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Long Island Gardener


Decisions, decisions... If you can't make up your mind which Annuals to grow, you're not alone. Problem with your new flowering Annuals flats? I`ve been there, done that. Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Larkspur, Marine Blue Lobelia -- they all grow here at my house on Garden Street on Long Island, N.Y.. Cutting and Cottage Gardens, Sun and Shade Gardens, White Gardens and Night Gardens, I`ve done them all. Annuals are the perfect summer flower, bursting with color June through fall's first frost. I can`t speak on Cactus or tender Tropical Plants -- they don`t grow outside in my Zone 7. I`m no Farmer, so I cannot guide you on Fruits and Vegetables. But whether it`s an Annual you want to start from seed, mail-order or pick up at your local garden center, I can help you grow amazing blooms this Summer. Yes, together, we can turn your neighbors green with envy.

Experience in the area

I have a lifetime of gardening behind me here on the North Shore of Long Island. While I have degrees in related fields, there's nothing like hands-on work to build real knowledge. I stay on top of current science -- there's a boom in research, and Kingdom Plantae is filled with surprises. By the way, I really do live on Garden Street.


Gannett newspapers, The New York Times, and hundreds of others - but not on Annuals.


B.A., botany; graduate credits in European Intellectual History and Political Science; minor coursework in related fields, docent training at our local botanical gardens (required for volunteers). I'm currently working on an advanced biochemistry degree.

Awards and Honors

I could tell you, but then you'd know who I am.

What do you like about this subject?

Annuals are about as easy as Gardening gets. If there's one mistake new gardeners make with these, it boils down to love: Too much TLC. They water, they fertilize, they adore... Truth is, some Annuals MUST be left alone. Patience, my friends. This is easy.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

In my free time, I am working on yet another degree that will help me do my own research into what makes plants tick. I want to do my own genetic tampering - build an Oriental Lily that blooms nonstop all summer and smells like a dozen Casablancas a half mile away. It's possible.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Did you know that pure water doesn't freeze at 32 degrees F? That you can buy Harpin Protein to heal your plants after injury? That there are Fungi that cure pest problems and disease -- and some out-perform chemicals? Intelligent gardening is amazing.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Silent Spring was not 1950s fiction.

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Recent Answers from Long Island Gardener

2016-06-01 Wilting Petunias:

Check the roots.    Many a farmer knows about Diabrotica undecimpunctata, the yellow-and-black striped or spotted Cucumber Beetle, consumer of cantaloupes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, watermelon, pumpkins

2015-07-12 Hydrangeas - color:

Your soil is turning acid.  That's a natural trend, caused by metabolism of good soil bacteria.  Note it is a slow trend -- it does not happen overnight, although ads for fertilizers and general advice

2015-06-10 Putunia black spots and hornworm caterpillar moth:

I don't have the answer you read, but let's talk about Hornworm Caterpillars, which morph into Sphinx Moths in maturity.    There's an important concept that I think gets overlooked when people talk about

2015-05-07 when to plant outdoors:

Annuals bought on Long Island started life in the fast lane months ago. Time is money in the nursery business and this is the high season.     It is likewise the perfect time of year to put new plants

2014-08-14 wave petunia:

For quick results, put 2-3 plants in the basket and transplant as the basket fills out.    Note that Waves, like all Petunias, need full sun to bloom and grow.    You cannot compensate by fertilizing them


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