Long Island Gardening

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Long Island gardening may be thought of by some unfamiliar with the island as uniform. After all, this band of earth is only 118 miles long and not quite 20 miles at its widest point. True, the climate is generally moderate because of the marine influence, but there are a surprising number of ecosystems on this famous piece of land.

With the Long Island Sound on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the south and east, this historic locale is the largest island on the continental United States. The Gold Coast, or North Shore, is dotted with some of this nation's largest and wealthiest estates, including Teddy Roosevelt's beloved Sagamore Hill. The South Shore has some of the world's most famous beaches and seashores, including Fire Island National Seashore and Jones Beach State Park.

Variety of Long Island Gardening Regions

Central Suffolk County brings yet another change, and many surprises, with its pine forests, wetlands, farms, and undeveloped spaces. More variety is added to the possibilities of Long Island gardening by North Fork, which is a land of vineyards and farms, with a strong heritage of agriculture and fishing. This piece of Long Island has the longest growing period on the East Coast because the ocean winds warm as they cross South Fork and move across the warm estuary to North Fork.

South Fork is sometimes just known as "the Hamptons," famous for its celebrity visitors, its resort atmosphere, and its quaint villages, as well as its 50 miles of beautiful Atlantic beaches. Windy and cool, South Fork presents a challenge for Long Island gardening. As is obvious, Long Island landscaping professionals must know these microclimates intimately in order to adjust their plant recommendations and tree care management to meet the needs of the varied vegetation on this world-famous island.

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