Garden Tips For Growing The Juiciest and Tastiest Tomatoes!

You always remember a good juicy tomato bursting with flavor!

Each tomato has the potential to be juicy and full of flavor a extra attention now will pay off big when it is time to harvest. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal:

 

  1. Healthy soil, healthy plants. Enrich soil with a good fertilizer amendment and compost every other week to keep plants supplied with their necessary nutrients.
  2. Remove damaged plants. Remove any fruit that shows dark patches on their bottom. These leathery patches, known as blossom end rot, cannot be reversed.
  3. Water well.  In hot weather, tomato plants need deep waterings. Tomatoes are also less vulnerable to cracking when the soil is kept moist.
  4. Cover the soil. Mulch will help block weeds  Mulch will save water and protects your fruit. Spread a 2-3” layer of mulch around plants, leaving 2” of room around the stem so water can reach the roots.
  5. Protect plants from heat. Hot sun has the potential to cause sun-scald, leaving tomatoes with pale, leathery patches on the fruits that pucker when they should be ripening. Bushy plants with lots of leaves naturally shade fruit from sun, however, plants with less leaves are more vulnerable. Cover plants with lightweight cloth covers through the first few heat waves.
  6. Remove tomato suckers. These small shoots sprout out from where the stem and the branch of a tomato plant meet. Though harmless, tomato suckers drain energy away from the main stems.

You pick tomatoes when you are ready for them, avoid letting them get soft and mushy. Tomatoes picked at the breaker stage, when they first show signs of changing color, are considered vine-ripened. These tomatoes will continue to ripen off the vine and on your kitchen counter.  Tomatoes picked at the breaking stage can still have the same flavor as one that has fully ripened on the vine. Never place tomatoes in the refrigerator to ripen.

The History Of Mother’s Day

The earliest Mother’s Day celebrations we know of were ancient Greek spring celebrations in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. But those were in honor of one particular mother. England’s “Mothering Sunday,” begun in the 1600’s, is closer to what we think of as “Mother’s Day.” Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent, “Mothering Sunday” honored the mothers of England.

In 1907 Anna Jarvis started a drive to establish a national Mother’s Day. In 1907 she passed out 500 white carnations at her mother’s church in West Virginia — one for each mother in the congregation. In 1908, her mother’s church held the first Mother’s Day service, on May 10th (the second Sunday in May). That same day a special service was held at the Wanamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, where Anna was from, which could seat no more than a third of the 15,000 people who showed up.

By 1909, churches in 46 states, Canada and Mexico were holding Mother’s Day services. In the meantime, Ms. Jarvis had quit her job to campaign full time. She managed to get the World’s Sunday School Association to help; they were a big factor in convincing legislators to support the idea. In 1912, West Virginia was the first state to designate an official Mother’s Day. By 1914, the campaign had convinced Congress, which passed a joint resolution. President Woodrow Wilson signed the resolution, establishing an official national Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.

Many countries of the world now have their own Mother’s Day at different times of the year, but Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, and Turkey join the US in celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. Britain still celebrates Mothering Day on the 4th Sunday of Lent — but they now call it Mother’s Day. By any name, and at any date, it’s a special day to honor a special person.

The most popular flower for Mother’s Day is the classic Rose. How classic a beauty is the Rose? It is delicate and fragrant like Mom, remember that sweet smell when she kissed those “boo-boos” or leaned over to hug you goodnight? Roses are tough too, just like Mom…don’t mess with her offspring! Most of all they are beautiful and admired for their strength and endurance. Maybe that is why the rose is the symbol of Mother’s Day! It exemplifies Mom in so many ways.

We are at the peak of our flowering season and what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than presenting Mom with a beautiful blooming Rosebush!

Victory Gardens

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.

In March 1917, Charles Lathrop Pack organized the US National War Garden Commission and launched the war garden campaign. Food production had fallen dramatically during World War I, especially in Europe, where agricultural labor had been recruited into military service and remaining farms devastated by the conflict. Pack and others conceived the idea that the supply of food could be greatly increased without the use of land and manpower already engaged in agriculture, and without the significant use of transportation facilities needed for the war effort. The campaign promoted the cultivation of available private and public lands, resulting in over five million gardens in the USA[2] and foodstuff production exceeding $1.2 billion by the end of the war.

