Urban Gardening & Ecology

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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Healthy Lawns

Cherry Esplanade

If you’ve lounged on Cherry Esplanade or strolled through the Plant Family Collection or Osborne Garden, you’ve surely noticed the Garden has lovely and resilient lawns. What you may not know that they’re thriving without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. What’s more, you can use some of the same strategies

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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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Street Tree Bed Care: Tales from the Trenches

Street Tree Stewardship

Caring for and gardening in a street tree bed is an undeniably good deed. A well-thought-out garden can beautify your block and help protect the tree’s health. But many potential tree bed gardeners have reservations about gardening along a public thoroughfare. Fear not. Instead, read on to assuage your worries. Isn’t

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