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Zika Virus in New York

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There are a lot of dangerous infections that can be spread by mosquitoes, but currently, the Zika virus is causing serious concern up and down the East Coast.

According to the CDC Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with  symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.

Commonly found in South America, the Zika virus has been moving it’s way up the United States and an alarming rate. While there only have been a few cases of Zika Virus in New York.  Mosquitoes carrying diseases like West Nile Virus and the Chikungunya virus are still common on Long Island.  Organically Green has been on the front lines of fighting the spread of these viruses through mosquito control and tree spraying. Only using family, pet and environmentally friendly pesticides, Organically Green can keep your home safe from mosquito borne illness this summer.

As a Proud sponsor of the Hamptons Classic Horse Show  this summer Organically Green is keeping spectators and horses safe by spraying the arborvitae at the Hamptons Classic to keep pests away from the showground.

 

Spring Garden Tips

 

As we see the last of the frost we need to start thinking about early spring planting. Here are some ideas for your spring garden.

 

Flowers

Pansies – Will withstand late seasons frosts. Prefer cool weather and tend to decline with the onset of warmer weather.

Roses – If necessary, transplant roses as soon as the ground can be worked in late March or early April. Bare-root roses should be planted immediately after purchase. If planting must be delayed, place the bare-root roses in a cool location, such as the garage or refrigerator, until they can be planted.

Sunflowers can be started now in pots indoors or direct sown into garden borders.

Nasturtiums can be sown in pots and modules now. Wait until after all risk of frost has passed to plant in beds.

Finish sowing Petunia seeds under cover this month to ensure the plants reach a good size in time for the summer.

Plant marigolds now in warmth to brighten up your summer bedding.

 

Vegetables

Radishes – Spring radishes are a cool season crop. They can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in late March or early April. Most cultivars mature in 20 to 30 days.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage – Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are cool season vegetables, which grow best in temperatures between 60 and 70 F. However, exposure to prolonged periods of temperatures below 50 F may cause problems.

Lettuce, Spinach, Collards, and Kale – Quality of these plants are reduced with the onset of hot weather due to seed heads and bitter taste.

Onions – Plant onion seeds, sets, and plants as soon as the ground can be worked in spring

Peas – Garden, snow, and snap peas should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. The crop should be mature in approximately 60 to 70 days.

Carrots – Carrots can be sown from early spring to early August. For an early crop, sow seeds in early to mid-April.

Potatoes – Plant certified disease-free potatoes as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. Large potato tubers should be cut into pieces, each containing 1 or 2 growing points or “eyes”. Small potatoes may be planted whole.

 

How to Spot a Problem Tree

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Fallen trees can cause serious damage to property. Here are some tips to help you spot potential problematic trees that are at a greater risk for falling branches or even the entire tree itself.

 

Start from the Bottom

Check the tree’s base, take notice for hollow cavities or the presence of mushrooms could indicate a serious problem. Move on to checking the ground around the circumference under its canopy. Look for roots protruding up from the ground. Visible roots are not problematic in and of themselves, but if there’s other evidence to suggest that the tree is struggling, then protruding roots might mean that the tree is on the verge of toppling over.

 

Lightning

If you encounter a tree that’s missing a long streak of bark along its trunk, it was probably struck by lightning. Being composed mostly of water, trees are excellent conductors of electricity. When lightning hits the canopy, the bolt careens all the way day down to the roots, boiling sap in its wake and creating explosive steam. If there’s damage to one side of the trunk only, the tree might fully recover. But if bark’s missing on multiple sides, it’s likely that the tree isn’t going to survive.

 

Branch Inspection

Remove dead branches as they are the first to fall. On deciduous trees, dead branches either have no leaves or brown leaves in the spring/summer. With evergreen trees, look for brown needles and the absence of bark. If you successfully identify dead branches—and if those branches are easily accessible—go ahead and prune. Otherwise, call in a specialist.

 

Two-Trunk Trees

When trees have two or more trunks, be sure to look closely at the point where they meet. U-shaped connections between trunks are usually not a problem. A tight “V” shape, however, suggests a weak spot. If you’re worried about a particular tree, you can have a steel or elastic cable installed to keep it from splitting apart in high winds. But to be clear, this isn’t a project for the do-it-yourselfer; hire an experienced pro.

 

Call in the Pros

If any of the red flags discussed leave you uncertain about the health of a tree on your property, it’s best to call in a certified arborist. Besides having training and hard-earned knowledge, arborists also have specialized tools they can use to make sophisticated diagnoses far beyond the scope of this article.