President Woodrow Wilson said that “Food will win the war.” To support the home garden effort, a United States School Garden Army was launched through the Bureau of Education, and funded by the War Department at Wilson’s direction.

In 1946, with the war over, many British residents did not plant victory gardens, in expectation of greater availability of food. However, shortages remained in the United Kingdom, and rationing remained in place for at least some food items until 1954.

Land at the centre of the Sutton Garden Suburb in Sutton, London was first put to use as a victory garden during World War II; before then it had been used as a recreation ground with tennis courts. The land continued to be used as allotments by local residents for more than 50 years until they were evicted by the then landowner in 1997. The land has since fallen into disuse.[13]

The Fenway Victory Gardens in the Back Bay Fens of Boston, Massachusetts and the Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota remain active as the last surviving public examples from World War II. Most plots in the Fenway Victory Gardens now feature flowers instead of vegetables while the Dowling Community Garden retains its focus on vegetables.

Since the turn of the 21st century, interest in victory gardens has grown. A campaign promoting such gardens has sprung up in the form of new victory gardens in public spaces, victory garden websites and blogs, as well as petitions to renew a national campaign for the victory garden and to encourage the re-establishment of a victory garden on the White House lawn. In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted an 1,100-square-foot (100 m2) “Kitchen Garden” on the White House lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s, to raise awareness about healthy food

House Plants That Purify the Air

Projects like installing new carpet and painting walls can release chemicals that pollute indoor air. Luckily, some houseplants moonlight as efficient purifiers. For the best results, put as many plants as you can care for in the rooms you use most, says environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton. That means you’ll want at least two plants (in 10- to 12-inch pots) per 100 square feet of space; if you’re in the middle of major renovations, aim for more plants. One tip: Be sure not to overwater, as too much soil moisture can lead to mold growth.

English Ivy:

This hearty, climbing vine thrives in small spaces. It also fares well in rooms with few windows or little sunlight.

How it Helps: Its dense foliage excels at absorbing formaldehyde—the most prevalent indoor pollutant, says Wolverton—which shows up in wood floorboard resins and synthetic carpet dyes.

Peace Lily:

Among the few air purifiers that flower, the peace lily adapts well to low light but requires weekly watering and is poisonous to pets.

Peace Lilly rids the air of the VOC benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronics, adhesives, and certain cleaners.

Lady Palm:

An easy-to-grow, tree-like species, the lady palm may take a while to start shooting upward. But once it does, its fan-like patterned leaves will add charm to any spot.

Lady Palm targets ammonia, an enemy of the respiratory system and a major ingredient in cleaners, textiles, and dyes.

Boston Fern:

Boston fern features feather-like leaves and curved fronds that are well suited to indoor hanging baskets. It’s considered one of the most efficient air purifiers, but it can prove a bit difficult to maintain because of its need for constant moisture and humidity.

This fern works especially well in removing formaldehyde, which is found in some glues, as well as pressed wood products, including cabinetry, plywood paneling, and furniture.

Snake Plant:

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this sharp-leafed plant thrives in low light. At night it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen (a reversal of the process most plants undergo). Pot a couple and put them in your bedroom for a slight oxygen boost while you sleep.

A Snake Plant, In addition to helping lower carbon dioxide, the snake plant rids air of formaldehyde and benzene.

Golden Pothos:

 This fast-growing vine has a reputation for flexibility. You can pot it with something to support it, plant it in a hanging basket, or train it to climb a trellis. Dark green leaves with golden streaks and marbling make it an eye-catching addition to a home or office.

Golden Pothos tackles formaldehyde, but golden pothos also targets carbon monoxide and benzene. Consider placing one in your mudroom or entryway, where car exhaust fumes heavy in formaldehyde are most likely to sneak indoors from the garage.

