Friday, March 27, 2015

Fenton Friday: Spring has (finally) Sprung!

Peas - soaked and sprouted pre-planting
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

It is a very late start this year. The snow melted and the ground finally started to thaw enough for me to put peas in. This year I'm planting SugarSnap Peas and also some heirloom Sweet Peas for cutting flowers. I added a third kind of pea as well  Oregon Sugar Pod II, which are to be picked at flat and tender stage as snow peas. What kinds of peas are you planting?

Leftover from last year in my plot is asparagus, strawberries, parsley, and garlic. I also have a  smattering of kale other lettuce greens popping back up.

This coming weekend, we have our first meeting of the plot gardeners for the year. It will be fun to see old friends and to see what new folk have joined us.

It has been a very wet week, so I will wait a few more days then I plan to direct-sow the rest of my cool-season crops -- carrots, radish, lettuce greens, etc. What are you sowing in your vegetable gardens this time of year? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Grow Your Health and more...

Here are some quick reminders about upcoming events and deadlines in local gardening:


Grow Your Health Festival in NoVa
On Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 10:00 to 5:30 the Northern Virginia Whole Food Nutrition Meetup Group will host its third annual Grow Your Health Festival at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The event will celebrate home gardening, sourcing organic and local food, and nutrition and wellness. They will show a documentary film; offer class instruction on gardening and nutrition; and host an exhibit hall for gardening services, farmers, food artisans, organic food distributors, and wellness products and services -- see: http://www.growyourhealthnova.com/


Raise awareness of gardening and gardens in the Washington, DC region
To fund our outreach efforts, we are seeking to raise $25,000 in donations through Indiegogo -- please go to www.DCGardens.com by May 1.

Container Gardening Basics and Beyond Talk
   It is being offered twice, so you can attend on either Thursday, April 2, 2-3:30pm OR Saturday, April 4, 10-11:30am
Instructor: Kathy Jentz, editor/publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine. Kathy will cover the basics of growing successful container plantings, from ornamental to edible containers, as well as the different styles and fashions in container gardening.
Fee: $22, FOBG: $20; registration required. Held at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.
 Register at: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/xperience.shtm

Sharing Seeds
If you are a local nonprofit in the DC-area and would like some seeds to kick off your gardening season, please contact Washington Gardener Magazine at WashingtonGardener@rcn.com with your seed request by April 3. Put "Seed Request" in the subject line and list in the body of the email what specific seeds you would like to grow. You will need to arrange seed pick-up in early-mid April from our headquarters office in downtown Silver Spring, MD. We have all kinds of seeds -- annual flowers, herbs, and edibles. We will try to fill all the seed requests we can as long as supplies last.


Win a GrowEase Seed Starter Kit in Washington Gardener Magazine March 2015 Reader Contest

To enter to win the GrowEase Seed Start Kit, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on Sunday, March 29 with “Seed Starter Kit” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The prize winner will be announced and notified by March 31.

Next issue of Washington Gardener Magazine

Any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the April 2015 issue are due by April 10.  Please send to WGardenermag@aol.com with "Submission" in the subject line.

Garden Book Club

For our next Washington Gardener Magazine Book Club selection, we will be discussing: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book club meeting will be held at the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library in the Medium-sized Conference Room on Wednesday, April 22, from 6:30 to 8:00PM. The book club meetings are FREE and open to anyone who would like to attend.  Please RSVP to "WG Book Club" at WashingtonGardener@rcn.com

Friday, March 20, 2015

Container Gardening Basics and Beyond


This new container gardening class is being offered twice, so you can attend either on Thursday, April 2, 2-3:30pm OR on Saturday, April 4, 10-11:30am.
Instructor: Kathy Jentz, editor/publisher, Washington Gardener Magazine.
Kathy will cover the basics of growing successful container plantings, from ornamental to edible containers, as well as the different styles and fashions in container gardening.
Fee: $22, FOBG: $20; registration required.
Held at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.
Register at:
http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/xperience.shtm

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Win a GrowEase Seed Starter Kit in Washington Gardener Magazine March 2015 Reader Contest


For our March 2015 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener Magazine is giving away a GrowEase Seed Starter Kit from Gardener’s Supply Company (prize value: $17).

