Please click here to read email if not displayed below:

Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 15.37 Acer's Florist & Garden Center September 2015


Quotation of the Week:
"No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring."
— Samuel Johnson

Events and Specials
Farm Stand
Fresh Organic Eggs
Long Island's largest selection of chimineas! Keep the bugs away and roast marshmallows with the kids this summer!
Gift Shop

The Gift Shop at Acer's carries a Full Range of Unique Gifts, including Custom Silk Arrangements, Lifetime Candles, and Gardening Accessories. We also have a Full Line of Seasonal Decor that will have your home radiating the spirit of Autumn.


It's nice to have a beautiful lawn. A mainstay of the American landscape, lawns provide esthetic and recreational value to any home.

Many of us assume that by adding fertilizer and watering regularly, our lawns will take care of themselves, but some extra care is needed for the long term health of your lawn. Fall is an optimal time to do this work, as the temperatures cool off and summer growth starts to slow down, and the milder conditions provide the best time for your lawn to re-establish itself before cold weather creeps in. There are three basic steps to renovating and rejuvenating your lawn.

The first step is to dethatch, if necessary. Thatch is the layer of organic matter sitting between the soil line and the grass. While this helps with moisture control, too much of it can choke your lawn and provides a breeding ground for insects and disease.

If your lawn has less than 1/4" of thatch, you can skip this step. Between 1/4" and 1/2", you may want to consider dethatching, but it can possibly wait until the spring. If it has more than 1/2" of thatch, dethatching is highly advised.

Before you dethatch, we suggest that you mow your lawn very short beforehand. Dethatching can be done manually by raking hard over the lawn, which breaks up areas of grass that are intertwined and removes debris. This can be done with a steel rake, but a specially designed dethatching rake will get you better results with much less work. For large areas, you may want to rent a power rake to make the job a lot easier. Rake the debris away, and remove it from your lawn.

The next step is to aerate. Aeration is adding holes to the lawn, which will allow room for water to soak in more deeply, as well as breaking up the soil a bit to make it easier for the grass to grow. The cheapest method is to take a pitch fork or some other instrument, and to poke holes in the soil. This can be very hard, time consuming work. A much easier method is to rent an aerating machine for the morning, and to run that over your lawn. An aerating machine pushes hollow spikes into the ground, pulling out plugs of dirt, and leaving a little hole.

Whichever method you choose, the next step is to add some sand to the soil and rake it into the holes. This will help keep them open, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil. The third step is to overseed. Overseeding will provide your lawn with "new troops". Many lawns are of older varieties of grasses that tend to be vulnerable to pests and disease. Adding a new species of grass, or adding more of what you already have, will help thicken your lawn and make it more resistant to change, whether it's due to drought, frost, or pests and disease.

Most lawns in this area are mostly Kentucky bluegrass. Adding Magic Carpet Kentucky bluegrass seed will match fairly closely. However, because of lawn disease problems and increasing water restrictions, we suggest using a mixture of both Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial ryegrass. The mixture we sell is called Necrotic Ringspot Resistant Grass. It gives a nice lawn that is more drought tolerant, and is resistant to some of the major lawn diseases found in Kentucky Bluegrass. If you choose to use this mixture, be sure to overseed your entire lawn, rather than just in spots, to prevent a "patchwork quilt effect".

Adding a good starter fertilizer will help give the seeds a good head start, such as Fall & Winter Lawn Fertilizer. A layer of peat moss or compost will help keep the birds at bay, provide additional nutrients, help to keep the seeds moist until they can germinate. A light watering a few times a day will ensure this. It is especially important to water in the afternoon, when the sun (and evaporation) are at their strongest. Once the seeds start germinating, you should continue to mow the existing turf until the new grass catches up.

I know, it's sounding like a lot of work, but it's well worth doing now. Keeping ahead of the game will save you lots of work, time, and money, in the long run, as well as set a foundation to provide you with a beautiful lawn for the next year.


If you're being awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of turned over garbage cans accompanied by high-pitched chirping sounds, chances are you've been paid a visit by those little bandits called raccoons.

Raccoons are generally active at night, when they are most likely to raid your garbage area, looking for discarded fruit, vegetables, and anything else that might make a tasty snack. Their contact with humans is normally motivated by two basic things: food and/or shelter. Getting rid of raccoons starts with securing the sources of these temptations, and if that doesn't deter them, there are a few other alternatives.

The key to keeping raccoons away is to make your home a less inviting place to visit. Keep your garbage cans sealed with bungee cords if stored outside, or store them in the garage or storage shed. Make sure all of your foundation and basement vents are in good shape and have no holes in them; otherwise, raccoons might nest under your home. If you have a dog or cat door into the garage, make sure not to store food or feed pets in there.

If you have taken care of the basics, and the pesky critters still want to hang out, you might want to consider a few other options. There are a number of humane traps that will help you trap them live and allow you to transport them to a wooded area away from your home. Be careful, though, and wear thick gloves when handling traps, because raccoons will try to bite if agitated.

Motion-sensing lights and sound devices will also help keep raccoons away. Nocturnal by nature, they don't like bright lights. You can also apply a raccoon repellent to garbage cans and around the yard to deter them. Many wildlife specialists use this method because the repellent uses the scent of a predator such as a coyote, wolf, or mountain lion to mark your garden as a predator's territory.

So don't be kept up at night because raccoons are having a party at your house. Take action today and keep those raccoons away!

Important Note: Two illnesses common to raccoons are distemper and rabies. If you see raccoons, keep your pets inside. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, so if you see one in a populated area during the day, especially if it is acting strangely, be sure to avoid it and report it to a wildlife specialist.


What You'll Need:

  • 2 cups sliced and peeled Granny Smith apples
  • 2 cups sliced and peeled Rome apples
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces day-old Italian or French bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Step by Step:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Combine apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; toss well.
  3. Combine milk, molasses and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add bread to milk mixture; toss to combine.
  4. Add bread mixture to apple mixture; toss to combine.
  5. Spoon bread mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  6. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
  7. Combine flour and brown sugar; cut in chilled butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles small pebbles.
  8. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over apple mixture.
  9. Bake at 350º for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 6 servings.


2077 Jericho Turnpike, Commack
Open 7 days a week - 9 AM to 7 PM