Growing Green with Gerard Lordahl

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gerard Lordahl, Greening Director of GrowNYC, talks about late-summer gardening and answers questions about tending to your plants, planting new seeds, and keeping gardens green and growing into the fall.

If you have a question for Gerard, call us at 212-433-9692 or leave a question as a comment, below!


Gerard Lordahl

Comments [22]

RE: Lawns -- try meadowscaping. Lawns are completely wasteful -- use up too much water, fertilizing leads to runoff and they provide nothing in the way of food or shelter for birds, butterflies, bees, etc. We've become accustomed to this green carpet around our homes which is environmentally wasteful.dd

Aug. 24 2012 12:46 PM
Peg from Upstate

Another reason why you might have seen many flowers this summer, but little fruit.

This summer's unusually high sustained temperatures (over 90) prohibits fruit formation in many plants. Also, plants demanded much more water this summer and may have been too stressed to form the fruit.

Aug. 24 2012 12:44 PM
JoEllen Trilling from Keyport NJ

I have a 3' X 3" raised bed between my driveway, sidewalk and street and harvested a great crop of garlic there this year. I would like to plant garlic on the same plot in October... What must I do to the soil if it's depleted in order to have another good crop? I am a front yard edible garden farmer in keyport New Jersey

Aug. 24 2012 12:37 PM
Michael Connors from queens

Pleas help with spider mites! We have been battling them for a year. What can we do?

Aug. 24 2012 12:34 PM
Rosemary from Manhattan

I lost 3 year old boxwoods due to Hurricane Irene at the NJ shore. Do you have any recommendations on a slow growing evergreen that has a boxwood hedge look but is salt tolerant? Thank you.

Aug. 24 2012 12:33 PM

I started growing a lemon tree from an organic seed from a Zlemon I bought at the market. It's a beautiful small tree. Needs a larger pot and hasn't produced lemons. It's three years old. I put it out for awhile in summer each day and bring it inside in winter. Any advice for taking care of it in the winter when it's inside my apartment.

Aug. 24 2012 12:31 PM
Sherrie Allan from NYC

I planted a fig tree this spring in a container. It has a few little figs on it, which do not seem to be growing. The tree (which is on a small balcony - the only spot I have for it) may not be getting enough sun. I also fertilized it with organic 3-3-3.

It will have to winter outside. How do I best protect the roots? And, do I water the tree during the winter?

Thank you!

Aug. 24 2012 12:27 PM
Dennis from Astoria


I am growing coffee plants in my apartment, and was wondering when the right time would be to clip the apical meristem. I also missed your advice about the mushrooms from a previous question; I don't mind the mushrooms at all, but did you mention that the mushrooms take away needed acidity from the plants?

Thank you so much!


Aug. 24 2012 12:27 PM
Enrique E. Facundo from NYC

I was told boiling marigold leaves and then spraying that liquid, once it cools, on the squash will help. Any validity to that?

Aug. 24 2012 12:25 PM

Are there any resources, such as a website with pictures, to help identify the weeds likely to appear in a Brooklyn yard?

Aug. 24 2012 12:24 PM
Linda from West Babylon, NY

My house plants have mold growing on the top of the soil. How do you prevent this from happening. I changed the soil on one plant and it came back.

Aug. 24 2012 12:24 PM
Sher from Lower Manhattan

Please ask Mr. Lordahl how to get the City to pay attention, right in the Mayor's backyard, to the disgraceful lack of maintenance attention to the cherry trees donated by Japan,located directly between the Municipal Building and Police Headquarters, that are being choked by strangling ivy vines? Dept of Parks says it is not their responsibility but DCAS clearly is unable or unwilling to manage this park. This is urgent! Those trees are dying and totally unattended!

Aug. 24 2012 12:23 PM
Herbert Shalant

I heard that corn is sweeter if you pick it before sunrise, before the suugar is convered to starch by normal sunlight, contrary to what Leonard's farmer friend told him. Can you confirm?

Aug. 24 2012 12:22 PM

It's very difficult to grow ferns in NYC apartments. Ferns need a moist/humid environment and most NYC apartments are dry -- especially in the winter when the heat's on.

Aug. 24 2012 12:22 PM
Sandra from Bklyn

My east-facing patio is drenched in sunlight most of the day and the last few summers have been an uphill battle against NOT frying everything; tomatoes, basil, hops and flowers of all kinds. The patio itself is black, diamond steel plate so the plants are getting heat from top and bottom. Any recommendations?

Aug. 24 2012 12:21 PM
Penny from Downtown

No big box stores/soil delivery problem: I needed a big cube of peat this summer to make a lingonberry bog. I discovered that if you order a large, heavy item from Ace Hardware online, they have an option to deliver it free to your neighborhood Ace store. Then you just need to dolly it from that nearby store. It was quick and easy.

Aug. 24 2012 12:21 PM
Laura from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I am trying to establish a clover lawn, with only moderate success. I understand I'll do better if I "innoculate" the clover seed before planting. What does this mean, and how do I do it?

Aug. 24 2012 12:20 PM
cmgworks from Yantai China

When I was a child, my mother would hang the tomato plant with roots and green tomatoes attached upside-down in the garage during the winter. We would have ripened tomatoes into winter. This was in Seattle.

Aug. 24 2012 12:19 PM
Nick from Jackson Heights

In June I sprayed nematodes into my garden soil to combat black vine weevils. I have recently started to see their tell-tale bite marks on my hollies and Liriope. Would it be effective to spray nematodes into the soil again at this time of the year?

Aug. 24 2012 12:17 PM
matt from edison nj

all of neighbors tomatoes are black on the bottom this year. (?)

Aug. 24 2012 12:14 PM
robert from Brooklyn


How can I get rid of crab grass with using pesticides and poisons?

Every summer I do battle ripping out shoot I can find, but after I return from my 2 week foundation in July, I find that it has flourished and taken over.

Thank you.

Aug. 24 2012 12:11 PM
Barbara from Brooklyn, NY

My tomatoes are dying - should I just pull them and plant the cold weather vegetables?

Aug. 24 2012 12:09 PM

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