When Should I Call the Professionals For a Plant Diagnosis?

Call Professionals for Plant Diagnosis

When it comes to owning plants, you soon realize there can be a lot more involved than simply watering them every so often. In fact, the type of plant, as well as the environment that surrounds it can create a plethora of possibilities, which can determine whether they thrive or not.

With that said, there are several things that can happen during the lifespan of your plant. So how do you know if the issue is a DIY fix or requires a professional plant diagnosis? We’re going to outline 3 projects that you should at least get professional supervision, if not let the pros just do outright.

Choosing The Right Plants

There’s a bit more involved in choosing the right plants beyond “this looks nice”. People forget that plants are living things that must be able to thrive in its environment for everything to work out, otherwise it’s a waste of time and money. After all, your plant diagnosis starts with the plants you decide to own and nurture!

Taking Care of Your Trees

Contrary to what most think, trees require more than sunlight and oxygen. So when it comes to taking care of your trees – it’s essential to scope out your area to keep your house and property safe, while ensuring your trees are disease-free – that’s a task best left to the professionals.

Enhancing Your Soil

Your plants, trees and shrubs can only be as healthy as the soil they sit on top of. This means the majority of your plant’s needs come from one place, making it all the more important to have someone with experience in charge. 

There are plenty of DIY tricks you can use to ensure the health and wellbeing of your plants, but some things are simply cut out for professionals only. Think you may need a professional plant diagnosis? Feel free to contact one of our ISA-certified arborists to schedule an appointment today!

Professional Spotted Lanternfly & Beech Leaf Disease Treatment Services

Spotted Lanternfly & Beech Leaf Disease Treatment

Organically Green’s cutting-edge beech leaf and spotted lanternfly treatment services are specially designed to help Long Island residents alleviate a common, yet potentially devastating problem. To note, many Long Islanders are quick to assume that issues of this sort are ‘not serious’ and therefore, don’t require professional attention. While this may be correct in some cases, it does pose a relevant risk that just may not call for such gambling.

Organically Green’s Premium Spotted Lanternfly Treatment

In a perfect world, spotted lanternflies are treated proactively during the summer or early fall. This is accomplished by scrapping their eggs before they’re able to hatch – alleviating the issue before it hatches into one! A professional that knows what to look for will likely find the eggs on trees, rocks – even man-made objects such as lawn ornaments, which will be covered in a stick, wax-like substance. 

However, in most cases, you don’t realize you have a problem until your only option is to react. So in this case, you can have the ISA-certified Organically Green arborists employ their state-of-the-art chemical solutions. However, spotted lanternfly treatment isn’t always so cut and dry – you have to know what you’re looking for, determine what stage of the life cycle the spotted lanternflies are in and choose the appropriate remedy for the aforementioned situation. 

Top-Of-The-Line Beech Leaf Disease Treatment 

Beech leaf disease all starts from a microscopic worm – a disease that harms trees significantly. Discovered as late as 2012, beech leaf disease treatment has come a long way, however there is no finite treatment. Instead, the professionals at Organically Green can work to prevent this from happening in the first place. This is all the more reason to have us readily available, so we can spot and terminate tree-killing diseases before they take shape.

You can get started by contacting one of our professionals today, and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!

How to Keep Your Plants Healthy During the Winter Months

Plant Healthcare Winter

The winter months represent some of the most trying times for plants. As a result, the horticultural professionals at Organically Green employ their cutting-edge plant healthcare tactics and strategies to help plants not only survive, but thrive all year round! However, while some more intensive efforts call for nothing short of a professional touch, there are some things you can do to be proactive.

Keep Your Plants Clean

It’s no secret that sunlight is scarce during the winter months. With that said, you’ll want to maximize any exposure your plants can get throughout the day – so the best thing you can do is to keep your plants clean. This means keeping leaves and debris away and keeping their leaves clean, so they can get as much from the sun as possible. In addition to potential light obstruction, plants can also endure suffocation-caused damage, which can affect their overall growth. Think of this like proactive plant healthcare.

