WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Warmer weather has finally come to the Tri-State Area for several days in a row, and for homeowners, it is time to break out the gardening gloves.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, there are steps that green-thumbs can take right now to give their gardens a boost.
On Long Island, forsythias are blooming – trumpeting the time to get gardening. The first essential, of course, is water.
“You got to play it by ear with the weather,” said Frank Alfieri of Alfieri and Sons Irrigation.
Lawns will also appreciate crabgrass preventer, experts said.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – especially in gardening,” said Bob Friedl of Hicks Nurseries in Westbury.
Friedl said you should give lawns and plants a helping of food and time to fertilize.
“It’s like feeding your child – they’re not going to grow very healthy if you don’t feed them,” he said.
It is also time to mulch garden beds, Friedl said.
“It’s worth it, because it looks good, cuts down on watering, and stops weeds from coming up,” he said.
Friedl also advised breaking out pruning shears to shape roses gently – but go easy. You can also plant some hardy vegetables, such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuces – which Friedl said like cool nights.
“If you get a mild freeze, they would bend over a little bit; they would wake up in the morning and say, ‘Ah, that felt good,’” he said.
Tomatoes like it warmer, so Friedl advised planting seeds and growing indoors until around Mother’s Day.
“You get your own varieties, and let’s face it, it cost you a lot less,” he said.
With the advice in mind, green thumbs were itching to get busy.
“I cannot wait to plant my flowers. I cannot wait for my hydrangea to bloom,” said Laurie Siegel of New Hyde Park.
But hold off on pruning hydrangeas – the dead wood holds living buds.
Forsythia and almost everything outdoors is coming to life almost a month behind schedule. Homeowners say it’s about time.