Winter Hardy Mums


Chrysanthemums, or just plain mums, are the backbone of the Fall American Garden. Their autumn colors are a welcome addition to the landscape as your summer flowers begin to fade into the September sunset. This is a great flowering perennial that gives you a burst of color that can handle the cool days and evenings of the autumn months. The best part is that they are easy to grow.

Mums like nutrient-rich soil, so before you plant them, proper soil preparation is the key to success. Incorporate into the soil Bumper Crop organic compost and peat moss. This will provide the perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. A large healthy root system is the reason mums survive over the winter. Adding Espoma Bio-Tone Soil Conditioner with beneficial Mycorrihizae will help them develop the largest root system possible, which will then translate to your success.

Mums like the sun. Choose an area in your garden that gets a full to half day of sun. They also get pretty big, so if you are planting them in your garden beds, space them at least 12 inches apart. Gently remove them from their grower’s pots and place them in the soil. A few inches of bark mulch around them after planting will help preserve moisture in the soil. Water them once a day for a week while their root system adjusts to the new site and then water as needed. A mum will tell you it isn’t getting enough water when its leaves start to wilt. Don’t worry if this happens. They will usually bounce right back after a cool drink. Mums do beautifully in your planters so you can decorate your deck or patio in the fall. Clean out your summer flowers and combine mums with purple fountain grass, sedum, or ornamental peppers to make the perfect fall combination. Mums won’t survive in your planters over the winter, so in November, transplant them out of your pots into a chosen area in your garden so they will grow again the following year.

After a few hard frosts, your mums will let you know that its time to cut them back to the ground. The leaves will wilt and start to turn black. Mulch the area over to help shelter the root system from the cold winter months.

The fall is not the time to be sad that your perfect summer garden is almost done for the year. It’s the time to continue what you started in the spring. Mums are the perfect plant that allows you to enjoy your landscape late into the fall.

Have fun and enjoy!

Joe Deeimg_8551

Great Lawns are built at this time of year


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Here are 3 simple steps:

Fertilize: Grasses grow best when the soil temperature is cool like it is now. There is still plenty of sun and warmth during the day, but at night the cool air allows the grass to grow. If you fertilize now, you will be promoting root growth and a hardening off that will give your grass a head start. A thick healthy lawn in the spring will resist weeds and insects next year. Your one hour spent to fertilize now will pay rewards all summer long next year.

We recommend Bonide Phase 4 because it contains iron and sulfur to protect and strengthen your lawn for a stronger spring green up.

Overseed: Most grass like ours slows down growth after a few years. There is a cycle in nature where the grass goes to seed and new plants replace the old ones. Because we cut the grass before it seeds, we disrupt this cycle. By over-seeding now in the fall we reinforce our older grass with younger grass, and keep our lawn young. By doing this now you will take advantage of the warm soil temperature you need to germinate seed and the cooler temps that promote the growth of the grass.

We recommend Bonide Sun/Shade Mix because it is a very diverse blend that sprouts quickly in many different environments.

Grub Control:

White grubs are damaging pests that begin invading lawns in early spring and again in summer. Grubs do their damage below ground, so the problem often goes undetected until too late. Beetle grubs can turn a fine-looking lawn into a patchwork quilt of yellow spots. In addition, birds and other animals will often start digging up your lawn looking for the tasty grubs to feed on.

The grubs are actually larvae of beetles and other insects; most are C-shaped and off-white with a dark head.

There are several types of grubs that are capable of damaging lawns, with two life cycles in a year. When you have grubs, the damaged areas of grass can be easily lifted and many times the grubs can be seen feeding on the edge of the healthy grass in the damaged area.

An effective treatment for grubs comes from Bayer. We stock the Dylox grub control because it is effective and safe around children and pets.

From the garden center,
Joe Dee
Dees Nursery & Florist
Oceanside NY
joe@deesnursery.com
www.deesnursery.com

What Happened To My Lawn


crab-grass[1]

Well   that didn’t take long.Did it? It seemed as though we were looking at   rain every day and wondering if summer would ever come.  The past few   weeks have been a reminder of the old adage about Long Island weather:   “Don’t like it? Wait a minute or two.”

With   the sudden rush of heat and humidity, our lawns are suddenly headed in   the wrong direction. Lush green lawns danced in the rain. Now they are   stressed, turning brown and giving way to weeds…especially crabgrass.

In   my travels, I see untreated lawns that are sometimes 100% covered in   crabgrass. That’s an incredible amount – but not really all that   surprising given the spring weather.

How could this be?  My lawn looked awesome a month ago.

The biggest factor is   the one we have no control over whatsoever – the environment. July and August are the hottest and most humid months of the year, when   temperatures both in the air and soil are consistently above the optimum   for the growth of the cool season turf grasses that make up our lawns.   These cool season turf grasses respond to these conditions by going into   dormancy – what we view as the lawn turning brown.

