Urban Gardening & Ecology Blog

Weed of the Month: Dandelion

Common Dandelion

Rued by gardeners the world over, the indomitable dandelion easily reigns as the most famous of all weedy plants. With its bright yellow flowers and puffball seed heads, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is what comes to most people’s minds when you say “weed.” Native to temperate regions of Europe and Asia,

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Weed of the Month: Purple Deadnettle

Purple deadnettle and henbit

Few wild plants are hardy enough to emerge in April. The ground has only recently thawed and most are waiting for just the right amount of consistent warmth and moisture before coming up. But purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) takes advantage of the open expanses of soil and lack of competition. This common weedy plant

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School Gardens: Plan(t) for Succession and Success

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So your new school garden is beautiful. Students nurture and nibble kale, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic. Science classes observe and calculate plant growth. Young poets write odes to flowers. You have albums of gorgeous photos. The principal is 100 percent committed. Then, the dynamo volunteer—parent or teacher—leaves

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Spring Spruce-up for Street Trees

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Pamper your street tree bed with some seasonal TLC. March: Remove any evergreen branches, salt-splattered mulch, and dog waste. Flush the bed’s soil with water, slowly and deeply, using a leaky old trash can filled with water or a hose set to a gentle dribble. Next, apply a two- to three-inch layer of fresh wood chips or

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Making Brooklyn Blue

Bluberries

What’s blue, sweet, healthy, and native to Brooklyn? Highbush blueberries! Vaccinium corymbosum is beautiful and bears delicious fruit bursting with nutrients. This deciduous shrub provides multiseasonal interest with dainty, bell-shaped white or pink flowers in spring, berries in summer, and stunning scarlet leaves in

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Saving Seed for a Stronger City

North Brooklyn Farms

Across Brooklyn, acres of vacant space have lain fallow for decades. Within them lies the potential for a new urban landscape. Community gardens and “pop-up” urban farms provide Brooklynites with opportunities to reconnect with nature, create centers of environmental education, and build stronger, more resilient

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