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Spruce Up Your Urban Outdoor Space

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Presented by WNBC and LX.TV, OpenHouse New York is an original weekly television series about New York’s residential real estate market. Hosted by LX.TV’s Sara Gore and George Oliphant, OpenHouse New York features weekly access to distinctive and noteworthy properties in the New York tri-state area. The show presents an intimate view of New Yorkers as they search for, purchase, and improve their dream homes.

Here are tips from Marie Viljoen at Holly, Wood & Vine:

1. Topdress your planters or garden with an inch of compost.

Why: to improve the soil structure; retain moisture in the soil; and introduce friendly organisms to city soil.

Where: The Lower East Side Ecology Center sells Vermicompost for $10 a bag. It is made from New York City restaurant kitchen scraps and is clean, clean, clean.

2. Water your plants deeply and thoroughly less often, rather than teasing them with a sprinkle every day.

Why: to encourage deep and strong rather than weak and superficial root growth

How: water until it starts to run from the bottom of a planter. Water again when the soil an inch down is dry. You’re going to have to touch the soil to do this!

3. Consider buying native plants.

Why: to get in touch with what really grows in your area; they are low-maintenance.

What: Prunus maritima (beach plum) – lots of sun, sandy soil; frothy blossoms in spring, yummy fruit in summer

Amelanchier canadensis or Amelanchier laevis (shad bush) – sun to a little shade; more blossoms, even better berries

Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) – delicious fruit and lovely fall color; add some peatmoss to raise the acidity of your soil

Find out what else Marie suggests in this video.

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