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Master Gardener Profile - Susan Leonetti


Master Gardener training gave Susan Leonetti the opportunity to bring her skills together.With experience in the textile industry, and later in software development, Susan wondered how she might solve a problem. What to do with all those wonderful plants multiplying in her garden? How could she find a new home for them? Susan wove together a website called Diggit-plant share.com for her Master Gardening class project. Now gardeners across Long Island can post, donate, trade or buy and sell plants using the features of her live website.

Although in its infancy, the website has potential to become the hub of a more connected Suffolk County gardening community. Susan, who lives in Stony Brook, hopes the website serves those who grow vegetables as well as other plants. Her goal is to enable community gardens and food pantries to share resources, while spreading the word on more sustainable gardening practices.

Ms. Leonetti admits her love of gardening began as a teenager when she helped tend her father’s exotic succulents and gloxinias. These days Susan admits those lessons inform her care of perennial beds and the over 60 plants she brings inside her home to overwinter! Aided by her Master Gardener training, Susan began growing vegetables from seed. The many three foot long hanging gourds, plus delicious vegetables, have been a treat.

The topics covered in the Master Gardener classes made her feel like “a kid in a candy store.” Now she has a scientific basis for her practices and new options for maintaining her landscape. Susan reduced her water and fertilizer use. She discovered the power of beneficial nematodes. Now Susan does her own composting and has incorporated native and deer resistant plants in her yard. A visit to her website is an invitation to share the best of good gardening with others.