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News stories tagged with "gardening"

Tirza Smith, of the Whitten Family Farm, helps a customer outside the Midtown Apartments in Potsdam. Photo by Claire Woodcock.
Tirza Smith, of the Whitten Family Farm, helps a customer outside the Midtown Apartments in Potsdam. Photo by Claire Woodcock.

Mobile farmers market brings produce to you

Farmer's markets and home gardens are bursting with fruits and vegetables. But some people can't make it to the market or have gardens of their own. A new mobile market has teamed up with Garden Share to bring fresh produce right to people's doorsteps.  Go to full article
<em>Popillia japonica</em>, commonly known as the Japanese beetle. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_beetle#mediaviewer/File:Popillia_japonica.jpg">Bruce Marlin</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Popillia japonica, commonly known as the Japanese beetle. Photo: Bruce Marlin, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Japanese beetles!!? What to do!?

Japanese beetles own a particular place in the gardener's journal. They are destructive. They come en masse. They are very hard to get rid of. So they are in that group of insect pests that is at the top of the dreaded-scourges list.

And this year, they are in Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy's garden: her willows, her marigolds, her corn. Everywhere. So she shares her advice on what to do about them with particular feeling.  Go to full article
Healthy porcelain garlic, after a successful growing season..
Healthy porcelain garlic, after a successful growing season..

How to harvest and keep garlic

Garlic is easy to plant, and doesn't usually require a whole lot of attention as it grows. It comes up, nice and green, first thing in the spring, like daffodils. Timing the harvest is trickier, though. And treating it right can help keep the bulbs fresh and firm for months.

Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has the do's and don'ts.  Go to full article
Phosphorus used in gardens can contribute to algae blooms in lakes, like this one in 2012. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper
Phosphorus used in gardens can contribute to algae blooms in lakes, like this one in 2012. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper

For lawn and garden: the do's and don'ts of fertilizing

It's illegal to fertilize a lawn with phosporous in New York State. The Department of Environmental Conservation sent a press release around last week with that reminder (more information on this here.

There are exceptions, dependent on a soil test. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has lots of good information this week about that, and about fertilizers and fertilizing in general.

Top takeaways: don't fertilize your lawn till September anyway; do fertilize vegetables if they looked peaked; do fertilize flowers; don't fertilize woody herbs like thyme, sage and such; and as always, know your soil. Here's more information from Amy Ivy.  Go to full article
Invasive wild parsnip. Avoid contact; avoid a nasty rash. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dmills727/3644070846/">Douglas Mills</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Invasive wild parsnip. Avoid contact; avoid a nasty rash. Photo: Douglas Mills, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Beware the invasives; and small strawberries are good too!

Right about now, the roadsides can look more like flower gardens than some gardens do. Wonderful abundant mixes of color, texture, height: all the qualities you look for. Driving the back roads is more of a pleasure than ever.

But beware of a nasty, if beautiful, invasive plant that's taking over the verges in more and more areas. Wild parsnip looks kind of like a tall, yellow Queen Ann's Lace. But don't pick: it reacts with sunlight to produce a painful, scarring rash. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says it's a great idea to mow it down to control it's spread, but make sure all your skin is covered when you do. It's bad.  Go to full article
Several types of hanging basket. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ken_yasuhara/6116652111/">K. Yasahura</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Several types of hanging basket. Photo: K. Yasahura, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How to keep flower boxes and baskets looking their best

It's hard for a gardener to complain about this stone-summer weather. Heat, sun, plus a little rain here and there are a great combination to kick plants into high gear for growth.

But what can be all good for young tomato plants can be overdrive for hanging baskets and planters that were in full bloom when they went on sale for Mother's Day. They need constant care: water, food, and the occasional trimming. Amy Ivy has what to do, and why.  Go to full article
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: <a href="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3648/3650652836_ca568ea7e6_o_d.jpg">Charles Dawley</a>, Creative Common, some rights reserved
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: Charles Dawley, Creative Common, some rights reserved

Some tomato tips before the season kicks into high gear

Even if you don't have a garden, you can grow tomatoes in a sunny spot on your front steps or patio. They're one of the most popular vegetables. But they take some tending over the growing season. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has some early season tips for keeping tomatoes healthy this summer.  Go to full article
Rose chafer beetles at work. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50352333@N06/4647992672/">Jason Sturner</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Rose chafer beetles at work. Photo: Jason Sturner, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

First the blooms, then the bugs

Aren't the peonies lovely? And the first roses to bloom so pretty and fragrant? Along with the iris and the first day lilies, they give gardeners an early-summer shot of color and satisfaction after lots of hard work.

They also attract the first big wave of pests, including some of the most frustrating and difficult to deal with: rose chafers, flea beetles, and potato beetles. Brace yourself, as she so often does, cooperative extension's Amy Ivy says hand picking is the best remedy for the rose chafers and potato bugs.

No pesticides for rose chafers, because they attack the flower's blooms, and to dose the bloom would kill the bees and other valuable pollinators. And potato beetles? It's just more efficient to squish the eggs before they hatch on the underside of the leaves.  Go to full article
After removing the early weeds, mulching between rows will slow their return. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/90738513@N00/2522983940">Linda Beaverson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
After removing the early weeds, mulching between rows will slow their return. Photo: Linda Beaverson, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Weeds, you say? Get 'em when they're little

The tiniest weeds might just be you're most important job right now. It's like the old "pound of prevention" saying. You can deal with a million weeds in a very short time, if they're just tiny seedlings. Let them get bigger, and it isn't so easy.

That's Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy's tip for triage in this season of the overwhelming gardening to-do list.  Go to full article
Part way done: some perennials back in place, soil amendment continues. Photo by Martha Foley
Part way done: some perennials back in place, soil amendment continues. Photo by Martha Foley

Out with the bad: taking control of the perennial garden

The first step can be the hardest when you've got a major Quackgrass infestation, or an "aggressive" perennial that's taking over. In Martha Foley's garden this spring, it was both. Sometimes you just have to dig everything up and start over.

Amy Ivy is a horticulturist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension service with Clinton and Essex County. She sympathizes, and shares tips on taking advantage of the opportunity to improve the soil.  Go to full article

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