Filed under: Compost, family activities, gardening, MillionTrees NYC, Nature, Queens, Tree care, volunteer | Tags: botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, compost, composting, environment, family activities, gardening, gardening tips, MillionTreesNYC, New York, plants, public garden, public gardens, Queens, sustainability, trees
Welcome to spring! City trees are blooming and leafing out in parks and tree beds alike, bringing much-needed bursts of color to our landscape.
Now is a great time to offer your trees a bit of tender loving care. There are several things you can do to help your tree out, especially in this unnaturally dry and warm spring we are experiencing.
Young street trees (those which have lived less than 5 years in a tree bed) are in the most danger of suffering from lack of water. Keeping the soil moist will ensure that tree roots grow downward and establish themselves in the tree beds.
To prepare the soil for watering, remove any remaining mulch which may have collected animal waste and other pollution throughout the winter. Remove any trash as well. Take a cultivator or other small gardening tool and loosen up the soil throughout the bed, being careful to watch for roots that may be just under the soil. Loosening the soil is an essential step to making sure the water stays in the tree bed and doesn’t drain off into the sewer system.
Adding compost to the tree bed will help the soil retain moisture and provide air space for tree roots to grow. Work no more than an inch or two of compost in first 2 inches of soil. Either vermicompost (from and indoor composting bin) or compost from an outdoor bin or garden store are great additions to a tree bed. If mulch is available, add 1-3 inches of mulch over the loosened soil, maintaining a space of 6 inches around the trunk of the tree free of mulch. The mulch will help retain water in the bed as well and prevent it from evaporating on warm, dry days.
Now, the tree is ready to be watered! Young trees need 15-20 gallons of water a week, all at once. Slowly pour the water into the tree bed (or use a hose on a low-flow setting) until the bed is saturated. Pouring the water in the “moat” area near the trunk created by the mulch is one way to capture water in the tree bed. Let the water absorb into the soil before adding more to keep water from running off onto the street and sidewalk.
Spring is also a great time to shape up your trees, literally. For decades, TreesNY has been training New Yorkers to safely (and legally) prune NYC street trees. Pruning helps keep trees healthy, safe, and beautiful. The Citizen Pruner course in Queens starts in May and takes place in Long Island City. To find out more and register, please visit treesny.org. If you have trees that need pruning on your block, you can also call TreesNY to alert Citizen Pruners in your neighborhood. If trees in your neighborhood are posing a danger, please submit a pruning request through 311.
Filed under: Events, family activities, gardening, Queens | Tags: botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, childrens gardening, environment, family activities, gardening, New York, public garden, public gardens, Queens, vegetables
The QBG Blogger could write a post with details about this new and very exciting program, but we’ll defer to the expert — the program’s coordinator, Maureen Regan. Check out the interview on New York 1 News, and be sure to stop by this Saturday’s Open House from 10am to 2pm.
Filed under: family activities, Food, Queens | Tags: botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, environment, family activities, public garden, public gardens, Queens, Queens food
Hello and good day Garden lovers!
With spring fully roused from her slumber, now is the perfect time to splash in the warmth of the Garden, and take a soul-easing stroll through the Fragrance Walk or Woodland Garden. And when your mind starts considering lunch or a snack, why not enjoy one of our local eateries?
Many QBG staffers take a quick walk up Main Street to a local favorite — QQ Cafe & Bakery (42-57 Main Street). Dishing up some of the best pork buns, dumplings, and cakes around, it’s perfect for a quick, inexpensive meal. Our staff chow connoisseurs particularly recommend the pickled cabbage bun!
Filed under: Events, family activities, gardening, Nature, Queens | Tags: bees, birds, botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, environment, family activities, flowers, gardening, New York, plants, public garden, public gardens, Queens
Spring is in full bloom at QBG! This is the perfect time to enjoy all the beauty of the season, and there’s no better place than right here!
The list of flowers in bloom is enormous but some highlights include crabapple and cherry trees, tulips, grape hyacinth, daffodils, magnolias, dogwoods and eastern redbuds.
Our bees are…well, busy bees! Stop by the Bee Garden and watch them buzzing in and out of the hives to collect pollen. Just as busy are the birds – our robins are looking for nest sites, the red-winged blackbirds trilling all around the Meadow, and migrating warblers are catching a snack as they continue their journey. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for our charming Italian wall lizards as they warm themselves in the sun.
You can be just as busy at the Garden too! The QBG Store is stocked with great treats and gifts, and stop by the Children’s Activity Table on Saturdays from 1 to 4pm where kids can create a take-home treat. We hope you can make it for the Intergenerational Garden Open House on April 14, and be sure to mark your calendars for our 2nd Annual Arbor Fest on April 29 – an afternoon filled with family fun!