Green Gardening Syracuse NY

Now the new growing season is well under way: May is the perfect time to add to your garden and landscape in Syracuse. And with recent and much-welcomed attention to doing the right thing for the environment, many homeowners are seeking guidance.

The Evergreen Mart
(315) 463-0233
6278 Thompson Rd.
Syracuse, NY
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Garden Centers / Nurseries, Groundcovers, Landscape Architects, Landscaping Services, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

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Q-scapes, Inc.
(315) 446-9930
7107 Kirkville Road
East Syracuse, NY
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Groundcovers, Landscape Architects, Landscaping Services, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

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Sollecito Landscaping Nursery
(315) 468-1142
4094 Howlett Hill Rd
Syracuse, NY
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Animal / Insect Repellent / Deterrent, Boots / Clogs, Chemicals, Clothing, Compost, Compost Tea, Composting, Composting Supplies, Conifers / Evergreens, Craft Materials & Supplies, Equipment, Nursery, Erosion & Sediment Control Supplies, Garden Center Marketing, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Gardening Gloves, Gardening Supplies, Gift Certificates, Gloves, Grass Carrier, Groundcovers, Hand Tools, Horticulture Companies, Hoses / Watering Devices, Irrigation Supplies, Landscape A…

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Dusart Nurseries, Inc.
(315) 672-8229
2075 West Genessee Turnpike
Camillus, NY
Products / Services
Garden Centers / Nurseries, Groundcovers, Landscape Architects, Landscaping Services, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

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CountryMax Stores
(585) 924-4850
5962 Route 31
Cicero, NY
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Landscaping Services, Vegetables

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Chuck Hafner's Farmers Market
(315) 458-2231
5169 West Taft
North Syracuse, NY
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Annuals, Bulbs, Cactus / Succulent, Chemicals, Christmas Lighting, Christmas Ornaments & Decorations, Christmas Trees, Christmas Trees - Cut, Conifers / Evergreens, Crop Protection, Ferns, Fertilizers, Flower Seed, Garden Center Marketing, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Gift Certificates, Gifts & Accents, Greenhouse Growers, Groundcovers, Hand Tools, Herbicides, Holiday Items, Horticulture Companies, Houseplants, Insecticide, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Landscape Architec…

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Ballantyne Gardens
(315) 453-0621
4825 Hopkins Road
Liverpool, NY
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Garden Centers / Nurseries, Groundcovers, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

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Yards & Gardens
(315) 487-2570
5206 W Genesee St
Camillus, NY
Products / Services
Groundcovers, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

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Crazy Daisies
(315) 498-5525
4695 Kasson Road
Syracuse, NY
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Annuals, Cactus / Succulent, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs

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Watson Farms Llc
(315) 677-3157
2778 Us Route 11
La Fayette, NY
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Annuals

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Green Gardening

Now the new growing season is well under way: May is the perfect time to add to your garden and landscape. And with recent and much-welcomed attention to doing the right thing for the environment, many homeowners are seeking guidance.

Fundamental to environmental correctness is proper use of living trees, shrubs and plants to improve the places we live and work. And of all the "green" gardening principles, proper plant selection tops the list.

With all the choices on the market today, this can be a complex and confusing task. Let's try to simplify it.

Before you start, make sure you know what result you and your family want to achieve. Constructing a practical outdoor room, framing a distant view, creating an herb garden near the kitchen, screening a visual irritant, supplementing a natural woodland planting -- these all require different types and combinations of plants.

Understanding how the area will be used simplifies the process of choosing the plants and products to accomplish the end result. Try to have a sketch describing the area, or at least a general plan in mind before you begin shopping.

Know how much you can spend. Creating useful and attractive gardens around your home is a long-term investment -- high-quality plantings add significantly to the value of your property. Limited budgets may make planting in phases more appropriate. Using smaller plants can save initial costs, but be sure to plan for mature size and space accordingly. If you find large gaps, try using annual flowers or herbaceous perennials in these open areas until the larger plants fill-in.

It's also instructive (and lots of fun) to watch a garden mature over time. Taking time to observe often makes it easier to appreciate what to plant next.

Shop at a reputable garden center. Gardening is a long-term process and you'll want the best advice as your garden evolves. Quality plants may seem more expensive at first, but it's really the result that's significant. What's the sense of saving a few dollars at the beginning if the plants turn out to be not hardy or quickly overgrow the area? It's discouraging to invest time and space growing a plant for several years, only to discover it needs to be replaced because it didn't perform as expected.

Combine professional advice with common sense. Although they may appeal because they grow quickly and are inexpensive, avoid using invasive plants or those that can become "garden thugs." Instead of Norway maple (Acer platanoides), burning bush (Euonymus alatus) or barberry (Berberis thunbergii), choose plants like kousa dogwood, Fothergilla or blueberry (Vaccinium) that offer good value and will adapt well to your planting areas.

While native plants may be desirable because they are naturally adapted to the region, not all planting sites are appropriate for natives. Often the area you wish to landscape bears little resemblance to the plant's natural habitat.

For example, it would be unwise to plant a shade-loving rhododendron against a south-facing brick wall with its blazing sun all summer. Sustainability is important for any garden. A valuable source of information about useful trees and shrubs for this region is the $5.95 booklet "A Pocket Guide to Native and Low Maintenance Woody Plants for the Massachusetts Landscape" published by the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (www.mnla.com).

Protect your investment. Don't over-water or let your new plantings dry out. As a general rule, factoring-in natural rainfall, you should provide an inch of water each week for the first growing season. Some plants and locations may require more.

Use the "hydrozoning" principle -- group together plants with similar irrigation needs. Be sure to add mulch to discourage weeds and maintain uniform soil moisture. Remove any weeds that appear while they are still small. Even when you choose pest-resistant plants, few of them are immune to every problem. Watch for insects and other pests that can be damaging, and take early action if they appear. The experts at your local garden center or on the Internet can be supportive in identifying problems, as can books and magazines on gardening.

And most significantly, take the time to step back and revel in the delight of the gardens you're developing. Following logical "green" principles helps make your life in your garden better for your family - and it benefits the environment at the same time.

R. Wayne Mezitt is the chairman of Weston Nurseries of Hopkinton, Mass., and a Massachusetts certified horticulturist. He has served as president of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association, the New England Nursery Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association, based in Washington, D.C.