Conversely,   the very conditions that cause our cool season turf grasses to go into   dormancy are the perfect conditions for the crabgrass.  Instead of going   into dormancy, crabgrass responds to this kind of weather with explosive   growth. It has to grow this rapidly because it’s an annual plant that   will die with the first frost. It must grow to maturity and set seed   before the season is over, so it’s in a big hurry.

But you applied something for crabgrass in the spring! Why isn’t it working?

Pre-emergent   applications are the best tool for crabgrass control, but it is not an   eliminator. This is an important distinction, as there is nothing that will provide 100% crabgrass control.  Pre-emergents   stop more seeds from sprouting than ever in the past, but crabgrass is   tenacious.  It just keeps coming, even from cracks in the pavement.   Pre-emergents are designed to break down over time so that they allow   the cool season grasses in the fall to germinate.  This rainy spring did   not help matters.

Every   lawn has a different number of crabgrass seeds in its soil. This is a   function of how successful previous generations of crabgrass have been   in setting seed. The old guys from Farmingdale used to say, “One year’s   seed is seven years of weeds.”  Seeds can lie dormant in the soil for a   very long time –  waiting for just the right opportunity of light, warmth   and moisture to germinate. Every day that you allow that crabgrass to   invade your lawn, you are opening the door for thousands of seeds to   germinate in your future lawn.

OK, you’ve explained what’s going on. Now what?

You can apply a   post-emergent crabgrass control this weekend. There are new products   that are both safe and effective.  We recommend either Ortho Weed-B-Gone   in the spray bottle that’s ready to use or Bayer Crabgrass Control, if   you like to use a hose end sprayer for application.  It will stop the   crabgrass (and other weeds) from growing. This is a selective product – while it kills the weeds, it will not kill your grass.

Then   it’s time to renew and restore your lawn.  In 2-3 weeks, as the days get   shorter and the nights get cooler, your soil temperature will be perfect   for over-seeding and rejuvenation. The seed we sell today is more   drought and disease tolerant than the seed people put on your lawn 10   years ago.  Your lawn will be thicker and greener next year and less   vulnerable to crabgrass.If you overseed in the fall and apply a good   fall fertilizer you will see a pronounced difference in the spring.

From the garden center,  

Joe Dee  

Dees Nursery & Florist   Oceanside NY

joe@deesnursery.com   www.deesnursery.com

Why Are My Pine Trees Turning Brown?


white pine White pine1

I am sure that some of you have noticed many pine trees in your town turning brown. My first reaction, since we are in Oceanside, was that they had been flooded by the Hurricane Sandy storm surge. But I was driving up the Meadowbrook Pkwy by Nassau Coliseum about a month ago and the pines on that road are brown as well.

White pines are very popular on Long Island. They like our naturally acidic soil. White pines are evergreens, so they will keep their needles over the winter, however those needles do not last forever. An evergreen will usually shed 1/3 of its needles every year, starting in the fall then push out new needles the following spring. If you have ever looked close to the needles you can see they have a wax coating on them. This helps prevent water loss in extreme cold as well as extreme heat.

White pines have their share of potential pests but after consulting with some experts, we have concluded that the problems we are seeing are a result of Hurricane Sandy. White pines do not like salt spray or high winds. During Sandy, the winds were strong and there was a lot of salt carried by the air. The fact that there was little rain during the storm did not help dilute some of that salt and wash some of it off. They have soft thin needles compared to other types of evergreens, and the penetration of the salt into the needles has helped dehydrate them and turn them brown.

The question is what should I do if I have these brown pines in my landscape? The best advice we can give you is to wait until spring and see if they push out new growth. There is a strong possibility they will. If you did get salt water flooding, then you should add the gypsum to your soil and correct that first. (See my article here: http://www.oceansidenygardencenter.com/news/12/43/). We also suggest adding Bumper Crop compost to your soil as well as Espoma Bio-Tone, which is an all-natural plant food with beneficial microbes and mycorrihizae. This will help develop a much larger root system for your pines, so they can extract more water and nutrients from the soil. When your pines do start to grow again, you should prepare yourself to see those brown needles for the upcoming season. Eventually they will drop and it will look like nothing ever happened.

Good luck and don’t worry. They will make it back in no time.

From the garden center,
Joe Dee
Dees’ Nursery & Florist
Oceanside, NY
joe@deesnursery.com http://www.deesnursery.com

The Meaning Behind Mistletoe


Kissing under the mistletoe dates back to England during the 16th Century and a sprig of it hung over a doorway remains one of the Christmas Seasons most cherished traditions. The Druids in Celtic Britain worshiped its spiritual and healing powers and was often hung from ceilings or doorways to drive off the evil spirits and also to insure fertility.

Believe it or not, mistletoe is considered a parasitic plant. It sends its roots into the bark of trees and draws water and nutrients from it. Mistletoe is grown in the eastern United States from New Jersey to Florida and west toTexas and Illinois.  Mistletoe has evergreen leaves that feel leathery to the touch. It grows in a ball shape and usually has white berries.  New batches of mistletoe are found during the Winter Solstice. 