Proper Watering is Key

Depending on the types of plant(s) you have, their need for water will vary. For instance, some plants require little-to-no water during winter seasons, while others require constant watering. However, when temperatures drop, the ground starts to freeze, making it harder for plants to extract water and nutrients from the soil they sit on. To combat this, make sure to water your plants (that need it) early in the morning and only when the temperature is above 40 degrees, otherwise your plants won’t be able to absorb the water anyway.

This is a great start for DIY plant healthcare, but all situations are unique. If you’re experiencing problems beyond these examples, consider contacting one of the plant healthcare experts at Organically Green. We have years of combined experience treating plants and gardens all year round. 

The Benefits of Tree and Shrub Fertilization

Tree and Shrub Fertilization

Fertilization shouldn’t end with your grass, as it is ideal for trees and shrubs as well. While your typical gardener might (wrongfully) overlook this integral step, it’s actually one of the best, most proactive measures you can take in ensuring the long-term health of your shrubs and trees. 

Proper shrub fertilization can help to stimulate growth and maintain long-term prosperity. In fact, fertilizers provide highly important nutrients that don’t only promote growth, but strength and resilience as well (this becomes important as the colder seasons approach). However, shrub and tree fertilization services aren’t the same as those of the grass variety and as a result, often require professional care. Variables such as timing, calculating the “root zone”, incorporating “smart snacks” and more are all vital factors in ensuring your trees and shrubs get the best care possible. 

We always recommend contacting a professional for shrub and tree fertilization services, but this is especially true if your garden has been subject to any kind of construction. This is the case because leftover rubble, or even common occurrences like leaf removal in the Fall can potentially disrupt the natural cycling of nutrients in your soil. If your soil is impacted, the plants and shrubs that sit upon them will almost certainly be too!

Compromising your soil, trees and shrubs simply isn’t worth the risk. That’s why you should consider contacting one of Organically Green’s ISA (International Society of Arboriculture)-certified professionals for cutting-edge shrub fertilization and tree fertilization services. We have the skills and resources to get to the “root” of the problem and find solutions sooner, rather than later.

Have a question or concern about shrub and tree fertilization? Be sure to contact us to keep your garden looking green. 

Your Fall Checklist For Long Island Tick and Mosquito Control

Long Island Tick and Mosquito Control

It’s all too common for Long Islanders to gain a false sense of security when it comes to ticks and mosquitoes once the weather starts cooling down. While mosquitos are less common during the fall, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for proactive Long Island Tick and mosquito control. Wondering why?

The truth is, proactive measures designed to prevent tick and mosquito infestations can be just as (if not more) effective than getting rid of them once they’re already here. So we’ve put together this Fall checklist, so you can stay one step ahead of these tiny pests.

Clean Out Any Outdoor Structures

Garages and sheds are great for keeping you organized, and even better for mosquitoes and rodents to thrive. Ensuring the interiors of these structures are cleaned and maintained is one less method for these pests to breed right under your nose.

Check For Potential Breeding Grounds

When your shed and/or garage is cleaned out, mosquitos will search for viable alternatives. Items like tarps, outdoor toys and containers (those that can hold excess water from rainfall) are like a safe haven for these pests. Be sure to drill holes in these containers, such as garbage cans and planters, to avoid unwanted company.

Prioritize Yard Maintenance

The more you stay on top of your yard, the fewer opportunities ticks and mosquitoes will have to get settled for the winter. Keeping grass short, weeds down, dead plants from sticking around and masses of leaves from forming are among some of the best, most proactive ways for keeping your home pest-free.

Contact The Experts At Organically Green

Organically Green is your source for cutting-edge Long Island Tick and Mosquito Control, year-round! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our trained arborists, so you can prevent pests before it’s too late.

Why is Plant Health Care Important?

Plant Health Care

Plants, trees, and shrubs are only able to thrive as well as their local environment allows them to. Given all the exterior forces that can affect their ability to thrive, such as environmental stress, pests, and competition for nutrients – health-related issues are quite common. The many factors that can impact a plant’s health can also make diagnosing the actual cause of the problem difficult, creating a need for professional plant health care services.

A garden is so much more than a collection of plants for so many across Long Island. It represents their little oasis, a peaceful escape that beautifies their home and melts away stress. We at Organically Green perform our professional plant health care services to preserve and prolong the health of gardens across Long Island.

