Posts categorized as Gardening

“To Harvest Or Not To Harvest”

Harvested Garlic

Besides humans, what else takes nine months to grow? The answer – garlic. In late October I planted garlic for the first time with guidance from my neighbor Diane. We’re both members of the Beach 91st Street Community Garden and that’s where I planted my first crop. In April, I saw sprouts and I’ve been anticipating and monitoring ever since. I planted the hardneck variety. Unlike most vegetables, garlic’s season is the opposite – plant in the fall, harvest in the summer. Garlic needs a long period of cold winter […]

tagged in food, garden, gardening, garlic

Garden Update: Roly-poly Bugs, Daylilies and Pokeweed

Pokeweed growing out of concrete

I was in the front garden and noticed the marigolds I planted in my cement pots had severe damage. At a closer glance, I saw pill bugs everywhere. You may know them as roly-poly bugs or potato bugs from when you were a kid. I found it strange because marigolds are considered an insect repellent and planted in vegetable gardens to detract pests. The pill bug is not a picky eater apparently and the pungent flavor of this beautiful annual doesn’t detract this garden pest. Upon some research, I learned […]

The Versatile Chive Plant

chives 3

I’ve been spending some time this week in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden. I only planted my vegetables two weeks ago because it’s been unseasonably cold. Despite the late start, things are looking good. This year, I have two cherry and two beefsteak tomato plants. The cherry tomatoes do very well in the garden for some reason. I have two cubanelle pepper plants, squash, kale, cilantro, sage, basil, and chives. I think I over-planted my plot. I couldn’t help myself! Flowers and the scapes of this easy-to-grown herb are […]

tagged in gardening, herbs

St. Francis Of Assisi And The Bird bath

Every Italian family I know has at least one statue in their garden. We have our reasons. We need to have the blessings of the saints around our home. This is a connection we’ve retained from our pagan past. Statues remind us of the homeland. Rome is beautifully littered with ancient sculptures, grottos and water features, so it’s part of our design DNA. And we have an ostentatious flair – big, bold, loud and shiny. I mean, who doesn’t love how stone looks when it’s sprayed with a garden hose […]

What does salt tolerant actually mean?

salt damage rockaway beach

With the help of Matt’s cousin Lesley Conroy, who is a landscape architect, we designed our front garden in 2016. Lesley and I both agreed on choosing plants that would be fitting for a coastal landscape. Since then, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about coastal gardens and the effect of salt on plants. I’ve found that there’s a vast difference that salt has on plants and trees on the beach block, versus inner blocks on the peninsula. I see my neighbors between Holland Ave. and the boulevard growing apple trees, […]

tagged in garden, gardening

DIY Indoor Greenhouse

DIY seed containers

April is holding up its end of the bargain – rain, rain, and more rain. It’s needed to jump-start our gardens and the growing season. I’ve been outside whenever the weather permits, weeding, cleaning up leaves, and dividing/moving plants to new locations. Normally I start my veggie seedlings in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden greenhouse. I’ve been a member for several years now. A greenhouse is typically 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The average temperature this month in Rockaway has been about 55 degrees. So the greenhouse […]

tagged in garden, gardening

one lucky plant

Oxalis regnellii,

Oxalis regnellii, better known as the Shamrock Plant is a lovely little one that will bring bright color (and maybe good luck) into your home well past St. Patrick’s Day. The Shamrock Plant reaches a max height of 8 inches tall. The leaves are clover-shaped and in the spring, fall, and winter, small delicate flowers appear. There are over 570 species with a rainbow range of color, from bright and dark greens to the sought-after burnt oranges and dark purple foliage. Exposure to the sun will cause these color nuances in […]

Indoor Plant Splurge

Caption 2

I really start to miss gardening in January. The holiday distraction is over; I’m indoors more than half the day; and I realize there are three long, cold months before the start of the gardening season begins in April. This will not stand! So for my birthday last week, my husband took me to Hicks Nursery (100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, NY 11590) to check out the sales on their large selection of indoor plants, which are timed to coincide with the mid-winter horticultural doldrums. I’ve been visiting the Long Island […]

tagged in garden, plant care, plants

The Basics On Planting Garlic

garlic

Basil and tomatoes are a staple in home gardens, especially those kept by Italians. But garlic, a base for so many meals across so many cultures is grown significantly less. Why? I’m assuming it’s because garlic is a cool-weather crop and you can’t buy a starter plant at the garden center. Moreover, many people assume the garden season ends when September hits. NYC is garden Zone 7 which means we can grow food and plant for the spring until the first frost. These days, that feels like mid-December. Kale, collards, […]

tagged in fall, gardening

The Wildman

Wildman Steve Brill ready to sample the bitter Winged Sumac. Make pink lemonade with this plant!

His appearance is what you’d expect: utilitarian. The Wildman is wearing a long-sleeved blue windbreaker and khaki pants with multiple pockets. A strap holds a shovel and an iPad. A safari hat shades his face. His fingernails have already been in the soil.  “Take a quick look at my books and then we’ll get started,” he says. Several cooking and foraging books are laid out on the front window of his dusty car. As the parents get their kids’ jackets zipped and the snacks packed up, the Wildman breaks out […]

tagged in forage