Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Garden Blight: Better Never Than Late

It’s not too early to start thinking about late blight. No relation to early blight, with which it shares a last name, late blight has become a perennial disease since infected tomato plants were shipped from southern greenhouses to the Northeast in May 2009. Prior to that, late blight was uncommon, but now we seem to be able to bank on its arrival each August. The fact that it is a seasonal immigrant is worth noting, since most garden diseases (such as early blight) are already here in the soil.

Gardeners and produce growers make a fuss about late blight because it has the potential to kill acres of tomatoes and potatoes in a matter of days; its fearsome reputation is well-deserved. Given the botanical name Phytophthora infestans, “highly contagious plant destroyer,” it is what laid waste to the Irish potato crop from 1844 to 1846, leading to a devastating famine. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pollinator Project Passing Out 30,000 Wildflower Seed Packets

Adirondack Pollinator ProojectADKAction has spent the past three years helping spread the word out about the importance of milkweed. With the distribution of over 20,000 free seed packets now Adirondack roadsides, gardens, and community parks are thriving with the Monarch butterflies only food source.

According to ADK Action Executive Director Brittany Christenson, the organization began the Milkweed project at the time when the plight of the Monarchs was also receiving a lot of national press. At the time, some people couldn’t even recognize Monarchs, let alone understand that milkweed was the only plant where Monarchs laid eggs.

“The timing of the project was perfect,” says Christenson. “After talking with people we feel that we were able to help get the word out. People are aware of the Monarch’s issue and know what they can do to help. Now we are focusing our attention on a broader range of pollinators.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Annual Lake George Perennial Plant Sale Saturday

dish gardens and painted potsThe Annual Perennial 2-Day Plant Sale Sponsored by the Lake George Community Garden Club will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9 am to 2 pm at Shepard Park in Lake George, and Sunday, May 21, noon to 5 pm at the Food & Farm Festival, City Park, Glens Falls.

Visitors can select from a large number and variety of perennial plants dug, potted, and ready to plant from members’ zone 4 and 5 gardens. Garden club members are available at the sales to share planting instructions and important gardening tips. The sale features a variety of artistically-designed garden art objects created by Garden Club members, including unique dish gardens, painted rocks, and hand-painted clay pots filled with house plants. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

NNY Farm Research Highlights Cherry Tomatoes

vegitable growers learn the progress of the cherry tomato productionThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has announced the results of vegetable research providing market growers with an unexpected insight into the production challenges associated with cherry-type tomatoes. The project report, which includes data on labor efficiency, weed control, and brown leaf mold susceptibility, is posted online.

The Northern NY trial evaluated and compared the labor, efficiency, and yield of three different tomato training systems: an intensively pruned single leader, a standard double leader, and a less intensively pruned four-leader system. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Only Bury Your Tree After It’s Dead

4H volunteer planting a tree in WarrensburgIn springtime, driving around on weekends makes me sad. Invariably I’ll pass someone out in their yard, shovel in hand, maybe with their kids or spouse, and they have a cute little tree from the garden center on one side of them, and a wicked deep hole in the ground on the other. If I wasn’t so shy, I’d stop and offer my condolences, because clearly they are having a funeral for the tree.

Here’s an arborist joke: What do you call a three-foot deep planting hole for a tree? Its grave. Tree root systems are broad — three times the branch length, barring an impediment — and shallow. Ninety percent of tree roots are in the top ten inches of soil, and 98% are in the top eighteen inches. Tree roots are shallow because they like to breathe on a regular basis. I think we can all relate to that. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tomato Blight Conclusions and Confusion

early blightIf jumping to conclusions was a sport, I might have played pro. In my prime I went for the long jumps. Like concluding that since I had once casually said to my spouse that backyard laying hens might be fun, she would not be upset when months later I came home with four dozen layers, plus a dog from the farmer where I got the hens. Can’t say jumping to conclusions worked out real well for me, but we all dabble in it.

For example if you heard of a first-time Massachusetts politician with the last name Kennedy being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives, it would be normal to conclude she was related to Representative Joe Kennedy. A short jump, but there is a chance the two would not be related. So gardeners can be forgiven for concluding that two diseases that affect tomatoes and potatoes, both having the same last name, are related, or even the same thing. However, early blight is not related to late blight. Or urban blight for that matter. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Paul Hetzler: Keep Off the Grass

lawn careAs a kid of about five, I became suspicious of lawns. In a rare moment of TV viewing, I had seen a public-service ad wherein a bundle of green leafy stuff thudded into an eerily vacant playground while a baritone voice boomed out something like “Grass. We think it’s bad for kids. Stay away from it.” My mom insisted this was “bad grass” which did not grow in our yard. However, she declined to elaborate, which fueled my mistrust. So I kept off the lawn a while.