Before any action can be taken, we must first diagnose the cause of your plants’ declining health. After narrowing down the causes, we can then start implementing our cutting-edge, organic methods that work to treat your foliage based on their specific needs – no cookie cutter practices here! From here, we monitor the effects of our efforts to confirm the validity of our diagnosis and ensure that your plants can continue to live without complications.

Investing in state-of-the-art plant health care services means employing custom solutions to ensure the short and long-term prosperity of your personal oasis. It’s best not to assume, which is why we don’t take any chances during our diagnostic process. Contact one of our expert arborists to identify and treat any issues your plants may be having.

Prepare Your Garden for Spring

It’s finally that time of year! Spring is almost here! It’s time to prepare your garden for another growing season. 

Hopefully, through the winter you’ve been staying on top of things like deadheading and pruning that way you have a head start on cleanup tasks, but if you haven’t now is the time to start!

Remove old flower heads from perennial plants, living weeds, damaged branches, and older mulch and grass clippings. Most of these things can be placed in a compost heap to become incorporated into the soil. If it is already well-composted in place you can use organic matter to work into the soil and increase nutrient levels. You want to expose the soil so you can prepare it for flowers and other plants. 

At this point you can add an organic fertilizer along with the older mulch, working the soil until it’s all mixed in. This will ready the garden bed for spring planting, and giving it the nutrients it needs to support your flowers and vegetables. This will also help to loosen up the soil which is important after being compacted all winter long. While you’re digging up the soil, it’s the perfect time to perform a soil test to see what your pH levels are and whether or not you need to make adjustments. Your local cooperative extension can help with this. 

If you’re going to be using raised bed planters early spring is a good time to purchase soil specifically formulated for raised beds. While it may be too early to plant most crops, being prepared for warmer weather never hurts. If you decide to plant cool weather crops like lettuce, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts, be sure to cover crops with a frost protectant on nights that may still be extremely cold. 

Finally, once you’ve gotten your beds prepared and your garden ready for next month’s planting you can spend some time dividing up perennials—like bearded iris, hostas, and daylilies. These perennials can often begin to crowd each other out over time, causing their blooms to get smaller and more sparse as time goes on. By splitting them you give them more room to grow. The most important thing to remember with splitting plants is that your garden tools must be sterilized with alcohol first. You can spread disease and pests from one plant to another if you don’t keep your tools clean. 

When Do I Start Mowing My Lawn?

Spring is coming and your lawn is getting ready to wake up from the long winter. But when is the best time to start mowing your lawn? The best time to mow your lawn is in early spring after the risk of frost has passed. You don’t want to shock your grass’s new growth by cutting too quickly. 

Once you’re sure the risk of frost has passed, before you mow, it’s important to prepare your lawn for the season. Applying a weed and feed fertilizer as part of your lawn care is a good idea before any mowing happens. Just remember to wait until after April 1, as it is illegal in Nassau and Suffolk counties to apply fertilizer before then. 

Once it’s warmed up, you’ve fed and put down weed control, and your lawn has started growing in earnest, it’s time to get your mower ready. When the grass has grown at least two inches tall it should be safe to cut. This helps to protect the roots. Make sure your blade is sharpened and adjusted so that you’re never cutting more than a third of its length in any single cutting. This will help the lawn grow lush and strong. Depending on your type of grass, as a rule of thumb, you should let the lawn reach 2–3” in length. 

To help return nutrients to your lawn it’s another good idea to leave some of the clippings where they fall so that they can decompose and release nitrogen. 

Finally, don’t water your “new” lawn right away. Wait until the heat arrives to wilt the lawn a bit. This will tell the roots to grow deeper which will help them to survive the heat later in the summer. 

Hay Bale Gardening

Hay bale gardening, or straw bale gardening—as it should be called—is a great way to make your growing season easy and plentiful. They’re an alternative to using raised beds and they’re great for growing vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and strawberries with little to no effort on your part. Hay bales are a wonderful growing medium; though corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes aren’t a great choice for straw bales. 

