Container Gardening

Gardening in containers can make a big impact on your landscape!

What vegetables are easy to grow at home?

coneflowers and black eyed susans (echinacea & rudbeckia)
Image by Sandy Repp

Learn some easy tips for designing an attractive flower garden.

Gardening Presentations

Add something special to your organization’s event with informative university research-based “mini courses” and programs. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County (CCE-NC) offers a variety of gardening programs for presentation to area civic or community associations, libraries, garden clubs and societies, adult education programs and fraternal organizations, for a nominal cost.

Experienced CCE-NC personnel and Cornell Master Gardeners provide in-depth 75 to 90 minute presentations with Q&A sessions for $150 per presentation.

For more information and to schedule programs for your community group, call the CCE Horticultural Center at 516-832-2591 ext. 100 or email

A Selection of Available Topics:


Pollinators are very important for our existence. This presentation will take you into the World of Pollinators and explain who they are, why they are important, what they do, why they are declining, and how to help them survive.


Not enough space or just want to add interest to your home? Learn about one of the hottest trends in gardening – growing plants in a wide variety of containers. A container garden can enhance an entranceway, solve a landscape challenge or beautify a deck or patio, or add elegance around a pool. Learn how to choose your container, design a container planting and maintain your mini garden throughout the garden season.


Fall is a great time to start thinking of the following spring and how you can make your gardens beautiful with spring flowering bulbs. Spring Bulb topics that will be covered include: identification, selection, design, planting, animal deterrence and dividing. Also learn how to grow bulbs in containers. This lecture will take you through very early to late blooming spring bulbs that you may never have thought of growing.


Have you always wanted a flower garden but don’t know where to start? This presentation’s focus is on key elements to think about when designing your garden including height, color, texture and site. Following these tips will help you to be successful.


Home Vegetable Gardening is on the rise, harkening back to our “Victory Garden” past. There is nothing like eating a slice of your own homegrown tomato. Are you thinking about starting a vegetable garden or just need a little advice? Let us help you learn to choose the right location for your veggies, prepare your soil, and decide between vegetables from seeds or transplants. Learn general maintenance needs that will lead to bountiful harvests.

GOLD MEDAL PLANTS (PowerPoint Lecture)

Covered in this presentation is the Gold Metal Plant Program for Long Island. These plants have proven performance, are pest-free and have multi-seasonal ornamental appeal for Long Island gardens. These plants are easily grown and readily available for Long Island.


Having success with Houseplants can often be a challenge to both beginners and those with some houseplant experience. This lecture aims to give you the basic knowledge you will need to grow beautiful houseplants successfully. Besides their Health Benefits, the following will be discussed in detail: Cultural Requirements, Maintenance, Repotting, Propagation, Problems and Pests. After all these topics have been discussed, many Easy Care/Fool Proof Houseplants will be covered so you can have success with the knowledge you just acquired.

HERB GARDENING (PowerPoint Lecture)

In this lecture we will describe herb plants, their uses and how to grow them. Some herbs are grown as edible, others as therapeutic and some for their fragrance. Basil, dill, chives, oregano, mint and marigolds are just a few of the many we will discuss that are suitable for Long Island. Gardening with herbs is fun, easy and useful.

HOME COMPOSTING (PowerPoint Lecture) 

Learn Home Composting from a Presentation created by the Cornell Compost Committee Master Gardeners. Topics that will be discussed include: what to compost; how the process works; the importance of heat, oxygen and moisture; composting systems; uses of compost and its benefits.


Often when designing a landscape you do not realize what Trees and Shrubs will do well in your yard or commercial property on Long Island. This presentation will give you some basic knowledge needed for planting and selecting trees and shrubs. It will then highlight 30 trees/shrubs that do well on Long Island with their photos, care and requirements. This presentation should help you design a successful landscape. 

LAWN CARE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT (Advanced PowerPoint Lecture)

This in-depth lecture will give you all the information you need to show off your lawn to your neighbors. Proper mowing, watering and fertilization, disease, insect and weed control, thatch and core aeration are just some of the topics discussed. The leaching potential of fertilizers and pesticides into Long Island ground water is high and will be an important focus. We will explain pesticides and who is allowed to use them as well as lawn care without pesticides. This is also a chance for the homeowner to become more informed so that they can have meaningful discussions with their landscaper.

LAWN CARE FOR THE HOME ENVIRONMENT (PowerPoint Lecture) (New 2020)

This presentation is a shorter version of the in-depth LAWN CARE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT presentation and is designed for the homeowner.

