brookwood Hall for the Intercostal cleanup. I filled out the “Citizen Scientist” sheets and sent them in the provided envelope so our debris could be counted as part of a global coastal cleanup inventory. We found stuff we couldn’t get out of the lake: A picnic […]
Wasp Nests!
A couple of days ago, I noticed a large almost bee-hive looking ball in my front yard Dogwood. Upon closer examination- it turns out to be a giant wasps nest! Not only was there one wasp nest- there was two. Right above where I park my car to boot! We have called an exterminator to help us […]
Plant now, enjoy later!
Picture this- the weather is crisp, the fireplace is lit, you are surrounded by friends and family in a perfectly decorated house. Everyone is sitting down for dinner when-oh no, there are no fresh vegetables. How do you solve this conundrum now? By planting your seeds early. It’s true, planting winter vegetables are probably the […]
Blossom End Rot
If you grow tomatoes, you are familiar with Blossom end rot. This disease can cause severe loss in both garden and home tomatoes if precautionary measures are not taken. Symptoms can happen at any stage in the development of the fruit. Most often however, it can be seen when the fruit is one-third to one-half […]
It comes around every summer, everyone has it, can you guess what it is? It’s Nutsedge! What exactly is Nutsedge? It is a grass-weed that isn’t really a grass, its a sedge. Nutsedge is a perennial and grows in moist, poorly drained sections of your yard or garden. It also grows faster in hot weather. The […]
Hosta Virus X (HVX)
After being dormant, the virus known as HVX has re-emerged this year. HVX otherwise known as “Hosta Virus X” is a disease that effects most to all varietals of the Hosta plant. It can be transmitted from having infected sap on your hands then touching another plant, or even sharing tools between plants. Now, we’re […]
Controlling Snails and Slugs In Your Garden
If you live in an area that is damp, you are more then aware of snail and slug damage in your garden. A single snail or slug can successfully get rid of an entire row of seedlings from your garden in no time at all. They can turn pretty green leaves into small slices of […]
New and Unusual Plants To Grow!
Here is a list of new and unusual plants (Annual and Perennial) that will not only do well, but look fabulous in your garden this summer! Annuals [Not a valid template] Perennials [Not a valid template] Thank you Jessica Damiano for the original information. You can read more here.
Late Blight? What to do now!
One of the worst problems that could happen in your garden isn’t pests- its a late blight. Late blight is a destructive fungal disease, and did we mention it is highly contagious? Tomato and Potato plants are the most susceptible to this disease. Action is needed to be taken immediately to prevent the destruction of […]
Identifying Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Here on Long Island, we have many varieties of fauna. Some are beautiful, some are edible, and some are even poisonous. We have three varieties that are irritating to our skin when touched, they include Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. Here are some ways that you can differentiate these plants in the outdoors […]
Why You Should Be Vertically Gardening
Urban gardening has been on the rise lately, it allows people to grow a bountiful crop in a small area of space while still living comfortably. For vertical gardening, you don’t need a large plot or a huge backyard, you just need a small strip of soil, or a space to incorporate a flower tower. […]
Prescription Gardening?
Its no surprise that people who get down in their gardens, lead a healthy lifestyle. One report entitled Gardens and Health claim that gardening should be prescribed by doctors for patients that show early signs of dementia and heart disease. Many authors cite reports on the health benefits of gardening and say it brings many […]
Are your plants purifying your air?
Its no surprise that plants have been shown to reduce stress levels. Many people turn to gardening because it gives them a sense of calmness, which lowers stress and ultimately has a positive effect on health. For example, having low levels of stress goes hand-in-hand with low blood pressure. While the most effective way of […]
There's an app for that!
Burpee has came out with a free app for iPhones/iPads and Android systems to help you remember when to plant, and how to make your garden grow better. The app offers advice on how to sow your garden, and when to harvest your bounty of vegetables, herbs, fruits and other plants. The app is location oriented, so […]
Christmas Tree Safety
Throughout the month of December, it is important to check your Christmas tree for watering daily (if you always have a live tree.) According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Here are some tips to remember during the christmas season, […]
How to Overwinter your Dahlias
Dahlias are tropical plants, which means they will not survive the cold New York winter that is upon us. Since New York is in zone 7, they are treated as annuals or they are dug up and have their tubers stored in a frost-free environment (like your house) until the spring. Overwintering Dahlias is an […]
What the Deer Don't Eat
We had a lot of deer come through the Project Bloom gardens this season, and we learned the hard way what deer will and won’t eat. We are going to be focusing our seeds for the 2016 season on things the deer don’t eat. Plus we have to grow those great branching sunflowers again, even […]
How to make your carved pumpkins last longer!
October is here, which means its time to gather those pumpkins and carve them! One downfall of carving pumpkins, is timing. It’s the constant worry that ‘Maybe I’m carving them too early.’ or ‘I really hope these last to halloween.’ You can carve a sprightly Jack-O-Latern but in a week or two you can have […]
What to plant in the Summer for the Fall!
While summer is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean your gardening has to. There are many plants that should be planted now to insure they grow for the winter and fall season. Also many of the plants thrive better when exposed to the cold fall weather and frost. Some that benefit from the frost […]
How to make a Simple and Easy Yellow Jacket Trap
While it is true that yellow jacket are a beneficial insect in the environment. They are doing nothing beneficial while swarming around your sweet drinks and barbeque food. Yes- you can spray pesticides and numerous repellants but that gets into the ground water and cant be around children and pets. It causes more problems than […]
Kitchen Scraps, in your Garden?
