West 104th Street Garden

April 16, 2014

A Tip for Getting Rid of Mosquitos

Filed under: Gardening Tips,News — by west104garden @ 4:05 pm

Get rid of mosquitoes. Easy way.



June 21, 2012

Make Music NY is Today! Plus How to Stay Cool

Filed under: Events,Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 8:21 am
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Hi Garden People,

Make Music NY is today, the longest and, yes, the hottest, day of the year. So far we have had two cancelations due to the weather, so we are down to just 1-3, 5-6 and 7-8 pm performances with the possibility of some of our garden/neighbor kids performing around 6:30.

And yes it is going to be hot. For those of you who are reluctant to help out today because of the heat, a thought would be to drop off chilled, bottled water or sports drinks and salty snacks for the musicians and garden volunteers. You would only be out for a little while and it would be very much appreciated.

Also, if you are out in the garden today, please give some extra water to our community beds or anyone’s whose bed looks particularly thirsty. Be sure to check on elderly neighbors in your building and keep yourself hydrated, too.

Here is an article about how to protect plants during heat spells. http://www.wikihow.com/Protect-Your-Garden-During-a-Harsh-Summer

Thanks and stay cool today!


May 23, 2012

Tips for Weeding

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 12:08 pm
Tags: ,

I spent an afternoon recently pulling up hundreds of elm tree seedlings that were germinating in my plot, making me feel sort of like the Onceler in Dr. Suess’ Lorax story. I could console myself in that the trees would not survive there anyway and I am doing a good deed for the plans I do want to prosper.

Speaking of weeds, Dinorah Matias recommends an article on controlling weeds. This article also explains how to compost weeds, when to remove seed heads and controlling weeds through plant spacing:


Happy weeding!


April 9, 2012

Watering Tips

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Thanks to Walli for sharing these watering tips.


Hi All,

Since we may well be headed for a very dry summer, we thought we’d share some watering techniques that help build health root systems and enable plants to survive drought better.

Watering every day is not a good idea, no matter the weather!!  If you water every day, roots stay near the surface and this does not make for very strong plants with a healthy root system. If you stick your finger in the soil and go about an inch down and there is water there — no reason to water!

In warm weather, water in the morning to give plants a chance to drink up before the hot sun or strong winds evaporate the moisture. This protects plants from wilting in the afternoon heat, too. In a prolonged drought, cover more sensitive plants with a shade cloth to limit midday transpiration, suggests Cado Daily of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. If you can’t water in the morning, try for late afternoon,  but not too late; the foliage should have time to dry before the sun goes down so it doesn’t develop fungal diseases.

Seeds and seedlings demand moisture close to the soil’s surface, but more established plants need deep watering to develop roots that will find water in the subsoil when drought strikes. Just be careful not to overwater! You want soil that’s damp but not soggy down to 5 to 6 inches below the surface. In waterlogged soil, roots are deprived of oxygen and may lose the ability to take up water. If your plants’ foliage begins to brown at the edges and fall from the plant, you may be overwatering.

More here

Thorough but infrequent watering encourages plants to develop deeper root systems, giving them inbuilt drought protection. This works for lawns as well as for garden plants. Watch the weather. Rainfall is a free and easy way to water your garden.


Thanks you.

W104th Street Garden Steering Committee

February 10, 2011

Green Thumb Program Guide is Out!

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 1:48 pm

Green Thumb

The Spring edition of the GreenThumb Program Guide is out! That means the growing season is getting closer and it’s just about time to start planning your crops and starting seeds indoors! Look inside for more information on workshops, giveaways and events for the coming quarter including:

Making Brooklyn Bloom, Saturday, March 12
The GreenThumb GrowTogether, Saturday, April 2
Chicken Health & Husbandry (bilingual English and Spanish), Thursday, May 26

Does your garden need:

  • Seeds
  • Raised Bed Lumber
  • Fruit Trees .
  • Soil /Compost/Cleanfill Request
  • Hydrant Wrenches, Hydrant Adapters, and Hoses
  • Plant Starts
  • City Chicken Guide / Guía de la Ciudad de Pollo
  • Native Plants

Download the Program Guide here or at the bottom of the page for details!

Please note that garden members must attend workshops to receive supplies. All workshops are free and open to the public, with no pre-registration (unless otherwise noted). Workshops are rain or shine, canceled only in the event of lightning or other dangerous conditions. All supplies are for registered gardens only and are available first come, first served, while supplies last.

