Urban Gardening Blog

Restorative Gardening on Brooklyn’s Coast

Tree bed in Canarsie

From the overflowing window boxes of Bay Ridge to the patchwork of urban farms in East New York, gardening in Brooklyn means tradition, therapy, discipline, beauty, and can-do resilience. But when the second spring since Sandy came this year, many gardeners in coastal Brooklyn did not see the buds and blooms they were used

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Trees are for Kids!

Homemade sign in a tree bed

Young gardeners learn best by doing, and street trees could use their help! Here are some tree-rific tips to get started: Prep: Scout your tree bed for anything hazardous that should first be removed by you. Dress the part: It’s dirty work, so think fashion for scarecrows—gloves and old clothes. De-trash: Together,

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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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