Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

Garden Update – Cilantro and Lettuce

Butter-Lettuce

My vegetable garden is in full swing! Water is key now that it’s very hot. I’ve been checking on my plants daily, which are across the street from my home in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden. Two plants I want to discuss this week: cilantro and lettuce. This year’s cilantro crop seeded itself from last year! It just appeared in the spring-like magic. I had to give it the good ol’ taste test. It could’ve been parley. My grandfather would do this in the food stores to figure out […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Dedicated Gardeners Start Now

Transplanting daylilies  1

On warmer mornings, I walk around the garden with my coffee, assessing what needs to be done. My conclusion – a lot! Now is the time to get the real work done before the burst of blooms begin. Earl spring tasks: Clearing out organics from the year before Removing weeds (yes they’re green and growing now), composting, mulching, Pruning Making moves – transplanting, separating bulbs, buying/planting new perennials Start seedlings I can write a column on each one of the above tasks but as an overview, I will touch on […]

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Cucumbers and Okra

Okra Plant

In the beginning of the gardening season Greenthumb NYC donated seedlings to the Beach 91st Street Community Garden vegetables and other plants. I grabbed a cucumber and okra plant. Two foods I’ve never grown before. I almost forgot I planted the okra. And then a few weeks ago it became recognizable. It produced three pods. I was pretty excited about that. After all, I didn’t do much too care for it besides watering. While this plant may look like a legume, it’s not. Okra is related to the hibiscus plant […]

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Chrysanthemums Before Season

My husband hates my seasonal decorating obsession. He thinks it’s a waste of money, a waste of storage space and it’s plain ol’ silly. Despite this though, last year for our anniversary he bought me six huge mum plants from Lisena Garden Center (12-5 Cross Bay Blvd, Broad Channel). They looked beautiful on my porch. Adding the burst of yellow and orange color I needed to contrast the hay bundles and corn stalks in my fall harvest display. The flowers lasted well into late October. I never understood why people […]

tagged in fall, gardening, plants

“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