Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.
It's almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means -- time to wrap the fig tree. Growing figs on Long Island is easy. But getting trees to survive the winter takes a bit of work and dedication. Here's how it's done:
Never use any plastic materials for any part of the process.
1. When the tree is young, for the first few year or two, it’s a good idea to cut...Read more »
Here we go again. Meg McGrath, my plant pathologist friend with Cornell University in Riverhead dealt me some bad news today: Late blight is back. Again.
"Unfortunately, so early in the season, late blight has been found in a potato crop in the Riverhead area. Based on the appearance of the symptoms, it did not start in this field. I am trying to find the source. There also could be other...Read more »
Here's one from the mailbag that probably will be of help to many of you who got antsy because of all the warm weather and jumped the gun.
I planted some tomatoes and eggplants in pots, but I am afraid I started a bit too soon. I probably should have waited another week. Any suggestions? — Loyda Fiorenza, Seaford
If they are outdoors, bring them in and keep them...Read more »
Five-year-old Emma Pnini of Roslyn planted heirloom and cherry tomato seeds in egg cartons with her grandma Sandy and grandpa Bert a few months ago. “She nurtured them every day, and they now stand proud at 3 feet tall on our deck,” her mom, Alison, writes. We hope to see them both at this year’s Great Long Island Tomato Challenge.
Good work, Emma!
Are you in?...Read more »
If there were a prize for gardening ingenuity, Gerret Marchello of Sea Cliff would win for inventing these upside-down tomato planters. “First, I paint the bucket black, which helps warm the roots and results in earlier tomatos,” he said. “Then I drill a 2 1/8-inch hole center on the bottom and place the bucket on a sawhorse.” He inserts a small plant through the hole and...Read more »
Andrew Lachs of Massapequa Park is a music major at Nassau Community College who’s new to the gardening scene. ”It all started two years ago when someone brought me some homegrown hot peppers,” he told me. “I had to try and do it myself.”
This year, Lachs, 20, is growing four tomato plants for the first time -- grape, patio, beefsteak and cherry. “I...Read more »
Jolie Harvey of Huntington Station grew 9-foot-tall tomato plants last year that produced many tomatoes weighing more than 2 pounds.
“I plant my veggies in raised beds and use pure organic horse manure from our horses,” Harvey writes. “I plant beefsteaks, Carolina gold, lemon boy, and super sweet cherry. I have also revived some unknown varieties from friends! Please enter...Read more »
For the third year in a row, late blight disease has been detected early in the season on Long Island. This time, it's been found on tomato crops on the South Fork.
Late blight is the disease that was responsible for the great Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s. While it sporadically appears late in the season (August-September) on farms, it's simply dealt with using fungicides. And if...Read more »
Confused about pruning tomato suckers? Here's a demonstration that takes the mystery -- and apprehension -- out of determining what, exacatly, a sucker is, how to pinch it off and why you'd want to in the first place.
...Read more »
This week, let's look at the best way to plant tomatoes to ensure you grow healthy plants and reap the biggest harvests. And after you've grown your whopper, be sure to join the 2011 Great Long Island Tomato Challenge, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, at Newsday headquarters in Melville (235 Pinelawn Road). All you have to do is show up with your biggest tomato. I'll weigh each entry...Read more »