Winterizing Your Garden

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This winter may seem nonexistent, but it is coming and here are some tips to prepare for the coming frost.

Tidy Up

Remove any dead leaves and debris from your garden. Pull out any weeds or other unwanted plants. Take special care to place invasive plants — especially the seed heads — in a covered garbage container, not your compost pile.

Compost

After tidying up the garden add about three to four inches of compost to the beds. Nutrients from the mulch will leach into the beds during winter rains. The remnants of the compost can be turned into the soil in the spring.

Shrub Care

Tender shrubs can be wrapped in burlap or agricultural fabric when hard or prolonged freezes are forecast. Remove the fabric when temperatures warm up to prevent overheating the plant. So far this shouldn’t be necessary. Be careful using plastic because it doesn’t breathe and can overheat your shrubs.

Water features.

Don’t allow the pump to freeze. Check with garden pond maintenance experts in your area about whether your pump will move water all winter or whether it and the plants in the pond should be removed and stored until winter.

For some plants…just let it grow!

Fresh veggies. Even during snows and freezes, gardeners in many parts of the country can continue to grow and harvest cool-season crops such as lettuce, spinach, beets, and other vegetables by creating a cold frame from inexpensive wire hoops and agricultural cloth.

Fun Facts about Christmas Light Displays

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One of the best parts about the Christmas and Holiday season is how wonderfully decorated the neighborhood gets.  Whether it is a simple, traditional display or a set up that would make Clark Griswold jealous,  it seems that it just wouldnt be the same if this tradition didn’t exist.  Here are some awesome and interesting facts about Christmas Lights.

  • The First Outdoor Christmas Light Display went up in 1880

 

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first successful practical light bulb, created the very first strand of electric lights. During the Christmas season of 1880, these strands were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory.

 

  • Early Electric Christmas Lights Were Expensive

 

The wiring of electric lights was very expensive and required the hiring of the services of a wireman, our modern-day electrician. According to some, to light an average Christmas tree with electric lights before 1903 would have cost $2000.00 in today’s dollars Until 1903, when General Electric began to offer pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, stringed lights were reserved for the wealthy and electrically savvy.

 

  • The First Light Decorating Contests Were A Marketing Stunt

 

In 1927, General Electric first used the large, intermediate size base for their new outdoor Christmas light bulbs. General Electric and the various Edison Electric distribution companies sponsored many neighborhood “decorating with color-light” contests in an effort to induce sales of the new outfits. Their strategy worked quite well, as within several years communities all over the United States held friendly decorating competitions at Christmastime.

 

  • The Largest Christmas Light Display is in Australia

 

In 2014 the display boasted 1.2 million LED lights, on 75 miles of cable in Petrie Plaza mall in Canberra, Australia.

 

Want the perfect holiday look for your home this year? Organically Green’s expert team can be your Christmas miracle. Call today for more information!

Growing Mums

 

Mums are a great fall flower and will add color to your garden well into the season. Here are some tips to grow mums.

Soil preparation. Mums need well-drained soil.  If your yard gets saturated quickly grow mums in raised beds with friable soil for good root growth.

If the soil is too dense, add compost and prepare to a depth of 8-12 inches for best performance (about 1 inch deeper than they were in the nursery pot). Mums’ roots are shallow, and they don’t like competition. Plant mums, being careful with the roots as you spread them.

Fertilizer. Plants set out in spring should get a 5-10-10 fertilizer once or twice a month until cooler weather sets in. Don’t fertilize plants set out in fall as annuals, but plants you hope to overwinter should get high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth.

Location. Mums need sunlight to thrive. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will be tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers.

Watering.   Give mums about an inch of water per week. Avoid soaking the foliage, which encourages disease.

Overwintering. Prepare mums for winter after the first hard frost. Mulch up to 4 inches with straw or shredded hardwood. Pinch off dead blooms to clean up the plant, but leave branches intact. Mums have a better chance of surviving if you wait to prune old stems until spring. As soon as the weather warms, get rid of the  mulch to allow new shoots to pop up.

Pests. You may notice aphids, leafhoppers, or spider mites, but they are not likely to harm the plant.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show

 

This year’s Hampton Classic will take place on August 23rd through the 30th.  As one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, and a premier destination for horse people, the Classic is a much-anticipated stop on the summer tour. Now well into its third successful decade, The Hampton Classic Horse Show is in a class all its own, both in the minds of spectators and horse people alike.  We at Organically Green are proud to be a sponsor for this event.

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