In The Green Landscaping - Blog

Garden Plant Pests and Diseases

Posted On: August 18, 2014

15 Top Native Plants of the Northeast

Posted On: August 06, 2014

Wild Anemone

Add these 15 easy-growing native plants to your garden for lots of low-maintenance color through the seasons

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12 Upkeep Ideas To Add Curb Appeal

Posted On: July 27, 2014

Remember all those outdoor fixup projects you put off last winter, waiting for the warm summer months? Well, summer's here and it's time to think about getting some repairs in while the temperatures are still agreeable. Keeping your home in tip-top shape not only adds to its curb appeal but it saves you money as you ward off more expensive fixes down the road. Click Here

diversity of plants and flowers planted in a dramatic entry garden


Refreshing the Mid-Summer Garden

Posted On: July 16, 2014

How-To Videos

Welcome to NGA's new How-To Video series. Gardening is a practical art and pictures are worth a thousand words. NGA created these brief, but focused, how-to videos to show you how to perform basic gardening tasks easily and accurately.


Click to view How-To Gardening Videos


Memorial Day: Plant a Patriotic Garden

Posted On: May 21, 2014


Give your garden a thrilling dose of patriotism this coming Memorial Day weekend by planting flowers that bloom in red, white and blue. (Cue the John Philip Sousa.)

If you don’t think you’ll have time for planting, grab a hanging basket filled with red, white and blue petunias from your local gardening center. For you more adventurous green-thumb types, here are a few of my favorite flowers to get you started creating your own patriotic combinations.

Patriotic Flower Ideas From Red: Potentilla ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’ (or dianthus, geraniums, hydrangeas, zinnias, begonias, mums) White: Clematis (or geraniums, salvias, mums, snapdragons, daisies, impatiens) Blue: Grape hyacinth (or morning glory, verbena, blue bells) Keep your garden gorgeous all summer long with’s expert gardening tips.

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Gardening Tips for May

Posted On: May 08, 2014

Divide late-summer or autumn-flowering perennials. If necessary, go after phlox and artemisia with a sharp spade or even an ax. If delphiniums need to be divided, remove and replant the new little plants growing around the outside of the clump. Discard the hard old heart.

Trim climbing roses and attach securely to fences or trellises.

Scatter crushed eggshells in a thick ring around roses to deter slugs.

Melons often benefit from supplemental warming, such as that provided by growing under plastic. Wait until the transplanted seedlings are established, as they cannot take up moisture very well at first and can easily get dehydrated.

Mulch between rows and keep the garden weeded to give emerging seedlings a fair chance.

Get that herb garden started by putting in plants. If you include mint, plant it in a large plastic tub (the kind drywall joint compound or birdseed comes in) with its bottom removed. This will help keep it from invading the rest of the garden.

An established asparagus bed will be ready to harvest. Patrol daily and select spears of about the same size (which will require the same cooking time). If you had trouble locating those first spears, mark the bed with stakes so that you can find them next year.

Watch for signs of drought in plants transplanted from containers. Apply water (not much, but often) close to each plant's stem, where it will percolate down to the root ball. The larger the plant, the longer the recovery period, and the more diligently you need to water. Poke a pointed metal rod into the soil above the root ball. If the rod doesn't penetrate easily, the soil is too dry. If it moves around and feels squishy, the soil is too wet.

Moles generally come calling this month. They're searching for mates and also grubs in your lawn. To get rid of the grubs, apply milky spore disease (Bacillus popilliae or Bacillis lentimorbus), a dust you can buy at your local garden center. Or try a new product called Mole-Med, which has castor oil as its active ingredient. Moles don't like the taste of this any more than you do. See for more tips on pest control.

Don't be in a rush to plant tomato, eggplant, pepper, okra, and other heat-loving seedlings if you live where late-May frosts are common.

Don't cut the leaves off spent spring-flowering bulbs. Dying and yellowing foliage may look unsightly, but leave it in place (and don't tie it up) to help the bulbs ripen for next year's show.

You may place houseplants outside once the nights remain above 50 degrees.

Thin early seeded root and leaf crops. Keep well watered!

Cover tender plants if late frost is in the forecast.

Sow a second crop of beets, carrots, radishes, leaf lettuce, and chard for continued harvest.

In many areas, it's time to plant beans, sweet corn, potato slips, pumpkin, and watermelon.

Protect beets from leaf miners by placing row covers over them.

Start cucumber, cantaloupe, summer squash, and watermelon seeds indoors.

Before transplanting indoor plants, harden them off. Put in a sheltered spot during the day and bring them in at night. Then gradually increase their exposure to sun, wind, and cool temperatures.

