04/04/17 6:02am
Lavender is one of many low-maintenance options for your backyard garden. (Credit: Kendall Stark. file photo)

Lavender is one of many low-maintenance options for your backyard garden. (Credit: Kendall Stark. file photo)

When decorating a home, plants and shrubbery are an important part in bringing life and color to your property. For second homeowners who don’t have the time to offer constant care, or those without a green thumb, low maintenance flora can be the perfect option.

Below are some plant suggestions from local nursery owners. (more…)

01/10/17 6:01am
Rhododendrons at reporter Monique Singh-Roy's East Quogue home. (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

Rhododendrons at reporter Monique Singh-Roy’s East Quogue home. (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

Editor’s note: This post was published on January 12, 2016. The post originally appeared on the writer’s blog, YourPotLuck.com.

What’s the temperature outside? That’s a question all of us have asked our friends or family members at some point these past frigid weeks. It’s the first thing we want to know when we wake up and probably the last thing we want to know before heading to bed.

With so many outlets to access current temperatures at our fingertips, I had to do a double take the other day when my husband wanted to know the outdoor temperature and asked me to check the rhododendrons.

I was gazing out the window one particularly frigid morning when he asked me, “What are the rhododendrons doing?” (more…)

04/20/16 6:02am
meadows lawn alternatives

Suzanne Ruggles in a meadow she created in Southampton. (Credit: The Barefoot Gardener courtesy photo)

It takes a lot of fertilizer and pesticides to maintain a lush lawn.

And in addition to putting a dent in a homeowner’s wallet, the process of applying these products can be time-consuming. Worse, the harmful chemicals can even affect the health of local residents and wildlife if they happen to leach into nearby streams, ponds, lakes and bays.

As homeowners become more environmentally conscious, many are turning away from the concept of a traditionally green lawn. Instead, they’re planting alternative ground covers such as meadows and vegetable gardens. (more…)

04/18/16 6:03am
Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulture consultant Alice Raimondo examines some garden soil. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulture consultant Alice Raimondo examines some garden soil. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

For beginning gardeners — or even experienced ones — problems can always arise when working out a green thumb.

Some, like an insect infestation, can be pretty obvious. But others, like unbalanced soil, will likely not be so noticeable to the untrained eye.

To find out if the dirt in your garden is causing trouble, stop by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s office on Griffing Avenue in Riverhead with a cup and a half of soil and five dollars. There, horticulture consultants Alice Raimondo and Sandra Vultaggio will test your soil’s pH balance and soluble salts level. (more…)

01/11/16 2:48pm
Grow your own vegetables, like these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at Long Season Farms in Aquebogue, from seeds shared at the second annual Long Island Regional Seed Consortium Heirloom Seed Swap. (Credit: David Benthal for northforker)

Grow your own fruit and vegetables, like these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at Long Season Farms in Aquebogue, from seeds shared at the second annual Long Island Regional Seed Consortium Heirloom Seed Swap. (Credit: David Benthal for northforker)

You might have just thrown out this year’s Christmas tree, but it’s not too early to start planning your 2016 garden.

Trade your saved heirloom seeds and pick up some planting tips at the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium‘s second annual Heirloom Seed Swap at Suffolk County Community College’s Riverhead campus next month. The event is set for Saturday, Feb. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. (more…)

05/11/15 6:01am
Jack Weiskott, owner of Ornamental Plantings in Southold, said he’s noticed an increase in interest for deer-resistant plants over roughly the past decade. He’s holding the deer-resistant shrub Spiraea japonica. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Jack Weiskott, owner of Ornamental Plantings in Southold, said he’s noticed an increase in interest for deer-resistant
plants over roughly the past decade. He’s holding the deer-resistant shrub Spiraea japonica. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

“No plants are completely deer-proof,” according to literature published by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Hungry deer will consume plants that have little nutritional value.” (more…)