Every day, we throw out all kinds of food scraps that we think are garbage. While many of these scraps are considered useless, they can in fact be put directly into your gardens! Non-Composters unite for these nifty tips to recycle kitchen scraps! Eggshells Use the empty shells as a place to start your seedlings! […]
How to keep Squirrels out of your Garden
The warm weather brings new plant life, blue skies, gardening and squirrels. Squirrels are a gardeners number one enemy, sure they look cute and scurry from here to there, but they do serious damage to gardens. They eat freshly planted seeds, uproot bulbs, eat partially grown fruit and knock off the tops of flowers. Here […]
Mosquito Prevention and Control
It’s that time of the year again, yes the warm weather is great especially at night. But with warm weather and long summer days comes our number one flying enemy– mosquitos. Mosquitos can be harmless and just leave itchy bites, but can also carry West Nile Virus which can be deadly. There are many ways […]
Which Plants Attract Butterflies
Here is a helpful list of plants that attract butterflies. Plant these in your garden or yard to have a front row seat to view some of the animal kingdom’s most beautiful insects! Butterfly Bush (Buddleia selections) Butterfly Bush is an Annual shrub that features flowers in shades of blue, purple and white. Grown in […]
Black Plants for October
Once the month of October arrives, it is time to get festive. Cozy Sweaters, Hot Drinks, and Halloween! Carved Pumpkins sitting on the porch, and ghosts hanging in the window. Your yard would be incomplete without a little decoration in the garden also. Here is a list of black plants to give your garden a […]
Plants that discourage deer
Here in the northeast, there has recently been an overwhelming number of deer in spots. The victim of the mass quantity of deers is people’s gardens. Since there is a sparse food source for the deer due to overpopulation, they have to turn to alternative methods. Since a starving deer will eat almost anything, there is […]
How to start your own Compost Pile
You may ask, Why is composting good? Well there are many reasons. Here are some to name a few: It saves water by helping the soil retain moisture and reduce runoff. It reduces the need for commercial soil fertilizers, which contain chemicals that are not healthy in mass quantities for the environment. Helps protects plants […]
What to do in December
December is upon us, that means plants have become dormant and grass has stopped growing. But there is always garden work that can be done! Here are some tips of what to do in the month of December for your garden. 1. In  the beginning of the month, you should incorporate lime and compost into […]
What to do in November
November is here, which means changing colors, raking, and Thanksgiving. But before turkey time comes around, here are some chores that should be done in preparation for the coming winter months. 1. For December blooms, place Christmas cactus in the dark at 55-60 degrees for 14 hours each night, and in bright light for 10 […]
What to do in October
It is October, time for the cold weather, last minute garden cleanup, and celebrating Halloween. 1.Time to do final lawn repairs and seeding before it’s officially too late. For next June’s harvest, plant unpeeled organic garlic cloves pointy end up in the garden. For holiday blooms start those paperwhites now! Place the bulbs pointy end […]
What to do in September
It’s September, school is starting back up again and fall weather is coming quickly. Here are some helpful tips to keep you on schedule for the month of September in your garden. 1. Now is the time to reseed and/or renovate the lawn. Also now is the time to celebrate Labor Day! Sow your lettuce, […]
What to do in August
It’s August already! Almost time for kids to go back to school, have a last away summer vacation and enjoy the last bit of summer heat. Here are some helpful tips to keep you on your garden schedule for the month of August! 1. No matter how tempting it may be to let your zucchinis […]
What to do in July
Happy July! With an unpredictable month ahead of us, it is time to get down to buisness in the garden. Here are some helpful tips to help you stay on your garden schedule for the month of July! 1. To make sure your potato and tomato plants are protected against late blight, spray with a […]
What to do in June
It’s June, a month full of graduations, proms, the start of summer vacation, and father’s day. June is also a busy month for the garden. Here are some helpful tips, that you can follow for your garden! 1. In the first week, snake hoses through perennial and vegetable gardens to have a direct water source […]
What to do in May
May is here! Time for Memorial Day parties, the start of summer, Mother’s Day and more gardening! Here are some tips to help you keep on your garden schedule for the month. 1. Within the first week of May, apply mulch to your beds and borders. Also give cool-season vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage […]
What to do in April
It’s officially Spring! Its April– warm weather, gardening, and happy days are upon us. It’s been a while since last spring but here are a few tips that will get you back into the ‘Spring Grind’. 1. In the first week, pinch off the tips of leggy seedlings that are growing inside to make them […]
What to do in March
It’s March already, and many things are upon us. Daylight Savings, St. Patrick’s Day, and yes–more gardening chores. Here are some helpful hints of what should be done in your garden. 1. Time to start cutting back on the ornamental grasses and remnant’s of last year’s perennials. Houseplants should also being replanted into pots that […]
What to do in February
February has rolled around again, time for Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. But also an important time to perform certain task’s in your garden. Here is a list of helpful tips to follow. 1. In the first week of the month, you should check on stored tubers and bulbs, mist those that re […]
What to do in January
With January, comes the new year, new weather and new things to do in your garden. 1. In the first week of January, wrap recently planted evergreens with burlap to avoid wind and snow damage. Also, don’t forget to rotate houseplants and keep away from heat sources! 2. Once you take down your Christmas tree, […]