Potatoes out of Negligance

About 2 months ago I bought some attractive Fingerling Potatoes from the Saratoga Farmer's Market. I promptly forgot about their prescence in the house and they grew long, spindly eye buds and the potato bodies turned soft and flacid. Finally today I got around to picking the eyes off the potatoes to plant them. The [...]

Jessecology and Ecological Lawn Care

In the 8 years that I've been working in gardens in Saratoga and Lake George, many of my clients have requested help with lawn care. My interest in lawns is beyond non-existant. I actively encourage everyone to replace lawn space with gardens, or at least plant maintenance free turf like Creeping Thyme or Sedum. People [...]

Plant Natives for Exponential Kindness to Wildlife.

This Blossoming Elderberry is in a garden just north of Saratoga, NY. I planted it last autumn for my client, applauding his native and habitat plant choice. This property is surrounded by a three-quarters crescent moon shaped forest edge, giving the five acres lots of riparian zone activity. It is honestly the quintessential habitat lot: [...]

Ecological Gardening in the Connected Pine Grove

A recent rainy Monday found me on a break between two client's in the Hudson Point Nature Preserve. This nature preserve is a 2 minute walk from the garden I was working in; 10 minutes drive from Lake George and 20 minutes from Saratoga. This particular wildlife habitat gets significantly less press and applause than [...]

Trip to the Native Plants WildThings Rescue Nursery in Photos

My family was fortunate enough to visit the WildThings Rescue Nursery yesterday. The experience was breath taking. The proprietor of the nursery -Dawn Foglia- travels each week to the Saratoga farmer's markets. Gardening in Saratoga has become much more habitat friendly thanks exclusively to this one woman's serious grind. First, some stinky herbs for bug [...]

Local Food Gardens in Saratoga

Today I was invited to visit the Gomez Family Farm, highly productive vegetable gardens south of Saratoga. The style of gardening is work horse utilitarian, high volume output and all natural methods. It was beautiful to observe. The Gomez' produce can be acquired at the farmer's markets in Saratoga year round, and other farmstand locations [...]

Season’s First Coneflower

Today I saw the first blooming Coneflower of the season. Well, first to me. Most likely people in gardens south from Saratoga and Lake George have already seen Echinacea open. This one seems early; the ecological explanation for that is most likely because of it's proximity to the hot blacktop. It bakes in the extra [...]

Another Native Plants Garden Project in Saratoga

There's a garden mid-way between Lake George and Saratoga that was designed this spring to be a habitat spot; full of native plants that attract butterflies and songbirds. The garden is happily located on a farm, so there is more than the average amount of wildlife rambling through. The photo above shows our Buddleia, or [...]

Worm Castings to the Rescue

This week we realized a large mistake had been made in soil medium at the farm stand garden. An error in communication resulted in the beds being top dressed by the farmer with undigested horse manure, rather than fully composted cow manure. Both are available on the property; this was simply human error and hopefully [...]

More on Hops

Rain poured from the sky today as I staked the baby and mid-growth hops vines with fishing line. It was a relief as the weather has been brutal this week so far. In this business of professional gardening, rain is immeasurably preferable to blazing sun. In the rain, we don't worry about sunburn or heat [...]

Beautiful Wildlife Garden in Southern Saratoga

Today I found myself in one of the most beautiful native plant habitat gardens I've ever seen, weeding and sculpting the wild beds for my Saratoga home owner. The gardens were single-handedly planted by one lady. She has excellent taste and a great handle on her Latin taxonomy. This property is full of fun, other-world [...]

Butterflies and Yarrow

Some home gardeners in Saratoga and Lake George don't like Yarrow, they think it spreads too quickly. The Butterflies feel differently though; Yarrow is one of the best plants to choose for attracting Butterflies to the garden. Butterflies can see more range of light than any other creature. They see the full spectrum of light [...]

Organic Gardening for (and with) Tea

Tea is medicine to me year round; iced tea is literally a spiritual experience for me in the summer. There is something ethereal about the process of seeing herbs grown organically in all their aromatic splendor, harvesting them and seeing them transform, as if by magic into tea, a substance so subjectively wonderful and really [...]

On Beneficial Insects in the Garden

One of the staples of organic gardening and companion planting is attracting beneficial, or predatory insects to the garden to help. Yesterday, in a garden halfway between Lake George and Saratoga, I saw this Dragonfly. That means that the home gardener is doing something right: his property is loaded with Dragonflies, Bees, Butterflies, Assasin Bugs, [...]

A Tenacious Beauty

This summer, Mullein is the habitat plant to catch my eye. I've seen it in gardens since I started this work in 2005, and often heard my colleagues who were also trained in ecology vaguely reference Mullein's capacity to be a medicinal plant, and it's ethnobotany uses. I looked into this today. Many home owners [...]

Planting Native Trees in Saratoga Springs, NY

I just found this article from the D.E.C. I had no idea the DEC was doing this: selling native trees to home owners and schools at a discount to encourage growth of appropriate habitat trees or plants for our region. This tree nursery is located on Route 50 in Saratoga, heading toward Ballston Spa. I'm [...]

A farm stand garden in Saratoga County

A unique and wonderful project has unfolded in Jessecology-land this summer. A client found me who has nothing but space- seriously, his family is situated on a 100 acre horse and cow farm- and he wants to grow his family's own produce, but needs help as he has never done it before. Since we don't [...]

Little Acres: Non-Permanent Raised Beds

It's just after Memorial Day weekend, and in the Saratoga- Lake George gardening region of the world, that means vegetable gardening installation. Edible gardens are so trendy nowadays as people are more conscious of healthy eating and interested in organic produce. Some of my clients want raised beds; I've been buying moveable raised beds called"Little [...]

Paradigm Shift

I have noticed, in my north to south daily migration patterns, an ever so slight trend among open-minded gardeners in the Saratoga county region to be more ecology minded in regards to their weeds. This photo, of Dandelion greens being sold for salad produce, was taken at the White River Junction, VT food co-op. Ecological [...]

Surprise Habitat Garden in Saratoga Springs, NY

Imagine my delight when I pulled into my bank's parking lot this morning, in Saratoga to discover a fully established and tasteful habitat garden! The garden is long, perhaps 100 feet or more, narrow and optimized with plants to attract birds and plants to attract butterflies. Saratoga Springs, NY is special this way: you never [...]

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