Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

What Can Rockaway Do To Support The Threatened Monarch Butterfly?

From-Left-to-Right-Diane-Cardwell-Don-Riepe-Charly-The-Dog-Kristi-Dickerson

From Left to Right – Diane Cardwell, Don Riepe, Charley The Dog, Kristi Dickerson   The New York Times published an article last week stating the monarch butterfly has been placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The Times informed, “In 2020, U.S. wildlife officials found that monarchs were threatened with extinction but declined to add them to the endangered species list because they said conservation of other species took priority…. Eastern monarchs, which make up most of the population in North America, dropped by […]

tagged in gardening, plants, rockaway

Not So ‘Glorified’ Tomatoes

This August heat! Watering our gardens at this point in the season is crucial. We’ve spent months caring for our veggies and now it’s make or break. Inconsistent watering will affect your tomatoes. I’m having a problem with my heirloom tomatoes… I have blossom-end rot. This is a common problem that often affects larger varieties simply because they take longer to mature. But blossom-end rot can also affect cherry, grape, and other smaller varieties. Blossom-End Rot Blossom-end rot is a physiological condition (not fungal) caused by environmental stressors.  Most often […]

tagged in gardening, tomatoes

Easy How-To: Prickly Pear Propagation

Water-thoroughly-after-planting-768x1024

I’ve always admired prickly pear cactus for its distinctive paddle spikes, bright red buds, and showy yellow flowers. There are 181 different species. Opuntia is a perennial shrub with waxy skin. The cactus thrives in sandy soil and dry conditions. It grows wild in arid areas in the south and southwest. Opuntia is indigenous to the Americas. Pear cactus is a domesticated crop plant grown and harvested throughout the world. Right now is the plant’s growing season and when you see “baby paddles” forming. This is the ideal time to propagate. I’ve never grown prickly […]

tagged in diy, gardening, plants

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

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 […]

tagged in gardening

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