More Information

October 26, 2009

4Brooklyn College Soil Study

Filed under: Gardening Tips,News — by west104garden @ 9:43 am

The 104th Street Community Garden participated in a soil study performed by The Brooklyn College Environmental Sciences Analytic Center. The following is a preliminary release regarding soil samples throughout the city. The overall results do not necessarily reflect the health of our own garden, but do indicate alarming levels of heavy metals, including lead, in New York City soils. We eagerly await the results of the follow up study and will report any results specific to our garden, when the report becomes available.

Brooklyn College results:

“The Brooklyn College Soil Analysis lab received many soil samples from residents throughout New York City. The lab analyzed heavy metal content in the soil with some surprising results. Lead content in some soils were sometimes as high as 2000ppm. As a follow-up pilot study we would like to measure the air quality in and around some of these gardens. Looking at the air quality may show us whether particulates from the soil are getting into the air, and we would like to see if this is happening and to what degree people are breathing in heavy metals as they work/play around the soil. By performing this pilot study we would like to determine if we need to expand our research not into just soil analysis but into air quality surrounding community and private gardens throughout NYC.”

For more information about lead in NYC gardens, read the New York Times article:

For Urban Gardeners, Lead Is a Concern, May 13, 2009

Lead Remediation tips recommended in this article include:

  • The best approach to avoiding lead contamination in gardens is what we do at the West 104th Street Garden: Build raised or contained beds lined with landscape fabric and filled with uncontaminated soil. Plants that are grown in containers with soils from a garden center are unlikely to contain high amounts of lead.
  • Replace the contaminated soil or alkalinize it by adding lime or organic matter such as compost. Higher alkalinity (pH level above 7) allows soil particles to bind with lead, making it less likely to be absorbed by plants and the human body if the dirt is inadvertently inhaled or ingested.
  • Plant kitchen gardens with fruiting crops like tomatoes, squash, eggplant, corn and beans, which do not readily accumulate lead.
  • Avoid lead-leaching crops, such as herbs, leafy greens and root vegetables such as potatoes, radishes and carrots.
  • Planting greens, specifically Indian mustard and spinach, for a couple of seasons before growing crops intended for food. This phytoremediation, or plant-based mitigation, allows lead to be removed from the soil. These plants must not be eaten or composted, but disposed of as toxic waste.
  • To avoid contamination from lead dust blowing in the wind or rain splashing off lead-painted structures, situate gardens away from buildings.
  • Wash edible produce thoroughly with water containing 1 percent vinegar or 0.5 percent soap.
  • $

  • Cover soil with sod in areas where you are not planning a garden.

October 9, 2009

Regional Gardening News

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 12:52 pm

Mid-Atlantic Regional Reminders from National Gardening Association:

What to do in October:

Build a Cold Frame
Dispose of Used Flame Weeder Canisters Properly
Don’t Fret As Conifers Shed
Notice and Record WOW Color and Plant Combos
Leave Root Veggies Underground

More Regional Gardening News at:

June 22, 2009

Wed June 24 Garden Talk

Filed under: Events,Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 10:02 am

Hi Gardeners,

Matt Brown, head of the Central Park Conservancy’s soil and water ecology will be talking about soil, plants, Central Park, our garden — and answering our questions in a walk through the garden.

Please come this Wednesday, June 24, at 6:15 — in our garden. (Matt and his crew has kindly delivered compost and wood chips to the garden this year and in years past.)

As a preview, here’s a video of Matt on Central Park’s ponds: http://www.centralparknyc.org/site/PageNavigator/DidYouKnow_WaterBodies

If you have questions, please contact Suzanne Charle’ at suzcharle@gmail.com.

March 1, 2009

The 70 “Most Likely to Succeed” Plants

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 4:36 pm

This is a link to “the 70 most valued, likely to succeed plants”. // LM

February 7, 2009

Winter Gardening Tips

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 11:50 am

This National Gardening Association page link is for Over-Winter Maintenance.

Lucille found a good article with information about preventing plant theft from the November 2005 edition of House & Garden Magazine. Download at:

Some Tips:

Tips from Sergeant Martin Peirson, Metropolitan Police Service, London

  • Install low-voltage lights with a photocell switch that automatically illuminates all avenues of access from roads to landscape during hours of darkness.
  • Enclose the garden perimeter with a barrier of thorny plant (such as “New Scotland Yard” rose).
  • Locate valuable plants out of sight of roads.
  • Inhibit digging of valuable trees and shrubs by surrounding them with collars of heavy welded wire fencing.
  • Collars (hidden under mulch) should extend out over roots for several feet from plant; for extra security, fasten down collars at edges with hooks or concrete reinforcing bars anchored in concrete.
  • South African park police are embedding wild cycads with microchips much like those used for identification of dogs and cats. Such a system could also be effective for the identification and recovery of stolen garden plants.

Also, the Home Depot Garden Center offers a garden club with expert advice and special offers at:

Happy New Year! LM

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