NATIVE PLANTS IN THE HOME LANDSCAPE (PowerPoint Lecture) (Revised 2019)

Why is everybody talking about native plants? Gardening with well-adapted native plants is not only beneficial for the ecosystem, but also for growers. In this lecture, we will discuss what native plants are, how they differ from their non-native counterparts, and why they are important to consider when making plant choices for your landscape. We will cover examples of native plants suitable for a home landscape on Long Island, from trees down to ground covers, and we will explain how to incorporate native plants into your garden.


Herbaceous perennials are plants that bloom year after year. Their tops die back to the ground each fall but their crowns and root systems remain alive (though dormant) during winter. This lecture will cover their needs such as light, soil, fertilization, pruning, water and air circulation. The lecture will also cover many different varieties of perennials


Pruning can often be confusing since different shrubs and trees require different pruning methods at different times. This lecture is designed to give a homeowner the information they will need to take care of almost all their woody pruning needs. Discussed in this lecture will be the Reasons for Pruning; Benefits of Pruning; Pruning Equipment; and Timing and Proper Tree Pruning. In addition, pruning for various shrubs and trees will be discussed in detail such as: Flowering Shrubs, Hydrangeas, Roses, Evergreens, Fruits & Trees. 


Proper maintenance of your trees and shrubs is important for their health as well as for safety. This presentation is an in-depth lecture about pruning trees, deciduous shrubs and evergreen shrubs in your home landscape. The pruning topics covered will include: reasons, timing and ways to prune and what equipment should be used. Learn the proper pruning methods, rejuvenation techniques and how to manipulate shrubs into small trees.


Proper care of your landscape in the fall is important to the success of your plants for the next season. This course discusses what to do in the garden to get ready for winter. Topics include: perennials, lawn care, bulbs, vegetable gardens, soil pH testing and composting.

If you follow these practical tips you will be amazed by the improved results next spring.


Don’t let rumors about roses being “too much work” discourage you from enjoying the “Queen of Flowers”. Learn how to get your roses off to a winning start with careful selection, proper planting, pruning and maintenance. Earth-Kind roses and their easy care reputation will be covered.

SEASHORE GARDENING (PowerPoint Lecture) 

Gardening along our Long Island coastlines presents many challenges. This lecture will assist you in planning and planting a successful seashore landscape. The presentation will provide information on soil, native plants, trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Seashore vegetable gardening will also be included.  

SEED SAVING INTRODUCTION: (PowerPoint Lecture) (New 2020)

Beginning in the latter part of the 20th century, there has been a major shift to purchasing seed from commercial seed suppliers. This shift is leading to a reduction in North America’s diverse garden heritage for future generations. This presentation will cover what seeds are, pollination and the difference between heirlooms & pollinated seeds. Participants will learn the basics needed to save their own seeds so that they too may reap the exciting benefits the original seed savers did.


This in-depth lecture covers everything you need to know to select and plant the best tree/shrub for your landscape. It discusses: Selecting a Container, Balled & Burlapped or a Bare root plant. How to assess the tree and proper placement. Optimum planting time and methods. Fertilizing, Mulching & Watering. The knowledge you gain from this presentation will help you to plant and grow a healthy tree/shrub.


This lecture will look at how the home gardener can incorporate sustainable gardening practices in their own home gardening. It will incorporate the topics of the advanced lecture listed below.


Recently we have taken a more serious look at our landscape practices and what we are recognizing is the permanent damage we have caused by the poor use of our resources and the need to protect these resources for the future. This is accomplished by optimum environmental and human health benefits for current and future generations by meeting the demands of today without compromising tomorrow’s needs and at the same time recognizing the strain on soil, water and natural resources.

This Advanced lecture will look at Sustainable Home Landscape practices including: Lawns, Pesticides, Irrigation, Trees, Soil, Water, Runoff, Vegetation, Native Plants, Trees, Recycle & Reuse, and Sustainable versus Not Sustainable Materials. At the end of this lecture you will have the knowledge needed to make better choices planning and maintaining your Home Landscape and doing your part to protect our environment for future generations.

WAKE UP YOUR GARDEN (PowerPoint Lecture)

Successful gardens and landscapes are the result of proactive gardeners and growers! Learn what needs to be done to get your garden up and growing at the beginning of spring. Lawn care, soil testing, mulching, watering and the care of flowers and spring bulbs are some of the topics that will be discussed. Start the season off with a strong viable landscape.

Last updated February 21, 2023