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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 16.08 Acer's Florist & Garden Center February 25, 2016
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Premium Roses Available This Valentine's Day! Place Your Order Now! (631) 343-7123

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floral arrangements,
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computerized landscape design?
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Seeds and seed starting kits

Seeds and seed starter kits are here; get a jump on spring flowers and vegetables!

Call or stop in to place your firewood delivery order now; half cords and full cords available.

Long Island's largest selection of chimineas!
Keep the chill of winter at bay while your family and friends are over to play!

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Broccoli is a fantastic crop to grow while the weather is cool. Broccoli likes to be in full sun, as well as rich, PH-neutral, well-drained soil. A heavy feeder, broccoli benefits from high-nitrogen fertilizer, as well as amendments like compost, alfalfa meal, or composted chicken manure.

Broccoli grows fairly large, so giving it some room to grow is important. Place seeds or starts about 18" apart and rows between two and three feet apart, to give you some room to walk. You can do two or three rows close together between walkways if you like to maximize spacing, but any more than that will make them hard to reach.

Pests can be wide ranging, from cabbage looper caterpillars and cabbage-worms in cooler weather to grasshoppers and harlequin bugs when the weather has warmed up. The best way to manage these is to take a walk through your garden daily and look for damage. If you find any, look under the leaves and pull off and remove any pests. If you have chickens, they'll appreciate the snack, or the bugs can easily be squished. BT can also be used to eliminate caterpillar populations, but will need to be sprayed weekly to be effective.

Harvesting your broccoli is easy. Cutting the stem five to six inches below the head will send the signal to the plant to continue growing new heads.

Don't wait too long, or your broccoli will bolt, and the florets will spread out and become bitter. Note: if it does bolt, the yellow flowers are edible and great in salads. The leaves are also edible; young, tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads, and the older leaves cooked like spinach or kale. And you can always harvest your broccoli, cut it up, and freeze it to be used later.

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Garden Primer

What's the difference between a plant fungus and a plant virus?


The big difference is that most fungus problems can be controlled with fungicides, while viruses cannot. A fungus normally attacks the foliage, while a virus can attack every part of a plant--eventually killing it. Most fungus is transmitted through the air while most viruses are transmitted through the soil.

The most common types of fungus are leaf spots (red, brown, or black), mildew (white), and types of rust (orange and brown). Leaf spots normally affect both sides of leaves, mildew the top side, and rusts underneath. They are fairly easy to prevent and control with a fungicide.

Most viruses enter a plant through the roots. They are prevalent in poorly draining or over-watered soils that never dry out. Many viruses cause leaf wilt; you will see this in the individual leaves--or the whole plant may look sickly and drooping. The only solution when a virus is identified is to try to let the soil dry out. If you catch it early enough, some plants can recover. Unfortunately, by the time most people discover a virus problem, it's usually too late.

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