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Lawn & Landscaping Advice from Bridge Gardens

The Peconic Land Trust has partnered with the Perfect Earth Project and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County on sustainable lawn care and gardening programs at Bridge Gardens.

Free Lawn Care Advice

Since 2014, lawn and landscape professional Paul Wagner of Greener Pastures Organics has provided free lawn care advice weekly to homeowners and professional landscapers at Bridge Gardens.

Have questions: Email 

In addition, Paul partners with Garden Director Rick Bogusch on educational workshops related to growing and maintaining your gardens. Topics have included controlling crabgrass, selecting and planting the best grass seed, controlling insect and fungus in the lawn, lawn renovation strategies, as well as guidance on growing and maintaining roses organically. 

How-To Videos

What's Up with My Lawn, Part I

What's Up with My Lawn, Part II

Rick and Paul on Compost

Paul Discusses Summertime Rose Care

Rick on Dividing Ferns in Fall

Zoom Panel: The Importance of Growing Native Plants: A Guide for Your Landscape

The panel includes:

For additional resources from the panelists check out our blog post here.

Community Garden

Bridge Gardens offers access to 22 Community Garden plots.

For more information about getting your plot for next year, contact Rick Bogusch or Robin Harris at 631.283.3195.

Community garden at Bridge Gardens

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets and More:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County:

Fact sheets available on lawn care and a variety of gardening techniques. For more information, visit their website.

Perfect Earth Project:

The Basics of Perfect Lawn Care from the Perfect Earth Project

Advice from the Perfect Earth Project

  1. Soil. The foundation for plant health, strong deep roots and nutrient uptake. Chemicals kill the natural immune systems that occur in soil. Healthy soil contains organisms that fight lawn and landscape pests, eliminating the need for continual toxic pesticide treatments.
  2. Water. Overwatering promotes shallow rooting, fungus diseases, mosquitoes, and nutrient run off. Do not start watering in early summer until the weather is truly dry. Monitor your irrigation settings: water infrequently and deeply. Once, or maybe twice a week for at least an hour is generally adequate.
  3. Mowing. Mow high: 3-4". Longer leaf blades collect more sun, provide more energy to roots and shade out weeds. Mow often: remove no more than 1/3 of a leaf blade at a time. Mow sharp: dull mower blades tear grass which invites fungus infections. Leave clippings: grass clippings return nutrients to the soil.
  4. Aeration. Aerate annually, more often in high traffic areas. Aeration reduces compaction and encourages better drainage and incorporation of nutrients.
  5. Fertilization. Feed lawns in early fall only. Spring Fertilization encourages fast, weak growth and invites disease problems in hot weather. Use compost or slow-release, organic fertilizer. Slow release fertilizers feed your lawn continuously over the course of the growing season, eliminating the peaks and valleys of chemical fertilization. They are also less likely to run off, reducing the risk for watershed pollution.
  6. Overseeding. Rake and over seed in fall when grass seed germinates best and weed seeds are dormant. Grass will then out-compete weeds in the spring.
  7. Diversity. Clover fixes nitrogen (natural fertilizer) and fills gaps in lawns. Dandelions are excellent aerators and are soon overwhelmed by the healthy turf they pioneered.
  8. Be Patient. Most good things take time, and a healthy, pest resistant lawn is no different. By making your lawn accustomed to gradual, rather than rapid change, you produce a balanced ecosystem that is resilient to environmental stresses around it.
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