Mistletoe has many herbal uses.  It has been used to help with high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches and even to treat cancer.  There are also many myths and magical tales surrounding mistletoe.  People hung it in there house all year long to protect their home from fire and evil energy and also placed it over baby’s cribs to protect the baby from goblins. 

For Christmas, mistletoe is a symbol of peace, joy and love.  It should be the first decoration you put up and the last to come down.  In the 18th century it was believed that people who kissed under the mistletoe would marry.  Today the mistletoe kiss can be about romance, friendship or fun.  Hang it in a doorway and those who walk under it are expected to kiss.  This is always a huge hit at parties and can even lead to some interesting or embarrassing situations.

Mistletoe led to the creation of the kissing ball.  The kissing ball is a fresh or artificial ball of evergreens decorated with ribbons and ornaments.  People who walk under a kissing ball can not refuse a kiss.  Stop down toDees’ and grab some mistletoe and let’s get the smooching going. For all the ladies reading this email, we provide free testing of the mistletoe before you leave.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah from the GardenCenter

Joe DiDominica

Dees’ Nursery & Florist

OceansideNY11572

www.deesnursery.com

joe@deesnursery.com

The Meaning Behind Mistletoe


Kissing under the mistletoe dates back to England during the 16th Century and a sprig of it hung over a doorway remains one of the Christmas Seasons most cherished traditions. The Druids in Celtic Britain worshiped its spiritual and healing powers and was often hung from ceilings or doorways to drive off the evil spirits and also to insure fertility.

 

Believe it or not, mistletoe is considered a parasitic plant. It sends its roots into the bark of trees and draws water and nutrients from it. Mistletoe is grown in the eastern United States from New Jersey to Florida and west toTexas and Illinois.  Mistletoe has evergreen leaves that feel leathery to the touch. It grows in a ball shape and usually has white berries.  New batches of mistletoe are found during the Winter Solstice. 

 

Mistletoe has many herbal uses.  It has been used to help with high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches and even to treat cancer.  There are also many myths and magical tales surrounding mistletoe.  People hung it in there house all year long to protect their home from fire and evil energy and also placed it over baby’s cribs to protect the baby from goblins. 

 

For Christmas, mistletoe is a symbol of peace, joy and love.  It should be the first decoration you put up and the last to come down.  In the 18th century it was believed that people who kissed under the mistletoe would marry.  Today the mistletoe kiss can be about romance, friendship or fun.  Hang it in a doorway and when people who walk under it are expected to kiss.  This is always a huge hit at parties and can even lead to some interesting or embarrassing situations.

 

Mistletoe led to the creation of the kissing ball.  The kissing ball is a fresh or artificial ball of evergreens decorated with ribbons and ornaments.  People who walk under a kissing ball can not refuse a kiss.  Stop down toDees’ and grab some mistletoe and let’s get the smooching going. For all the ladies reading this email, we provide free testing of the mistletoe before you leave.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah from the GardenCenter

Joe DiDominica

Dees’ Nursery & Florist

OceansideNY11572

 

www.deesnursery.com

joe@deesnursery.com

Christmas Tree Fun Facts


There are approximately 30-35 million live Christmas Trees sold in the United States every year.

-The average time to grow a standard 7-8 ft live Christmas tree is 7-10 years.

-There are a half billion Christmas trees growing on farms across the United States, all grown by farmers.

-There are Christmas tree farms in all 50 states.

-For every real tree harvested, 1-3 seedlings are planted to replace the tree cut.

-There are almost 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas Trees in The United States, all preserving green space.

-There are close to 15,000 Christmas Tree Farms in the Untied States which employ over 100,000 people.

-The Dees’ Christmas Tree Farm is 250 acres in the State of Maine. One acre of Christmas trees provides the oxygen for 18 people per day.

-The Dees’ Christmas Tree Farm produces 90% Balsam Fir and 10% Frasier Fir.

-Growing Christmas trees provides a natural habitat for many forms of wildlife. On the Dees’ Farm in Maine we have numerous sightings of deer, black bear, porcupine, beaver, moose, chipmunks and other animals.

-In 1856 President Franklin Pierce was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

-President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House Lawn in 1923

-93% of consumers recycle their live Christmas tree in community recycle programs, or mulch them for their backyards

-84% of live Christmas trees are purchased by consumers pre-cut in garden centers, stores or tree lots. 16% were cut your own.

-Christmas trees are tied up using rope or netting to protect them during shipment.

-Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external sources. (Real trees are safe)

-Recycled Christmas trees are often used as erosion barriers on beaches.

-Live Christmas trees do not take up space in landfills

-The first week in your home, a live Christmas tree will consume 1quart of water per day.

-The fresh live wreaths and garlands that The Dees’ produces are manufactured with greenery harvested off the farm inMaine. This greenery is cut off of trees specifically grown for the brush. These trees are never cut down and are used and harvested the same every year in similar fashion of how they get wool from animals.

(Fact sources: National Christmas Tree Association)

 

From the Christmas tree lot,

 

Joe DiDominica

Dees Nursery & Florist

OceansideNY,11572

 

joe@deesnursery.com

www.deesnursery.com

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