Summer Plant Protection

Gazania blooms best in hot, sunny areas. Can’t wait for summer to see these beauties!

It’s still hard to believe summer is finally here to stay. So after a plant friendly and cool spring it is time to get ready for the hot weather. Our lawns and plants fared well so far and now it is time for all of us, plants and people, to make that seasonal adjustment.

Water is a plant’s best friend during the high heat of summer under the blazing hot sun. Right now  your irrigation system should be set on a summer schedule. Maybe it is time to evaluate what type of system you have. Is it as efficient as it could be? In spring you don’t need a lot of supplemental irrigation but when the temperatures begin to climb and rain isn’t on the horizon, that system will be getting a lot more use. It is better to water less frequently and more deeply than every day for only a few minutes. You want to make sure the water penetrates through the mulch layer and can reach the roots. A drip system lays under the mulch/soil and uses less water than a traditional mist or rotary heads.

Early in the day is the best time to irrigate. If you water in the middle of the day, most of the water will evaporate before it has a chance to penetrate through the soil. If you water late in the day fungus will develop, especially in your lawn. Avoid letting water collect on leaves in the middle of the day; like ants under a magnifying glass, the leaves will fry. Leave your lawn 3-3.5″ high in the hottest months. This will help keep the roots cooler by providing some shade. Cutting too short can contribute to browning out. When mowing your lawn, remove no more than 1/3 of the lawn’s height at one time.

Healthy, vibrant lawn. No weeds, well irrigated and maintained.

A few organic choices for the garden that will help your plants thrive include mulch, compost and pruning. Incorporating compost into your soil adds organic matter and will give your plants a boost in nutrients, minimizing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Mulching around your plants keeps the soil cooler in summer and helps with moisture retention. Also, you can mitigate potential damage from poor air circulation or low light penetration with proper pruning.

When it gets hot and humid, there are certain pests and diseases that thrive. Scale, Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and Fungus Gnats are several  to watch out for. Call us if you see small, fuzzy white things that jump on and off of your plants or if you see black spots or a white film on any leaves.  If you see clouds of tiny flying insects, most likely around a wet area, it could be fungus gnats. While they are harmless to humans (they only feed on rotting organic matter) this could indicate you have a standing water issue, which will attract a much worse insect: the mosquito. Our sister company, Tree Care Long Island, has several treatments including horticultural pruning, beneficial insects and liquid and granular applications (including organic options), to treat these issues.

More insects to watch out during the summer include Aphids and Leafhoppers, Grubs, and Spider Mites. Aphids and Leafhoppers can spread scale and powdery mildew between your plants. Grubs eat the roots of your lawn, creating bare patches and holes in your lawn from predators like crows and raccoons digging for dinner. Spider Mites suck the juices out of a plant’s leaves and/or needles and cause the plants to defoliate and die.

Is your landscape ready for the heat of summer? If you see any of these conditions, or would like our advice, just contact us and we will be happy to help.

Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Hospital, and Cohen Children’s Medical Center

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Earth Day is a very important day in our calendar that should inspire everyone to work together to improve our environment.  It marks a day of environmental awareness across the nation and people come together to reduce, reuse and recycle.  When spring is in the air and the weather is warm, people get eager to get outside and start cleaning up, not just for themselves but for everyone else in their local community.  Goldberg and Rodler is no exception, and this year for Earth Day, we collaborated with Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children’s Medical Center to plant and dedicate two trees in the name of healing.

North-Shore LIJ has developed a new Green Initiative to bring the North-Shore medical system up to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards by reducing water use in buildings, increased recycling and clean up programs, and improving the landscape.  Together, the LIJ’s Green Initiative team and Goldberg and Rodler hosted a ceremonious event to dedicate two trees to the environmental improvements at the hospital.

President Tom Rodler plants a new tree, with the help of Cohen Children’s Medical Center patientsThe event kicked off at 11:00am just outside Cohen Children’s Medical Center.  Goldberg and Rodler donated a double flowering Kwanzan Cherry tree centrally located within view from the hospital entrance, parking lot and street.  Two children, who were patients at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, came out and helped Goldberg and Rodler plant the new tree, which resulted in an emotional and extremely rewarding experience for everybody.  Together, with the help of the children, we mixed compost and fertilizer into the soil.  Everyone had a hand in filling the tree pit with rich organic soil.  Then it was time to add the earthworms.  This was a highlight for a lot of people there, because it was also a learning experience on the proper way to treat soil for a newly planted tree.  The act of touching and working with soil and plants is proven to be very therapeutic and served as a healing experience for everyone involved.  The last step was to add mulch and water thoroughly.  LIJ has acquired a new truck with an attached hose and water compressor, to optimize watering throughout the hospital campus.  Last it was time to name the tree, and the children were given the honor to name their very own tree.  Today on April 24th, “Pinky” the Cherry Tree was brought into our lives, and Goldberg & Rodler couldn’t be happier.

After a quick photo op, we moved to another location by the Emergency Room to plant our second tree, a Japanese Zelkova.  We utilized the same procedures to properly plant the tree to ensure its survival.  Goldberg & Rodler decided upon a Zelkova for this area because it will provide shade and an interesting vase shaped canopy over time.  Groups of administrators and doctors arrived at our second location to witness the final planting.  Everyone was excited to be a part of the process, get their hands a little dirty, and break up the monotony of their demanding jobs.  The group named this tree “The Healing Tree” in honor of the Green Initiative mission of healing the environment and the community at LIJ.

The Green Team at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and all of the helpers around their new tree “Pinky”Earth Day at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen Children’s Medical Center was an extremely successful and inspiring event for Goldberg & Rodler.  We are honored to donate to such a beneficial and healing cause for patients, employees and the environment.  Goldberg and Rodler promotes sustainability and community involved design, and looks forward to continuing to serve our community by volunteering in the future.

Written by Nick Onesto