Holiday means time to garden, get out the boat

Those with a green thumb are using the holiday weekend to get a jump on their plantings.


Those with a green thumb are using the holiday weekend to get a jump on their plantings.

Kay Matuszyk of Niskayuna was watering her tomatoes on Sunday afternoon. “It’s what I like to do on Memorial Day weekend. I don’t go on holiday. I garden.”

She said she plants “a little bit of everything” including some perennials and annuals. Matuszyk said she goes out a little earlier in the spring to get the flowers she wants to plant.

“This is the big time of the year — trying to get them all in because the growing season is so short here,” she said.

Mary Anne Turner, one of the clerks at Hewitt’s Garden Center, said the weekend has been quite busy — mostly on Saturday.

“We’ve been swamped with people buying all sorts of plants and flowers,” she said.

Turner said more people are doing vegetable gardens to save money on produce. “One tomato plant can yield quite a few tomatoes on it. One zucchini plant can yield quite a few, too.”

One popular flower that the store has not been able to keep in stock is hydrangea.

“It flowers later than a lot of other trees or shrubs do and the flowers are there for an incredibly long time — from August well into the fall,” she said.

Turner advised people to “water, water, water,” their plants. Also, use peat moss and bone meal to enrich the soil and promote good root growth.

Although the region had some nights where the temperature dipped into the 30s, Turner believes that there is no more risk for frost. She said that if a frost returns, people should just cover their vegetables and flowers with a light sheet of material that is not plastic.

Matuszyk also believes there won’t be another frost. The area has had a great spring and she hoped that the good weather would continue. “Last summer, it was pretty stormy.”

She said she has gardened since moving to her home in Niskayuna 12 years ago. “It’s just my way to unwind.”

a day for boating

Boaters also used the extended weekend to get out onto area lakes and rivers. Steve Wilson of Ballston grabbed a half-dozen friends for his first time out on Saratoga Lake this spring.

He admitted the lake seemed a bit empty for Memorial Day weekend. Early forecasts of thunderstorms kept the lake traffic to a minimum, which was just fine for Wilson and his gang.

“There are people out here,” he said, while a friend loaded up some supplies at the state boat launch of Route 9. “But not as much as usual.”

The weather didn’t discourage Jeff Zakrzewksi from boating either, but a broken trolling motor did. The Ballston Spa man spent Sunday afternoon trying to repair the motor, which was keeping him from a day of angling out on the lake.

“I wait all year for this,” he said.

Fred Finn, the general manager at the nearby Point Breeze Marina, said some early morning thunderclouds had slowed some of the lake’s traffic Sunday. But by the afternoon, he said his phone was ringing off the hook with people wondering if the sun had peeked out over the lake.

“There are people out here using their boats,” he said as his phone started ringing. “They keep calling and asking us how the weather is.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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