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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 17.27 Acer's Florist & Garden Center July 6, 2017
June

Arrivals
Arrivals

We have a huge selection of beautiful hanging baskets, and patio planters are arriving daily!

Annuals

Summer is here. Time to get your plants in the ground! See you this weekend.


Arrivals

Acer's is stocked with with most AMAZING flowering trees, shrubs and flowers. Stop in soon for the best selection.The best plants always fly out FAST.

Arrivals
Arrivals

Spring flowers, herbs and vegetables
are arriving daily!

Do you know that Acer's offers free
computerized landscape design?
Call (631) 343-7123 or send pics to Jim@acersgardencenter.com.


Landscape

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How to dry lavender

The major reason lavender plants are so prized is that their flowers keep their fragrance when dried. Besides being beautiful and aromatic, lavender flowers are also edible. They can be used as a seasoning, added to salads, baked into cookies and brewed into tea. They can also be candied and used as a cake decoration.

For best drying results, harvest the flowers as the buds first begin to open. In general, wait until any rain or dew has dried from the plants. Harvest midday when the heat brings the most fragrance out of the flowers. Hang in small bunches upside down in a warm, dry spot with good air circulation and out of direct light.

Use rubber bands to tie the stems together for drying because they will contract along with the drying stems. If you wish to remove the flower buds from the stems for potpourri after drying, place the bound bundles inside a pillow case. Then roll it up and gently press and roll it on a hard surface--as if it were a rolling pin. (You can throw away the stems or take them camping and place on a campfire to repel mosquitoes.) Then scoop out the flower buds and place in sachets or potpourri dishes.

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Cultivate Our Next Crop of Gardeners over the Summer

Trying to think of things to keep your kids busy over the summer? Summer is a great time to "sow" the love of gardening in them by engaging them in some fun summer projects.

Build a Living House or Teepee:
Help your child construct a house or teepee by using stakes and twine. To build the house, place 4 (6'-8') stakes about 6'-8' apart making a square; be sure they are sturdily set in the ground so that they won't collapse when the future "walls" and "roof" are covering them. On one side of the square, create your doorway by placing 2 stakes about 2' apart in the center. Secure the stakes with twine near the bottom, in the center and near the top by starting at one side of the doorway and going all the way around the "house" to the other side of the doorway, wrapping the twine several times around each stake as you go. Prepare a planting bed all around the "foundation" of the house, incorporating a good quality planting mix into the soil. Plant sunflower seeds and/or a fast growing--non-poisonous or even edible--vine. These will grow up around the walls, making your living house. If you string some twine across the top of the structure, your vine will grow along the twine, forming a roof.

A teepee can be constructed using 5 (6'-8') poles that are tied together near one end, forming the teepee shape. Near the bottom of each pole, plant pole beans, preparing the soil as above. These will grow up and cover the teepee.

These structures make great shady "get-away" areas for your kids to go to have a little private time to commune with nature!

Plant a Garden in a Bag:
Many potting soils and some soil amendments can be used to plant right in the bag. This is a fun, easy and inexpensive project to instill the love of growing and harvesting home grown produce.

Simply purchase a bag of soil (ask us which type would be best), cut off the top of the bag and position it where it will get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Punch a few small holes in the bottom of the bag to provide drainage. Let your child choose the vegetable of his or her choice. When you get home, plant right in the bag. Your child can be responsible for the plant by checking it daily to be sure it is getting the right amount of water. You can also teach him or her about feeding the plant when needed and explain how every living thing (including plants) needs nutrients.

When it's time for the harvest, you can cook a meal with your child using the vegetables he or she grew. This one easy project will provide many opportunities to share the love of gardening!

Collect Seeds:
When your flowering plants go to seed, show your child how to collect the seeds and explain how these seeds can be planted in the garden for next year's flowers. You can turn it into an art project, too, by helping your child make their own seed packages; allow them to decorate each pack with the names and pictures of each plant. Next year, when its time to plant, you can use the seeds that they collected!

These easy and fun projects have the added benefits of getting your child away from the television set or computer, getting them out in the fresh air and sunshine, giving them some much-needed exercise--and maybe even getting them to willingly eat some veggies!

Happy planting!

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Garden Primer

How often should I water the plants in the ground in my garden?

The simple answer would be however often it takes to keep your soil moist but not wet.

As a rule, the hotter it gets, the more you will have to water. In the cooler months, you only water between periods of extended dry weather or high wind, which can also stress or dry a plant out.

When it is hot, increase the length of time you water your plants, not the frequency of watering. Watering slowly will allow the water to soak down to the roots. Using drip irrigation is the most effective method. It is also important to group plants with similar watering needs together.

Most plants need to be watered at least twice a week; new plants that have yet to be established should be checked every other day. Check that the soil has dried out a bit before watering. Use a stick or dowel to check moisture levels. Cactus and succulents will rarely need water. Even in desert areas these can thrive without any supplemental watering.

Remember that checking does not necessarily mean adding water! Roots need to breathe, and overwatering stresses plants as much as underwatering, promoting root rot and flushing out nutrients from the soil. If the soil is muddy without having been watered, you may have a drainage problem.

If a plant is too dry, the foliage will have a wilted appearance or begin to burn on the outside leaf tips.
If a plant is too wet, it will lose its luster and quickly drop faded leaves, starting from the inside of the plant and working its way to the leaf tips. Fruiting plants like squash and tomatoes will show signs of blossom end rot.

Make sure not to use soft water on any plants. The salt in the water can burn or kill plants. Tap water is fine, but rainwater is better.

Adding mulch will help retain moisture. Mulch keeps the sun off the soil, while allowing the soil to breathe and adding organic matter.

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2077 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY 11725
631-343-7123
www.acersgardencenter.com
Open Monday-Sunday 9 AM to 6 PM