These days, “bread” is no longer money, “mint” is just a flavor, and the pernicious leafy stuff mostly goes by other names. There is only one grass, and it is almost time to cut it again. Jargon may change, but things like paying taxes and mowing lawns don’t seem to. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Saranac Lake’s Daffest Welcomes Spring

Spring is in the air and that means Saranac Lake’s Daffest. With daffodils peeking out from individual yards and local parks, the April 27-30 festival is here to shake off the last of that winter melt and celebrate the hardy flower. Saranac Lake is flush with the bright yellow blossoms.

There are many events on the Daffest schedule including a Pub Crawl, Historic Walk and a 5K Fun Run. By far the largest draw is the annual soapbox derby. My children and friends have been a part of Saturday’s Daffest Derby for years. Though neither were ever in the fastest derby car, the process has always fun. Don’t worry. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into a tiny wooden car and careen down George LaPan Memorial Highway’s hill, to enjoy the soapbox derby. It’s just as fun to be a spectator and check out all the creative cars. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Saratoga Tree Nursery Annual Tree and Shrub Sale

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that more than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the DEC’s Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools.

Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Garden, Landscape Symposium Set

Garden & Landscape SymposiumThe King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga will hold the sixth annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 8th in the Mars Education Center. Designed for both beginning and experienced gardeners, this day-long symposium includes insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and northern New England. This event is open by pre-registration only. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

January Farm Talks Planned For Warrensburg

Warren County Soil & Water is beginning year four of its “Farm Talks” on Friday, January 13th from 6 to 8 pm at DEC’s Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road.

The first presentation of the night will be “Soil Blocks: A Better Start” with Rand Fosdick, Farm Manager of Landon Hill Estate Farm. In the northeast, starting your vegetable seeds early and correctly will lead to healthier plants with a head start to transplanting in spring. The soil block methodology is growing in popularity due to the success vegetable producers are having with this pot-less technique. The general concept behind it is using a soil recipe with structure and nutrients and a tool called a “soil blocker” to form the soil mixture into blocks to directly plant your seeds into. Soil blocks reduce transplant shock and add nutrients to your garden beds. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Master Gardener Training to Begin in Warren County

MG'sApplications for the January 2017 Master Gardener Training Program are now being accepted at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Warren County.

After enrolling in the course, participants are given a binder of information that supplements weekly presentations by Cornell University faculty, Cooperative Extension staff, and local experts on a wide range of garden topics.

The topics include basic botany; entomology; soil health; home lawn care; vegetable, fruit and flower gardening; composting; organic gardening, and other practical and interesting subject matter. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Spotted Cucumber Beetle in Newcomb

beetle-on-flowerThis photo of a spotted cucumber beetle was made on an early fall overnight at the SUNY-ESF Adirondack Ecological Center in Newcomb. Widely considered a pest, the spotted cucumber beetle is a striking presence despite its otherwise undesirable character.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tobacco Hornworms: Big, Green, and in the Garden

tobacco-hornwormThe big, meaty green caterpillars that many of us have been fighting to eradicate from our gardens this summer make plenty of people squirm. In part it’s because they are among the largest caterpillars in the region, sometimes reaching close to three inches in length, with reddish horns on their ends that look like stingers (but aren’t). They also have voracious appetites and a preference for consuming our tomato, potato, eggplant and pepper plants.

Despite their alien appearance, tobacco hornworms are native insects that contribute to local food chains and eventually transform into beautiful Carolina sphinx moths. These large-bodied moths have five-inch, coffee-colored wings that enable them to hover over flowers like hummingbirds. According to Sam Jaffe, founder of The Caterpillar Lab in Keene, New Hampshire, Carolina sphinx moths have the longest proboscis of any insect in New England, which allow them to probe the deepest flowers. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wood Nymphs In The Garden

the outsider wood nymphBy mid-July, the oregano in my herb garden has grown tall and tatty, and I want nothing more than to cut it back into a tidy mound. But I don’t. Doing so would deprive the flurry of common wood nymph butterflies that swarm the plants every year. The messiness is a small price to pay for the sight of them flitting around en masse.

I have learned to expect their arrival, having witnessed it every summer, since I planted gardens around my home six years ago. At first, just one or two appear, but within days there are dozens. Soon, the oregano’s purple flowers are covered in butterflies. But this brief visit is a only a part of the story of the common wood nymph butterfly (Cercyonis pegala). What are they doing for the other eleven and a half months of the year?

Not much, it turns out. At least, not at first. » Continue Reading.


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