   They’ve solved the challenges of over- or under-watering with the no-fail self-watering feature. Simply fill the reservoir and plants get the water they need, when they need it. That’s worry-free watering! Forget flimsy, single-use look-alike seed starting kits; this heavy-duty system is reusable, again and again. It includes an extra-sturdy leak-proof reservoir, platform and planting cell tray that are all dishwasher-safe, making them easy to clean and sterilize between uses. And the capillary mat, which delivers moisture as seedlings need it, can be used over and over; simply hand wash between uses. A clear germination cover maintains proper humidity while the seeds are germinating. The support platform that holds the planting cells doubles as a seedling ejector. Read more about it at: http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/all-about-growease/8570.html.

   To enter to win the GrowEase Seed Start Kit, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on Sunday, March 29 with “Seed Starter Kit” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The prize winner will be announced and notified by March 31.
  
UPDATE: Congratulations to Gay Ludington of Dunkirk, MD, who was selected at random from among the many entries to win the GrowEase Seed Start Kit.
     Thank you to all to who entered the March 2015 Washington Gardener Reader Contest. Look for our next monthly reader contest and be sure to enter again!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Washington Gardener Magazine March 2015 issue features a Cabbage-Growing Guide for the Mid-Atlantic, 10 Tips for Easy-Care Beds and Borders, and Organic Lawn Care Practices




Washington Gardener is the magazine for gardening enthusiasts in the Mid-Atlantic region. The March 2015 issue is being sent now as a PDF to all current subscribers.

It is also now posted at: http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/washingtongardenermar15

This issue includes:
~ Bletilla: A Hardy Orchid for our Climate
~ 10 Tips for Easy-Care Beds and Borders
~  March-April Garden Tasks
~ Cabbage-Growing Guide for the Mid-Atlantic
~ A Visit to the Virginia House and Garden in Richmond
~ Organic Lawn Care Practices
~ Growing Strawberries in Containers
~ Local Garden Events Listing
~ Reader Contest to Win a Seed Starter Kit
and much more...

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the April 2015 issue are due by April 10.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY by using the link at the top-right of this blog page.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is it Spring Yet? A hopeful Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

It is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again! On the 15th of each month, we gardeners with blogs share a few bloom photos from our gardens. Here is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, we had had a very harsh winter -- again! Below-freezing temps and ice and more ice. Ugh. I skipped Garden Blogger's Bloom Day for January and February, it was just too demoralizing to face then. This week we finally had some glimmers of a real spring!

The snow melt and revealed Crocus and Snowdrops and Hellbores all in bloom. My 'February Gold' daffodils are shooting up like rockets, but not yet flowering. I expect them to catch up soon though!
I have been sharing a bloom or garden item each day on my Instagram account (@WDCgardener). 

Here is my latest one:



What is blooming in your garden today?

Friday, March 13, 2015

DC Gardens—Beyond Cherry Blossoms Campaign

Smithsonian10
Many of you may be aware by now of a new campaign in the form of a web site, whose goal is to raise awareness of gardening and gardens in the Washington, DC region. A group of us local gardening writers, spearheaded by Susan Harris of GardenRant.com, have just launched DC Gardens—Beyond Cherry Blossoms. To fund our outreach efforts, we are seeking to raise $25,000 in donations through Indiegogo by April 13. Most of the funds raised will pay for a monthly email updates on garden-related events in our region and a coordinated social media campaign. We want to bring awareness to DC gardens to outside tourists as well as to hometown audiences. The web site will also identify local gardening information such as lists of great plant choices for our area, garden clubs, garden design sources and resources, etc.

Most of our local public gardens are limited in the promotions they can do for themselves. Some are hand-cuffed by local and federal government regulations. Others are limited by their resources -- lacking in funds, staff time, or expertise. We are seeking to step in and do what they cannot do for themselves -- create a hub for garden tourism and awareness in our region.

DC Gardens is a grassroots, independent media campaign using images of DC-area gardens by month to entice people to discover them. DC Gardens is also a hub of info that helps locals learn to garden and connect with the gardening and greening community.




Can you do me a favor today and sign up for the email list and make a small donation to the Indegogo campaign? To do both, please go to www.DCGardens.com. Please also pass along this post to your fellow gardening friends, garden clubs, plant societies, public garden "friends" groups, etc. You have my permission to use this text in gardening organization newsletters.