Springtime in the Adirondacks can get a bad reputation sometimes, thanks to the black flies and muddy trails. For my family, spring is an opportunity to witness change, even if that change comes with some bug bites and dirty shoes.
We have played hard during the winter. Now we’re looking for some colorful indicators that the cold weather is behind us and summer is around the corner.
The Lake George Community Garden Club’s Annual Perennial Plant Sale will be held in Shepard Park in Lake George Village on Saturday, May 21th from 9 am to 2:30 pm.
The sale offers hundreds of high-quality perennial plants grown and dug from our member’s zone 4 and 5 gardens.
Garden club members will be available to share planting instructions, tips for successful gardening, and other information. Special features of the sale include dish gardens, painted clay pots, and garden art objects all created by Garden Club members. » Continue Reading.
April showers bring May flowers, but not all posies are a welcome sight. Although it is quite possible they arrived on the Mayflower, dandelions do not get the esteem they deserve as plucky immigrants that put down firm roots in a new land, or as a vitamin-packed culinary delight, or as a multi-purpose herbal remedy.
On this latter point, dandelion is so well-respected that it garnered the Latin name Taraxicum officinale, which roughly means “the official remedy for disorders.” There are many reported health benefits of dandelion, including as a liver support and for alleviating kidney and bladder stones, as well as externally as a poultice for skin boils. I don’t pretend to know every past and present medicinal use of the plant, and I strongly recommend consulting a respected herbalist, as well as your health care provider, before trying to treat yourself. » Continue Reading.
While many people might be familiar with store bought European hazelnuts, or the popular spread Nutella which is made from hazelnuts and chocolate, the American hazelnut is also a tasty treat if you are lucky enough to beat the birds and other critters to it! The ½” edible nuts ripen in the fall, but the flowers typically bloom in April. » Continue Reading.
The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga will present its Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 9, 2016. This day-long symposium, geared for both beginning and experienced gardeners, provides insights from garden experts who live and garden in Upstate New York and Northern New England.
This one-day program focuses on practical, easy-to-implement strategies for expanding and improving your garden or landscape. The programs are offered in an informal setting that encourages interaction between presenters and attendees. » Continue Reading.
At this time of year, many a gardener’s daydreams turn to the springtime promise of sprouting plants. Seed catalogs start arriving in the mail months before the soil will be thawed and drained enough for planting, and we use this downtime to plan for the coming season.
At Green Fire Farm in Peacham, Vermont, Michael Low is also planning, not only for this year’s crops, but for biochar to help those crops grow. He harvests about 50 cords of low-grade wood each year on his 67-acre homestead, and turns the wood into his own version of black gold. Biochar is charcoal used for agricultural purposes. Its advocates laud its potential to retain soil nutrients, sustain moisture levels in both drought and heavy rain conditions, and sequester carbon in the ground. For evidence of biochar’s usefulness, they point to the terra preta of the Amazon region, where biochar-enriched soils have maintained high fertility for thousands of years. » Continue Reading.
One of the ways Mother Nature keeps the forests healthy and strong is by “letting” trees with poor structure split during high wind or ice load events. Such trees become decayed and die young. Those with better genetics (or better luck) are the trees that reach maturity. This selection process is great for woodlands, but it doesn’t work quite the same way for trees growing in yards, streets and parks.
Trees often develop imperfections. The vast majority of these are benign, but some can be dangerous. To avoid breakage of large limbs and associated flying lawsuits and debris, trees with obvious defects are often removed. But since many problems are a result of human activities, it hardly seems fair to cut down a mature shade tree if there’s an alternative. » Continue Reading.
Here are a couple of books to consider reading this winter from the comfort of a cozy chair as you wait for spring to come.
Anyone interested in growing any kind of plant should be glad to receive How Plants Work, the science behind the amazing things plants do by Linda Chalker-Scott, a professor of horticulture at Washington State University. This is not a how-to garden book but instead a book to help you understand and appreciate how plants grow. The author has a very readable writing style and explains the whys of many gardening practices and plant functions. She also debunks several garden myths about nutrient supplements and management practices. Every serious gardener should read this book this winter! » Continue Reading.
My coworkers and I completed the installation of green infrastructure demonstration projects at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Lake Pleasant including a rain garden, a bioswale and two rain barrels.
Local homeowners and municipalities have the opportunity to see the benefits of stormwater pollution prevention practices. The projects are designed to protect and preserve water quality as essential aspects of public health, a vibrant local economy and a flourishing ecosystem. » Continue Reading.
Applications for the January 2016 Master Gardener Training Program are now being accepted at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Warren County.
The course includes weekly presentations by Cornell University faculty, Cooperative Extension staff, and local experts on a wide range of garden topics. A binder of important resources that supplement the course lectures is provided. » Continue Reading.
Leaves. Some folks love them, some folks hate them; I think it mostly depends on how much room you have for them. Folks who live in towns or cities with small yards and large, mature shade trees can feel overwhelmed with all the leaves. But the rest of us with a little more space really cannot complain as those leaves are a wonderful resource!
While I waited for the young trees I planted around our house to grow I used to gather those bags of leaves along the city curbs. Now my trees are finally large enough that I have plenty. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and the Adirondack Garden Club are co-sponsoring a workshop for nursery growers, landscapers and gardeners to learn about New York State’s recently enacted invasive plant regulations and how businesses and landowners can adapt.
The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, October 29th from 9:30 am to 3 pm at Fort Ticonderoga. Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals will have the opportunity to obtain continuing education credits by attending. » Continue Reading.
Linus, the precocious, blanket-toting “Peanuts” character, waited faithfully for The Great Pumpkin all night on Halloween in spite of being disappointed every year. Perhaps his unwavering belief in the mythical pumpkin was spurred on by the fact that almost every year brings the world a bigger “great pumpkin” of the sort one can measure and – at least potentially – eat. » Continue Reading.
The boards that form my raised beds are rotting away and I’m glad. I’ve been wanting to rearrange the beds so having to replace the boards gives me the opportunity and motivation to finally get this done.
One of the most frequent questions we get about setting up raised beds is what kind of lumber to use. » Continue Reading.
Tree topping is a subject I can really get worked up about. It’s unprofessional, unsightly, outrageous, unethical, dangerous, and I even suspect it causes more frequent rainy weekends and bad-hair days. It’s unthinkable, horrible, bad, yucko, blecch! That should be pretty clear—any questions? Oh, exactly what is tree topping? Hang on. Mmmph—there, that’s better. Had to wipe the foam off my mouth.
Tree topping is the removal of limbs and or/ trunks to an arbitrary length, leaving stubs. Variably known as heading, hat-racking or tipping, it is denounced by the Tree Care Industry of America, The International Society of Arboriculture and other professional tree-care organizations. » Continue Reading.
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