Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

The 5th Annual Jamaica Bay Monarch And Pollinator Festival is Tomorrow! Saturday, September 24.

A monarch butterfly feeding on native golden rod

 A month ago, I wrote about an experience with Don Riepe, our beloved The Jamaica Bay Guardian. He stopped by the Beach 91St Street Community Garden to give a talk on what we can do as a community to help protect the monarch butterfly. We learned about their habitat, migration, life cycle and feeding. The takeaway – plant an abundant amount of milkweed and goldenrod in your garden. We also discussed the importance of other pollinators and their vital role in our ecosystem. To learn more, Don told us to […]

tagged in community, garden, rockaway

Mulch Grows Soil

Teresa Farrell understands the benefits of mulching

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has said “Mulching is one of the simplest and most beneficial practices you can use in the garden.” Knowing this, why did I skip mulching this spring? I’m regretting it now. The weeds are a constant in any garden but without mulch, it becomes unmanageable. Every few days it seems the weeds reappear. A 2-3 inch layer of mulch will prevent seeds from planting in the soil. For the relentless roots of weeds, (ahem, morning glories) mulch blocks out sunlight which […]

tagged in garden, gardening

Ahh, Aphids! And Other Garden Pests…

I was watering my hanging baskets when I noticed hundreds of aphids on the underside of the delicate petunia petals. I almost fell off the ladder! Unmanaged infestations will kill plants within a few weeks. Aphids are very small bugs – bright green, burnt orange, or black in color. If you see them, take action quickly. Here you can see aphids on the flower and one ladybug larva enjoying a feast. To combat these garden pests, fill a water bottle and add natural dish soap (1-2 tablespoons). Shake, then spray […]

tagged in garden

A BIG Thank You To The Big Reuse

The Big Reuse compost Rockaway Beach

It’s been an unseasonably cool and rainy April/May but we made it – garden season is here! I’m behind but I’m working my way through the front and back garden. I’ve separated the Daylilies (which encourages more flowering) and took out Walker’s Low (which spreads so much). I gave the Walker’s Low and Irises to a friend who’s starting a garden for the first time. And with all the rain to encourage growth, the weeding seems endless. 4 cubic yards of beautiful compost made from NYC food scraps. It’s been […]

tagged in compost, garden

Mystery: Pumpkin, Squash or Gourd?

Pumpkin, Squash Gourd

I know… it’s August, why am I bringing up pumpkins? Well, there’s some kind of gigantic cucurbit vine growing in my front garden.  The plant started off very small. It was growing in shade, under my Echinacea. So I thought it would die off.  But it did not. It’s been getting bigger and bigger each week. The leaves are now 17 inches long and the vine is spreading at an exponential rate. From what I can see, there are almost six large female flowers. Females have a small ball attached […]

tagged in fall, garden, squirrel

Weird and wonderful

cedar apple rust serviceberry tree

I’ve written before about perhaps my favorite tree – the Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea). It gives so much. It blooms beautiful, petite white flowers in early spring. It services birds, squirrels (raccoons?), and me with delicious berries in mid-June. They taste like if strawberries and blueberries had children. The less ripe ones also give you a burst of tartness occasionally, which I like!  The color ranges from bright reds to dark burgundy. In late September the foliage turns attractive shades of yellow and rich copper. The tree is salt tolerant which […]

tagged in garden, gardening

Brood X

Billions of cicadas known as Brood X are emerging after 17 years living in their underground world. When will they arrive in Rockaway?! As a gardener, I’m so intrigued with these rare insects. The ground temperature needs to be about 65 degrees to trigger their surfacing. Which was estimated by scientists to be mid-May in New York. It’s the first week of June now and I haven’t seen any on the peninsula. I’m upset! Cicadas remind me of an alien species from the Delta Quadrant. Brood X has two  distinctive […]

tagged in garden, gardening, insects

Edible Flowers Of Kale

Dont-worry-we-kept-plenty-of-flowers-on-the-plant-for-the-bees-scaled (1)

It’s growing season in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden. Two weeks ago we had our first group clean-up/workday. It was wonderful to see my neighbors that I haven’t spoken to all winter and to meet a few newbies to Rockaway that are now a part of our garden. We overturned our beds, added compost, and weeded. Many gardeners’ kale overwintered, and the plants bolted with flora. The bees were loving the bright yellow flowers that reached two feet tall! Lucy (center) and Riva, (right) several years Back. Lucy won […]

tagged in cooking, garden, gardening

A Shade Garden

Bungleweed-in-bloom-scaled (1)

My backyard is shaded by the towering condo on the corner of Beach 91st and Shore Front Parkway. A shade garden is a challenge! But a challenge is fun and encourages you to learn. If we all had perfect soil and full sun, that would be boring, right? A big part of gardening is trial and error. In the past few years – since my front yard is generally organized and thriving – I’ve focused on the backyard plants. I’ve tried many different perennials and annuals, with tags that say […]

tagged in garden, gardening

Groundcover or Grass?

Purple Mazus

I remember my father taking so much care to make his little patch of grass perfect. But there was always some kind of problem –  grubs one year, the neighbor’s cat the next year. And us kids that one time we destroyed the grass with Slip N’ Slide! I’ll never forget my father’s face after seeing the mud puddles everywhere, which looked more like a Florida marshland than a Long Island lawn … oops. There’s so much maintenance to lawn care. “Don’t walk on the grass, I just put down […]

tagged in garden, gardening