Before you start your straw bale garden it’s important to choose a location. Pick a sunny spot that’s near a water source or within reach of your hose. Once you start your garden it will be impossible to move due to the weight, so choose carefully. 

Next, you’ll want to source your straw bale. Your local garden centers may carry straw bales, but be sure that they haven’t been treated with any chemicals and that they’re straw and not hay bales. Hay bales contain seeds that will germinate once you condition the bale, and you don’t want that. You want straw, which is the stalk of the wheat plant. Hay is generally sold as livestock feed, so ask before you buy to be sure you’re getting straw. 

After you source your bales and have a location, put down some newspaper or cardboard under your bale. This prevents weeds from growing up into the bale, so make sure it sticks out a few inches around the sides of the bale. Then it’s time to condition your bale. Once you’re done conditioning the bales you won’t be able to move it anymore, so be sure about that placement!

Conditioning the bale is next. Conditioning basically turns the bale into a compost pile. You’ll begin by watering the bale. They have to stay wet, so do this once a day. This starts the decomposition process that heats up the bale. After day 4 sprinkle the top of the bale with fertilizer, such as a cup of ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) or half a cup of urea (46-0-0). Your local garden centers can help you find these. Do this for three days. After that, cut the amounts in half and do it for 2 more days. Each day water the fertilizer into the bale to ensure it penetrates all the way through. On the 10th day stop adding fertilizer, but keep up with the watering process. 

On day 11 you’ll want to check the bale’s temperature. If it feels about the same as your hand it’s safe for planting seedlings. If not, continue watering and check it the next day. You want to make sure it’s not hot enough to cook tender young plants. 

Once the bale is conditioned you can use a small shovel or trowel to dig a hole in the top of the bale. If you are using container plants dig a hole slightly larger than the pot your plant came in. Then remove the pot, being careful not to damage the plant root, and place it in the hole you just made. Do not remove the potting soil around the plant. That should go in the hole along with the plant. Push the straw around the base of the plant to help secure it. 

And that’s it! You have your straw bale garden. The most important thing you’ll need to remember once your garden is going is that it will need to be kept constantly moist. This can be accomplished through thoroughly soaked waterings every day or through the use of a soaker hose and drip irrigation. Whichever way you choose the microbes in the straw need that moisture to survive and help your plants to grow, so be sure to help them by keeping your hay bale moist. 

Once your bale is done for the year you can take it apart and throw it into the compost pile so you can return the nutrients in it to the soil. It’s the perfect way to garden without waste. Give it a try this summer! You’ll love the results. 

January and February Gardening Tasks

Yes, it’s cold and often grey outside, but that doesn’t mean your garden chores are done for the season! Believe it or not, your garden is still a living and growing thing all through winter. Now that the days are growing longer you’ll have more time to get all of your indoor and outdoor gardening chores done. 

January and February are the months to consider doing a winter prune on your deciduous shrubs and fruit trees, before the buds pop. Trim out anything dead, diseased, or damaged. This will be easier to see now before there are any leaves on the branches. Trees and shrubs left unpruned may have fewer blooms and less growth come spring. Prune roses as well and they’ll reward you with a riot of blooms. 

It’s also a good time for planting early spring bulbs! Yes, it’s true, if you can work the soil it’s not too late to plant spring-flowering plants such as Crocus, Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils and more. For summer bulbs you’ll want to take a look at them and make sure none of them are rotted or collapsed. This indicates either disease or a bug infestation, so you’ll want to get rid of those before it spreads to your healthy bulbs.

Examine your perennial plants for frost heaves. This happens when the roots get exposed due to the freezing and thawing cycles of the ground. If you find them make sure the roots are properly buried and consider adding some mulch over the area to prevent future heaves. 

January and February are a good time to plant bare-root hedges, which are cheaper than pot-grown. These should become available toward the end of February, so think about digging your holes now when the ground is softer and easier to work with. 

Sweet Pea is one of the great early crops to start from seed packets at this time. Early January is the best time to do that. Make sure they are in a frost-free area, and they’ll be ready for planting in March or April!

Turn the soil in your vegetable garden. The weather over the next few months will help to break it down and get it ready for planting in spring once the cold weather passes.