Friday, July 29, 2016

Fenton Friday: Struck Gold!

Sun Gold tomatoes
This week at my community garden plot we continued the longest and hottest heat wave of the summer --we ended it last night with torrential rains. Thank goodness! Hauling water to my plot and at my home garden in the 100+ degree heat was not doing the plants or myself any favors.

The heat did cause the beans and cucumbers to put on even more growth. We harvested 3 cucumbers this week and the beans should start really popping in the next couple of weeks.

The tomatoes are hitting their stride. Finally have a decent amount of 'Sun Gold' (pictured) to snack on.

How is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday:
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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

green beans climbing trellis

Thursday, July 28, 2016


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Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine Facebook page, Blog, and Yahoo list we feature a current advertiser from our monthly digital magazine. To advertise with us, contact today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Video Wednesday: Heyser Farms open house on Montgmery Counity Farm Tour Weekend 2016

The 27th annual Farm Tour and Harvest on the weekend of July 23 and 24, 2016, featured 20 farms in Montgomery County, MD. This video features Heyser Farms  at 14526 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD. The farm includes orchard and gardens. Visitors could enjoy a wagon ride around the farm and sample fresh fruits including peaches as well as Spencerville RED apple products hard cider and wine. Antique farm equipment were on display and some local artists showcased their wares.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Invasive Species Spotlight: Wavyleaf Basketgrass

Guest post by Jacqueline Hyman

Wavyleaf Basketgrass is a low-growing perennial grass that has a somewhat mysterious beginning in Maryland, said an invasive plant ecologist at the Department of Natural Resources.

   Kerrie Kyde said two patches were found and reported in 1995, tested by many botanists, and eventually identified after a sample was sent to Germany in 1999. Kyde said the plant was rediscovered covering many acres in 2007.

    “My suspicion is that 1996 was not the year of entry, that it had already been here before that,” Kyde said, “but probably not too long before that.”

    Wavyleaf Basketgrass has deep green leaves with ripples across the surface, and the leaf sheath and stem “are noticeably hairy,” according to Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. Additionally, it can grow to be as tall as 24 inches, said Kyde. “It covers the ground, but it doesn’t lie flat on the surface the way crabgrass does,” Kyde said.

    The awns are sticky, which allows seeds to spread to far places, Kyde said. She said they start to bloom in July and can last until after the first frost, but are stickiest in October. 

    Because of this “incredible distribution system,” Kyde said it is easy for people to spread the plant’s growth.

    Kyde said when she works in fields where Wavyleaf Basketgrass is present, she wraps duct tape around her hand backwards and uses it like a lint roller on her clothes. These seeds must be contained in a plastic bag and thrown in the trash.

    Wearing slick clothes, such as rain gear, helps prevent the seeds from sticking to clothes at all.
    Kyde said the plant does not like the sun, and grows primarily in disturbed woodlands. It can thrive in a range of habitats, she said, such as in moist, low places and in dry soil at the top of mountains.

    Although the plant is easy to remove, the task is time-consuming, said Kyde. “It’s very weakly rooted, it’s completely pullable by hand,” she said. “The trouble with that is that you have to get out all the roots.”

    Plant Invaders strongly advises gardeners not to buy or plant seeds of this or any basketgrass plant in the Mid-Atlantic states.

The  "Invasive Species Spotlight" is a summer blog series focusing on a different plant each week that is a problem for Mid-Atlantic home gardeners.

About the author:
Jacqueline Hyman is a junior journalism and English major at the University of Maryland. She is the editor-in-chief of the Mitzpeh, an independent Jewish newspaper at UMD. In addition, Jacqueline enjoys musical theater, and teaches piano and voice at Guitar Center. She is excited to be interning this summer for the Washington Gardener

Image credit: Invasive wavyleaf basketgrass covers part of the forest floor in the South River Greenway in Maryland Photo by Rich Mason/USFWS.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Garden Photo Show Opening Reception 2016

You are invited to view the winning images of the 10th annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest at an art show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. All 17 stunning photos were taken in DC-area gardens. Both inspirational and educational, this show represents the best of garden photography in the greater DC metropolitan region.

The photo show reception is Sunday, August 7 from 2:00-3:30pm at the Meadowlark Visitor Center's lobby. The opening reception is open to the public and is free to attend. You may also come by and view the photos any time during the normal Visitor Center hours (10am-7pm daily). The photo show runs through September 21.

To RSVP and for updates, visit our Facebook event page at:

Washington Gardener Magazine is already announcing an 11th Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest. Start gathering your images now and throughout this year. Most all of the entry rules will remain the same as this year’s contest. We will again accept the entries during the first three weeks of January.

Washington Gardener Magazine ( is the gardening publication specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs. Washington Gardener Magazine’s basic mission is to help DC area gardens grow better. The magazine is written entirely by and for local area gardeners.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens ( is a park of beauty, conservation, education and discovery. Throughout the year at this 95-acre complex are large ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections. Walking trails, lakes, more than 20 varieties of cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, butterflies, seasonal blooms and foliage create a sanctuary of beauty and nature. Meadowlark is part of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Win Natural Start Plant Fertilizers in July 2016 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest

For our July 2016 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away two pounds each of the new Natural Start by GreenView All Purpose Plant Food and Natural Start by GreenView Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Food (an $18 value). Natural Start products are from GreenView (

   Natural Start Plant Food is a special blend of natural, organic and inorganic nutrients and beneficial microbes that improve soil fertility so your plants have the best chance to develop to their full potential.

   To enter to win the set of both fertilizers, send an email to by 5pm on Friday, July 29, with “Natural Start” in the subject line and in the body of the email tell us which was your favorite article in the July 2016 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The winner will be announced and notified by August 1.

Our winner chosen at random from among the submitted entries is Carol Yemola of Drums, PA. Congratulations, Carol!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fenton Friday: First Cuke

This week at my community garden plot we are starting our third serious heat wave of the summer -- ushering that in was a huge storm overnight a few days ago that dumped 2 inches of rain in an hour. Both those factors are making the garden explode. I have reined in the tomato plants a few times and the cucumbers and sweet potato vines keep making a run for the plot borders.

The summer interns' cucumber plants are covered in flowers and pictured here is there first cuke of the season. I predict we are about to be inundated with them.

The basil is getting really big now and the garlic has finished curing as well so I plan to make a batch of pesto to have at our upcoming garden photo show.

How is your edible garden growing this week?

About Fenton Friday:
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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)