A Note From Rick | Vegetable and Community Gardens are Going Full Steam Ahead

August 11, 2021

By Kathleen Kennedy, Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

It’s midsummer and the vegetable garden and community gardens are going full steam ahead!

Summer squashes, cucumbers, kale, chard, carrots and summer lettuce joined the first tomatoes, peppers and eggplants of the season to make a substantial harvest for the food pantry this week. We can count on similar hauls in the weeks to come, plus lots of pole beans.

We harvest every Monday morning with the help of our reliable volunteers who help us pick and get produce to the food pantry by 11:00 a.m.

But with almost three more months of growing season left, this is no time to rest on laurels. Seedlings of green and red cabbages, Chinese cabbage, broccoli and bulb fennel will be planted this week, as well as the last sowings of carrots, bush beans and beets. Lettuce seeds will be sown in flats for planting out in a couple of weeks, when the sun isn’t as strong and the weather may be cooler. A couple of community gardeners are trying late plantings of cucumber and zucchini this year. You may want to try, too.


We’ve had so many visitors lately, many coming to see the sculpture exhibition!

We’ve had many compliments about the sculptures and their placement, all selected and curated by Cheryl Sokolow of C. Fine Art. Working with Cheryl, we spent a lot of time deciding which piece would go where and how best to enhance the individual gardens and the larger landscape. If you haven’t already, visit and see for yourself how we did.

And, please let us know what you think!


Kevin Barrett's Guided Spirit attracts many viewers near the perennial bed

In the Orchard

It’s hard to believe that those young apple and pear trees we planted just two years ago are now mostly six feet tall. Some apples are even bearing fruit. Not very many, of course, but they represent the possibility of future abundance. Managing the orchard as a no-mow, grassy meadow has been a time saver and looks good too. We added a couple of thorn-less blackberries this spring to enhance the meadow and provide snacks to visitors. Over time, we’ll add native wildflowers and grasses.

The daffodils we planted around each tree were a delight this spring. They bloomed with the trees. According to permaculturalists, a ring of daffodils protects trees from damage by voles. Actually, we do mow the orchard twice per season. One mowing will be soon and one will be at the very, very end of the season, perhaps the end of December. Both of these mowings discourage voles from setting up camp and make them more exposed to predators if they do venture in.


Like all the plantings at Bridge Gardens, we manage the orchard using only organic applications. Helping us with the orchard is Paul Wagner of Greener Pastures Organics who has led many programs over the years to share his knowledge with you.

If you’re thinking of planting fruiting trees in your landscape, take note of an upcoming workshop that Paul will be leading on Tuesday, August 17. Click here for details.


Oriental lily 'Casablanca' is in full bloom next to red monarda

Now is a great time to enjoy your own garden — and to visit us! There’s much to see at Bridge Gardens in August as perennials, shrubs and trees flourish in the warmth of late summer. I hope to see you soon!

~~ Rick

Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.