Wax Begonia:

Place in an area with abundant sunlight and this semiwoody succulent will produce pretty clusters of flat white, pink, or red flowers during the summer.

The Wax Begonia plant is a heavy hitter in filtering out benzene and chemicals produced by toluene, a liquid found in some waxes and adhesives, according to a University of Georgia study conducted last year.

Red Edge Dracaena:

While this slow-growing shrub can get quite tall (up to 15 feet), it’s relatively compact and will make the most out of whatever floor space you can offer it. For best results, keep one in a room with high ceilings and moderate sunlight, and water occasionally. Its red-trimmed leaves will deliver a dose of unexpected color.

This plant takes care of gases released by xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, which can be introduced by lacquers, varnishes, and sealers.

Spider Plant:

A good option for beginning gardeners, the spider plant reproduces quickly, growing long, grassy leaves as well as hanging stems, which eventually sprout plantlets—hence its arachnid-inspired name.

Place a spider plant on a pedestal or in a hanging basket close to a sunlit window and you’ll benefit from fewer airborne formaldehyde and benzene molecules.

Good Firewood vs Cheap Firewood

As we get into the cooler nights of fall and head into winter, there is nothing better than grabbing  some firewood and starting a perfect fire in the living room or out on your deck in the fire pit. The scent of the open fire reminds me of being in the woods of Maine. I am sure many of you have similar memories.

Cheap Firewood

I have noticed over the last few weeks many advertisements of “cheap” wood for sale. I want to educate our customer of the differences of our firewood and what you see being sold. You need to know there is a big difference.

Dees' Nursery - The best firewood aroundDees' Nursery has Firewood

There will always be an abundance of cheap wood available because of homeowners having trees taken down or by severe storms such as hurricanes ect. Storms knock down many trees in neighborhoods all over Long Island. After the recent hurricanes, many homeowners are now taking precautions so a large oak or maple doesn’t end up in their living rooms. They are having professional tree service companies come and either cut down large trees on their property or do a heavy pruning to thin out an overgrown tree. What do they do with all this freshly cut wood? They sell it cheap.

This wood is considered “green”, which means it still has a lot of moisture content within the logs because it was recently still a growing, living thing. Green wood is very difficult to burn and if you are lucky and persistent enough to get a fire going with it, prepare yourself for a very smoky evening.

Also, with cheaper firewood, many logs are considered soft wood. Soft wood comes from trees like firs or pines. Soft wood does not burn as long or as hot. Sometimes, this wood is not stored properly. When wood sits for prolonged periods of time out in the weather and thru the seasons, it usually becomes home to many pests such as ants and even worse, termites. You certainly don’t want to bring these pesky critters into your house.

Good Firewood

So what is considered good firewood? Good firewood comes from “hard wood” trees like Oak, Maple, or Ash. Hard wood burns the longest and gives off the best heat.  Good firewood should also be seasoned. Firewood needs to sit between 18-24 months before it can be considered seasoned.

Dees' Nursery - Firewood BundledDees' Nursery - Kindling firewood, stacks and bundlesWe at Dees have the hardest most seasoned wood around. Not only is it seasoned, it is also kiln dried to kill the insects and dry it out even more. We want to give you the best quality wood that has the least amount of moisture content and more importantly, no bugs that can get in your home.

Another advantage to our firewood is each piece is a consistent size of 18 inches. This allows for a neat clean stack job plus it is much easier for people to handle. We have many size quantities to buy, from the small bundle up to the large box. If you have a chimnea or wood stove we have even smaller pieces of 14-16 inch size.

Local delivery and stacking is always available for a nominal fee. We also recommend that if you store your wood outside, keep it off the ground if possible and cover it with a tarp. If you plan on using your fireplace often, keep a 2-3 day supply inside at all times.Dees' Nursery sell duraflame logs
So next time you decide to buy wood don’t always go just by price. Consider the facts I have just explained and you will enjoy your evening by the fire much more.

Have fun and be safe!

From the Garden Center,

Joe Dee

The Dees’ Nursery & Florist

Oceanside NY 11572

joe@deesnursery.com

www.deesnursery.com

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