Harvest rhubarb. Pull off leaf stalks instead of cutting them.

Start hardening off tomatoes. Set up stakes or cages when you transplant.

See for the Best Dates to Transplant.

Be sure to weed your garden before the weeds go to seed.

Be aware of insects. Many bugs appear in May, including lace bugs, aphids, and bagworms. See for tips on pest control.

Plant annuals (flowers).

Spread a little lime or wood ashes around delphiniums and peonies.

To encourage constant flowering, routinely remove spent blossoms and keep them from getting bone-dry.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs as soon as the flowers fade. For forsythias, cut the oldest stems to within a foot of the ground, but be sure to let the plant keep its arching form; don't turn it into a gumdrop or cannonball.

Mulch around your newly planted flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees to help reduce weeds and retain moisture.

Stake up and support any tall plants before they start to fall over.

As the weather warms up, increase the frequency of watering. Keep your plants well watered throughout the growing season.

If delphiniums need to be divided, remove and replant the new little plants growing around the outside of the clump. Discard the hard old heart.

Begin planting warm-season annuals and summer bulbs, such as dahlias and cannas.

Pinch back growth of newly planted annuals and perennials; this will help the plants develop more flowers.

Watch young transplants carefully. Water them shallowly but often and close to the stem so that the water will reach roots.

Mulch between the rows of your garden to help deter weeds.

Continue fertilization of your rosebushes; liquid fertilizers can be added every 2 weeks.

Take care to keep deciduous fruit trees well watered this month. Do not prune.

When fruit trees are in full bloom, avoid spraying insecticides that will kill honeybees.

Start looking for tent caterpillar nests in fruit trees and remove. Spray water or B.t. to safely remove without harming trees.

Cover fruit trees with netting to protect the fruit from bird damage.

When adding mulch around trees, do not spread up to the tree trunk, and remove old mulch.

Mow your lawn when the grass is dry. To keep a healthy lawn, never cut more than one-third off the total grass height.

If you're growing plants outdoors in containers, don't use a soilless potting mix. Be sure it contains at least half soil. Or make your own blend for window boxes and patio containers by mixing one part compost, one part garden soil, and one part builder's sand.

Sow cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower indoors for fall garden transplants.


Improving Grass Root Growth

Posted On: April 25, 2014

Proper Irrigation- Not everyone is blessed with sufficient rainfall all year. Where irrigation is necessary, remember the number one principle: shallow, frequent irrigation produces shallow roots. This is true for all grasses. For most grasses, watering deeper, but less frequently will is the number one way of stimulating deeper grass root growth. After watering the soil should be moist at 4 to 6 inches below the surface. These deeper soil depths will remain moist long after the surface has dried. The grass should not be watered again until the blades start to show signs of drought stress. This trains the roots to reach deeper where the ground is more consistently moist.

Please don't think you are harming your grass by waiting to water when grass begins to show signs of drought. This is a long established principle for deeper grass root growth used around the world. Grass has a built-in mechanism to slow water loss during periods of dry, hot weather. To hinder water loss the blades will fold, which shows the lighter blueish green underside. This change in color is a clear signal it is time to water again. A second sign is when you walk across the grass and the blades do not immediately begin to spring back upright. Very hot, dry weather may require more frequent irrigation, but the principle of watering remains the same. You will still water far less than your neighbors who do not know about proper irrigation techniques and will have better grass root growth. Cooler weather will require less water.

During hot weather, it is best to water early in the morning. Setting your timer so the water comes on at 4:00 or 5:00 am is good. Try not to water in the evening or at dark where the ground remains extra wet all night. Many diseases need prolonged surface soil moisture to get started. See our section on grass diseases for more information.

There are some exceptions, however. Sandy soil does not retain water well, so deep water may not be helpful. For extremely sandy soil, the only option is to add organic matter to the soil for better water retention or water more frequently. The grass will tell you when it is time for more water.

For More Tips Click Here


10 Ways to Teach and Learn About Spring

Posted On: April 12, 2014

A Japanese apricot tree at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Related Article

10 Ways to Teach the Joys — and Woes — of Spring

Like many school districts around the country, we’re taking next week off to celebrate Passover, Easter and the return of weather that no longer requires outfits like this.

All our regular content, including What’s Going On in This Picture, the Weekly News Quiz, and daily features like our Student Opinion questions, lesson plans and Word of the Day will be back beginning Monday, April 21.

But, as always, we leave you with plenty to do. The list below, with ideas for teaching everything from baseball season to Earth Day to the history of spring break itself, should provide at least a week’s worth of curricular inspiration.


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