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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 15.39 Acer's Florist & Garden Center September 2015


Quotation of the Week:
"I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
— Nathaniel Hawthorne, 10th October 1842

Fall Festival
Pony Rides 9-26
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.

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As fall starts to set in, many of us are preparing for winter. Winter is a favorite of some people, but most of us see it as that bleak time between now and spring. Winter is death, and as gardeners, we just can't wait until spring to see the world reborn.

Tulips and daffodils are the flagships of spring. With a little planning and some elbow grease in the fall, they will announce the arrival of warmer weather with color and vigor.

Planting bulbs in the fall is essential if you'd like these flowers in the spring, as they need to be thoroughly chilled to grow into flowers. In some warmer climates, people chill them in the refrigerator, but here it is best to put them in the ground now and let nature do the work. Anytime in September or October is a good time to plant them here. The important thing is to do so before the ground freezes. Planting earlier will help them along later, as it will give some time for them to establish roots, leaving your bulbs stronger and more ready to absorb the nutrients in the soil.

These are the four basic steps to planting bulbs:

  1. Dig a hole: Approximately three times as tall as your bulbs are. If your bulbs are 1" tall, dig a 3" hole. We recommend digging a wide hole and planting about a dozen bulbs in there. This will make them really pop when they flower.

  2. Place the bulbs in the hole: Place the bulbs root side down, close together, but not touching. A spacing of about an inch will do, but you can get away with a little wider or a little closer. More room allows the bulbs more room to grow.

  3. Place the bulbs in the hole: Place the bulbs root side down, close together, but not touching. A spacing of about an inch will do, but you can get away with a little wider or a little closer. More room allows the bulbs more room to grow.

  4. Add bulb fertilizer: Bulb fertilizer comes in organic or nonorganic varieties, depending on your preference. Follow the directions on the package.

  5. Fill the hole with dirt, and then add a layer of mulch to insulate. An inch or three will do.

Voila! With that task accomplished you can go back to your pumpkin-flavored beverage. In a few short months, you'll have some beautiful flowers to herald the return of warmer weather.


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 is 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. 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. T he 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. Ask your garden specialist what kinds of grasses work best for your area.

Adding a good starter fertilizer will help give the seeds a good head start, and a layer of peat moss or composted manure will help keep the birds at bay and provide additional nutrients, but the most important thing is 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, and then raise it up to allow it to grow thickly.

I know it sounds 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.

By Tamara Galbraith

As your fall garden clean-up gets underway, don't sabotage your efforts by using dirty tools.

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of fungus and other plant diseases is to prune out infected parts. However, seemingly healthy wood can also be infected, so disinfecting your pruning tools between cuts becomes very important as you trim.

In 1992, scientists at Kearney Agricultural Center in California's Central Valley tested various readily available and commonly recommended disinfectants. The disinfectants tested were chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, Listerine, Lysol concentrated disinfectant, Pine-Sol, and rubbing alcohol.

The scientists found that soaking or spraying pruning blades for a minute or longer in either full-strength or 1-to-5 solution of chlorine bleach, Lysol, or Pine-Sol brought the most consistent protection. Interestingly, just dipping the blade quickly often did not disinfect properly. Chlorine bleach generally did a better job for quick dips, although none of the disinfectants proved completely effective.

Although chlorine bleach is the least expensive and generally most effective disinfectant, bleach corrodes tools quickly and, as many of us know from clumsy experience, can splash up and ruin clothes. Lysol caused the least damage to clothes and tools; keeping a small can of Lysol and an old rag in your gardening bucket is a good idea as you work your way through fall pruning.


What You'll Need:

  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 6 apples - peeled, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil (vegetable, corn, safflower - your choice)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups flour

Step by Step:

  1. Mix the six tbsp. sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl. Mix with apples. Add vanilla. Let stand.
  2. Beat eggs. Blend in oil. Gradually add 2 cups sugar. (These 3 steps can be done with a mixer or by hand, but it is easier to use a mixer!)
  3. Add baking powder. Stir in flour until all blended. Fold in apple mixture.
  4. Pour into greased bundt or angel cake pan.
  5. Bake at 375 deg. F until toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 1 hour 15 minutes).


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