Please click here to read email if not displayed below:

Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 15.31 Acer's Florist & Garden Center July 2015


Quotation of the Week:
"We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones."
— Jules Verne

Now is the time

Flowers for Fall:

Warm weather allows gardeners to plant flowers for fall blooms. These include chrysanthemums, sweet peas, snapdragons and asters. Also, plant bulbs such as autumn daffodils and crocuses.
Farm Stand
Long Island's largest selection of chimineas! Keep the bugs away and roast marshmallows with the kids this summer!
Patio Planters
Patio Planters Starting at $29.99
Green Beans

Beans, full of: High-spirited or frisky, originally applied to farm animals fed largely on beans and thought to be livelier than others.

Beans, hill of: What something of no value isn't worth. A "hill" of beans is a planting of four seeds or so around the base of a pole. A great many such hills will yield an appreciable food supply or cash crop, but an individual hill doesn't amount to much.

Beans, spill the: To confess or yield evidence that incriminates oneself or others. Probably from a metaphor for the "v" word or throwing up.

Beans are "money" in several languages and symbolize money in many rituals, and people who are flat broke "haven't got a bean."

(All taken from The Eaten Word by Jay Jacobs)

Wow, and you thought that the bean was this long (green or brown) vegetable grown in your garden.

You know what is cool about growing green beans, other than they are the best of the best in the world? The fact that their roots are nitrogen-fixing, which improves your soil fertility.

Most commonly grown are either bush (Phaseolus nanus) or pole green beans (P. vulgaris). There are several bush bean varieties, but most often you won't see the little 6 pack labeled any further than the descriptor "bush." That is true of pole beans too. Seed packs, of course, will tell you the variety and planting times.

Planting time is after your last frost and when air temperatures are at least 65+. For growth and germination, 65-85 degrees is what you will want. Starting green beans from seed is quite simple. Once they have germinated and grown to 5-6 inches (and if your temperatures are as mentioned), plop them into the ground and watch them grow.

Beans need plenty of sunlight and regular watering. To keep down weeds surrounding your plants, remember to mulch. You might want to plant successive crops of beans in the same location as your first crops, especially the bush beans. This will ensure your bean crop from summer into the fall.

Pole beans need a structure to grow (twine) upon. There are numerous structures that are successful favorite ways to support pole beans, one of which is on wooden or bamboo teepees.

You can take three 1x1 inch stakes (6 feet or longer) and drill one hole through all three at one end. A large screw bolt is inserted through the three hole and a butterfly nut tightens them together. That's it! Simple. Equally elegant is tying together three 6-8 foot bamboo stakes and forming the same type of teepee.

Plant at least 3 bean plants at the base of each of the three teepee legs, too, so there will be at a minimum 9 bean plants per teepee. You can also add a stake between the teepees, interconnecting them, to give the bean plants further growth support, once their height has exceeded the teepee stake heights.

Our wooden trellis structures will also work perfectly for the pole beans. Hammer a 5-6 foot 2x2 inch stake into the ground. Hammer a second one into the ground at the opposite end of your trellis. This provides about a 5-6 foot long vertical trellis structure for your beans. This looks great and is a fabulous way to grow beans as well. Leave space on both sides of this structure, so that you can access all the beans.

We mentioned the nitrogen-fixing roots as a quality other vegetables just cannot offer. But don't forget, just the ability of going out into your veggie garden at dinner time and hand picking beans for immediate consumption … well, there is just nothing better than that.

P.S. By the way, the history of beans is tied to corn and squash. "In Iroquois mythology, corn, beans and squash were represented as three inseparable sisters."* They planted into one mound, seeds of maize, later beans and finally squash, because all three were eaten together.

*Much Depends on Dinner by Margaret Visser

Garden Primer

Will ants hurt my plants?

Answer: Not directly. But if ants are living in the soil around a plant, they can make the plant dry out and need water more frequently. This is because their ant tunnels create air pockets which dry out the soil faster. On the other hand, those same tunnels help to aerate the soil, which is a good thing. If ants are on the foliage of a plant, that's usually a sign that harmful sucking insects such as aphids or whiteflies are feeding and damaging your plant.

These sucking insects emit a residue called honeydew that is sweet and very attractive to ants. The ants will roam your plant and feed on the sweet honeydew.

Unfortunately, they will do nothing to control the damaging insect. In fact, ants sometimes will move predator insects to fresh parts of the plant to help them create fresh honeydew. At this point, they become partners in crime and should be destroyed. Their criminal status may be determined by interviewing a sampling of suspected ants or catching them red-handed in the act of predator insect transport.

There are several effective methods to control ants, including aerosol sprays and ant baits containing boric acid. You can also place a sticky barrier around the trunks of trees or bushes that are vulnerable to attack. As always, do not use sprays on edible plants unless the sprays are marked for use on edibles.


Downy mildew (fungus - Peronospora sparsa) is a highly destructive disease. Although best known as a rose disease, downy mildew will attack vegetables, other ornamentals, and fruit plants. It can completely defoliate a plant in 4-7 days and can kill the plant.

In general, high humidity and moderate temperatures favor downy mildew. Moist air from puddles, rain, or overhead watering is enough to allow the pathogen to germinate. The optimum temperature for downy mildew to spread is 65 degrees, but the spores are killed at 81 degrees or higher.

Downy mildew will first appear on upper surfaces of leaves as patches or spots. On the underside of the leaves directly below each spot, a downy or furry growth is produced. The fungus is made up of numerous branched stalks with spores on the end. Downy mildew needs a film of water on the leaves for spores to germinate.

Regular watering from overhead and thick growth from close spacing create ideal conditions for this disease, which can spread very quickly under such conditions.


Remove all infected leaves and dispose of carefully, in closed containers so the spores cannot spread.

Spray infected plants with a fungicide for downy mildew. Ask us, and we'll help you find what you need.

Avoid overhead irrigation at the end of the day. Try to leave enough time for the plants to dry off before nightfall.

Thin out undergrowth of plants if necessary.
2077 Jericho Turnpike, Commack
Open 7 days a week - 9 AM to 7 PM