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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 16.10 Acer's Florist & Garden Center March 12, 2016

pansies and bulb plants in

Easter decor
 
Do you know that Acer's offers FREE
computerized landscape design?
Call (631) 343-7123 or send pics to Jim@acersgardencenter.com.
Acer's landscapes are 100% guaranteed
and a Tax- Free Capital Improvement
Firewood
Seeds and seed starting kits

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

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

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

 
Pruning Deciduous Fruit Trees

All deciduous fruit trees need to be pruned at least once a year for good shape and to bear fruit. The rule of thumb with pruning deciduous fruit trees is to prune while the trees are dormant, after the leaves have fallen to the ground but before new buds have swelled.

Each type of fruit tree needs to be pruned differently, so it's important to know which kind of tree you're pruning and how to prune it properly. For example, apples bear their fruit on spurs (short stubby branches growing off main branches) that bear again and again, sometimes for as long as twenty years. If you whack off all the spurs you'll have no fruit. However, peaches and nectarines bear their fruit on one-year-old wood. By pruning them hard, you encourage new growth to replenish fruiting wood.

The best shape also differs among types. Apple and pear trees, for instance, do best with a central trunk, with shorter branches at the top, longer ones on the bottom. Peaches and plums do best with an open-center shape (kind of like a bowl).

No two trees, even of the same type, can be pruned exactly alike; basic guidelines will apply differently according to the placement of their branches, their age, and their overall vigor. If you're not an expert, follow a pruning manual (one that contains charts) that applies to your climate and type of tree.

When you buy a fruit tree, ask us for the best pruning method to use for that tree. Pruning a young tree properly to start with will save you a lot of time and effort later. Trees that branch lower are easier to spray, cover, and pick the fruit from.

If you are dealing with a large old tree that has been neglected for some time, keep in mind that it may require several years of pruning to bring it back to where it should be. Your primary goal is to open the tree so that sunlight can penetrate inside of the foliage during the fruiting season and to shorten the taller limbs to bring the fruit production down to a more manageable height.

It is safest to call a professional to do the high work and any large branch removal for you. They have the experience and equipment needed.

Remember after pruning deciduous fruit trees to clean up the ground under the tree and follow up immediately with dormant spray.

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Garden Primer

Can you grow grass in shade?

Answer:

That depends on how much shade you actually have. Fescue types of grass will tolerate shade better than most grasses. You can also use a shady blend grass seed, but even shade-tolerant grasses need a certain amount of sunshine to grow. Ultimately, the way you manage your shady lawn is more important than which seed type you select.

Five practices that will help your shade-tolerant grass survive in the shade:

  • First, mow your grass higher. Grass in the shade should be cut approximately 1/2 to 1 inch higher than the grass growing in full sunlight. This will allow more leaf area to intercept the limited amount of sunlight.
  • Second, fertilize less often, at half the normal amount so the grass won't try to grow what it can't support.
  • Third, water more (and deeply) in the hot summer months, so the grass is not stressed by heat.
  • Fourth, selectively prune and thin limbs of heavy shade producing trees to allow more light to reach your lawn. Remove all limbs below ten feet. Rake and remove leaves or needles before they accumulate.
  • Finally, try to minimize traffic and activities in the shaded grass areas during the summer months. This will reduce the wear stress on the turf. If the grass is in a path where traffic cannot be avoided, place stepping-stones or pine bark to create a trail.

If you combine these suggestions, you should notice a much healthier lawn. If none of this works, consider replacing your shaded area with shade-loving flowers, groundcover, or mulch.

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Time Change

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am on Sunday, March 13, 2016, so be sure to set your clocks forward one hour! Your clocks should be set from 2:00 a.m. local standard time, to 3:00 a.m. local daylight time.

We remember to change our clocks by the phrase "Spring forward, fall back." As spring begins soon, why not embrace this season of renewal, and replace the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This simple act will help assure the safety of your family; properly working detectors save thousands of lives each year.

 
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