Gerard Lordahl Answers Your Winter Gardening Questions

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gerard Lordahl, Director of the Open Space Greening Program of the Council on the Environment of New York City, discusses eco-friendly gardening, winter gardening, and botanical vocabulary. He also answers listener questions!


Gerard Lordahl

Comments [26]

Mollie from Brooklyn

This was a great segment. Please have this guest back!

Dec. 21 2009 02:07 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Josefina [21], I tried using those bags in the fridge, but the 1st one started breaking down before it was full! So don't wait too long before taking them out to the compost pile. I switched back to empty snack bags (also in the fridge) & dumped them into the biodegradable bag just before I took it out to compost.

Dec. 21 2009 01:31 PM

I would like to convert my front lawn to a flower bed. It's about 7 to 8 feet by seven to 8 feet.

1) What are the best flowers for moderate sunlight

2) Are there any root issues that I have to worry about since there is a tree that is in front of the house that is about 20 years old and still needs to grow.

Dec. 21 2009 12:39 PM
Angel M. Camareno from United States

My anthurium has shown no growth since I've bought it almost two months ago. My other houseplants are doing fine, great even. What can I do for this poor guy?

Dec. 21 2009 12:39 PM
Charlie from Bensonhurst

How do I find out where my closest Community Garden is? I live in an apartment and I would love to grow some vegetables next spring.

Dec. 21 2009 12:38 PM
Josefina Jimenez from Tribeca

Regarding compost, what I use is biodegradable bags (they look like plastic bags, Bio-Bag is the brand) and come in different sizes. I use the doggie-bag size and store it in the fridge until full.

Dec. 21 2009 12:38 PM
Vance from North Plainfield

Can junk mail that I've put through my paper shredder be used on my compost pile? I've heard it is safe because most inks these days are soy based.

Dec. 21 2009 12:36 PM
Alison from Manhattan

I live in a coop and am on a new founded going greem committee - we have a roof garden - would it be good to have a compost - how much would be too much composting for the garden space we have? Thanks! How to get the info on a start up composting??

Dec. 21 2009 12:34 PM
katie from scarsdale, ny

After Christmas is over, I cut the branches from our christmas trees to protect our outdoor perennial flower beds. It makes me feel less guilty about buying a fresh cut tree.

Dec. 21 2009 12:34 PM
Maria from Brooklyn from Brooklyn, NY

I would love if this was a weekly radio show much like "Car Talk" - I think so many of us in the city, suburbs, and beyond have technical questions about our compost options, how to grow our favorite plans in our specific environments! How to go green? I could listen to this stuff all the time, and would be a nice compliment to looking my questions up in books/internet.

Dec. 21 2009 12:33 PM
marjorie madfis from white plains

Muni composting - White Plains has been picking up garden "waste" and composting it and residents can then come and get the compost for home use

Dec. 21 2009 12:32 PM
Adda from Brooklyn

I have an inside worm compost bin (made possible by the Lower East Side Ecology Center) and I solved my fruit fly problem by putting out a cup of red wine vinegar and breaking the surface tension with a little bit of dish soap. Worked like a charm!

Dec. 21 2009 12:31 PM
Geo from Queens

My blue fir tree partially blocks my garage entrance. Is now a good time to trim it back?

Can I use a stanless steel eyelet to pull the trunk back into a non obstructive position in the spring?

Dec. 21 2009 12:31 PM
anton marcoussi from ny metro region

re compost 2;
I put banana and citrus peels and tea bags into the oven. As I turn on the oven to cook or warm things, the peels and bags dry out before being put into the garden.

Dec. 21 2009 12:30 PM
A.R. Rowe from New York, NY

I brought my cabbages indoors. Small black bugs are living on them. How do I repel the bugs without hurting the cabbage? or neighboring plants in the same window box?

Also, can cabbage survive outside over the winter? How about dill, thyme, lavender, parsley, rosemary, and geraniums?

Also, can you make tea from geranium leaves?

Thank you for a great show!

Dec. 21 2009 12:30 PM
Catherine from Astoria

Are grocery stores and fruit stands required to compost? Could these be neighborhood collection points?

Freezer composter who rides the subway to Union Square

Dec. 21 2009 12:27 PM
anton marcoussi from ny metro region

re "composting", In autumn, I rake all my leaves (mostly maple, some oak) on to my flower bed and cover the leaves with a 50-foot flattened roll of chicken wire. I did it last year as an experiment and repeated it this year because it worked.

Dec. 21 2009 12:26 PM
caroline from manhattan

I have recently discovered urban composting (via the LES ecology project) and have been amazed at the reduction in my household garbage. My question for George is whether he knows if the city plans to provide compost pickup the way San Francisco and other cities have or if there are other movements afoot in the urban gardens?

Dec. 21 2009 12:25 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Does the advice on cacti apply to aloes too? Should I hold off on watering the one on my windowsill till March? The beginning of March? The equinox?

Dec. 21 2009 12:25 PM
Tom from Williamsburg

I use DE to succefully combat cockroaches in my apartment and I found it at the hard ware store. It's used in pool filters. I got a 10 lb package for about $12.00

Dec. 21 2009 12:20 PM
Larry from Nyack

I've collected seed pods from Marigolds, Chrysantamums, and others.

I've read that some seeds need to "winter over" before they sprout.

Where can I find out what seeds need this "cold treatment"?

Will storing in an unheated garage work for them? Or must they be put in a freezer and for how long?

Dec. 21 2009 12:16 PM

Are any cities composting on a commercial city-wide scale or is it just us individual tree-huggers doing the work?

Dec. 21 2009 12:14 PM
Isak Mendes from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

When is the latest that I can plant tulip bulbs?

Dec. 21 2009 12:13 PM
lisa from westchester

what is the best way to prune/clean up clematis and climbing roses?

Dec. 21 2009 12:12 PM
Gerard Lordahl from Brooklyn

In Brooklyn, (zone6-7) with average winter temperatures of 0-10 degrees fahrenheit, it is difficult for unprotected vegetables to survive outdoors as many of our common vegetables (tomato, pepper,) are native to much warmer climates. Perennial vegetables which overwinter underground as viable roots, such as asparagus, rhubarb and horseradish survive underground in winter however nothing above ground.

Dec. 21 2009 08:50 AM
George from Brooklyn

Can I grow vegetables outside in the winter?

Dec. 21 2009 08:09 AM

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