Friday, May 29, 2015

Fenton Friday: Salad Days Return!

I was able to provide a big salad for my family Memorial Day picnic -- all the greens, carrots, radishes, and Sugarsnap peas came from my community garden plot. We had enough for six people and lots leftover as well. My sister-in-law and younger niece are big salad-eaters so they will start eating it (undressed!) as we prepare the rest of the meal. I'm not as fond of straight greens, I need a big dollop of some kind of dressing - usually a creamy one like Ranch - to make the leaves go down.

Also this week, my summer interns started. Here is a picture of them picking strawberries in the hot sun. (Don't worry, we were not out there for long!) We brought them in and made fresh strawberry shortcakes and ate them right up. I'll be sharing an introductory blog of the new interns this Monday.

Meanwhile, the annoying weather-pattern continues of summer-like high temps and storms passing us right by, so I'm spending most of my gardening hours just watering to keep new plants alive. We are due for a cool break this Sunday-Monday and I hope that is accompanied by much-needed rain!

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 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: GoGardeners Garden Coaching

GoGardeners Garden Coaching

"My mission is to introduce people to the wonders of nature through their own backyards, and to show them how to enrich their lives and the environment by taking charge of their outdoor space." - Elise Stigliano,
Garden Coach &
Founder of GoGardeners
Phone: 301-518-8333
Email: elise@gogardeners.com
See: http://www.gogardeners.com/

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK Details:
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 wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Win Passes to DC Green Festival in May 2015 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest

For our May 2015 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener Magazine is giving away 25 pairs of passes to DC Green Festival (prize value: $12 each).

   Celebrate the 11th annual DC Green Festival Expo taking place June 5-7 at the DC Convention Center, now three days long. Shop for everything you need to live a more sustainable lifestyle with over 200 green brands! Taste vegan and vegetarian food and beverages. There is something for everyone to enjoy including educational and inspirational presentations from well-known chefs and sustainable fashion designers, test drives in the new electric BMW i3, and pet adoptions through the Green Festival Saves Lives Campaign. Green Festival Expo will even be run on clean energy through sponsorship with Arcadia Power. Ride your bike to the DC Green Festival, bring your helmet to the box office, and receive free admission. Visit greenfestivals.org for more information and ticket specials.

   To enter to win the DC Green Fest Passes, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on Friday, May 29, with “DCGreen” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The pass winners will be announced and notified on June 1.  

See Washington Gardener Magazine at Booth #407 at the festival!

PS You can also use the Washington Gardener Magazine ticket promo code: XDC15VLCT to purchase discounted tickets at:  http://greenfestivals.org/

UPDATE
Congratulations to our Reader Contest winners! They include:
Madeline Caliendo
Franzi Jones
Arlene Markowitz
Susan Harris
Alison Mrohs
Robin Buck
Jennifer Stikeleather
Pete Lublin
Jamie McAllisterSmith
Steve Sweeney
Kathy Jensen
Anne Hardman
Annissa Noblejas
Geri Rosenberg
Judith Daniel
Taffy Turner

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fenton Friday: Pleased with the Peas!

The Sugarsnap Peas are starting to come in at my community garden plot. Picked a couple yesterday and a handful today. I should have many more by Monday. This year, I planted far fewer pea plants as I overdid it in previous years, I may be regretting that choice now.

The strawberries are going gangbusters now. It looks like I will need help to harvest them when the bulk ripen up in the next week or so. I will see if I can keep up with them. I really need to thin the plants out after this season and not let them take over my plot, as they definitely want to do.

 I had hoped to put in my tomatoes and pepper plants today, but I'm holding off as the temps are dipping again then are going back into the 90s again next week. Maybe can tackle that task on Monday, which is predicted to be hot but overcast.

The arugula has bolted. Darn it. I have a row-cover over all the salad greens and the radishes plus carrots. It may prove futile, though I'd like at least a couple more weeks out of all of the cool season crops.

How is your edible garden doing 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 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Washington Gardener Magazine May 2015 ~ Garden Tours Round-Up, Top Local Azalea Spots, Basil Growing Tips, Kniphofia Plant Profile, and much more


The May 2015 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out and is posted at: 
http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/washingtongardenermay15

This issue includes:
~ Garden Tours Round-Up: Explore the Best Private Gardens in our Region
~ Top Local Spots for Azalea Viewing
~ May-June Garden Tasks List
~ Kniphofia: Red Hot Poker  Plant Profile
~ Tomato Terms and Types Defined
~ New Strawberry Cultivar
~ Meet Ari Novy, Executive Director of US Botanic Garden
~ Easy Basil Growing Tips (and a terrific Pesto Recipe!)
~ Local Garden Events Listing
and much more...

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

Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly publication sent to your inbox as a PDF several days before it is available online. You can use the PayPal (credit card) online order form here: http://www.washingtongardener.com/index_files/subscribe.htm

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Cannabis Concepts




A Cannabis Concepts Event....Washington, DC Cannabis Cultivation Seminar on Saturday, July 18, 2015 on 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Learn to grow cannabis from a experienced cultivator with experience growing legal cannabis in Amsterdam. Visit: www.thecannabisconcepts.com.

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK Details:
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 wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Video Wednesday: Hope in Healthy Soil


From the USDA:
To most people, soil is far from huggable. But after watching this new, 90-second YouTube ad, the video’s producers hope viewers will embrace it with new-found respect and admiration. Because healthy soil, the ad suggests, could provide solutions to some of our planet’s biggest challenges.
   As part of its “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” campaign, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released a new, 90-second public service announcement that encapsulates “The hope in healthy soil.”
   According to Ron Nichols, the campaign’s communications coordinator, the benefits of soil health are numerous, both on and off the farm.
   “By farming using soil health principles and practices like no-till, cover cropping and diverse rotations, farmers are actually increasing organic matter in their soil, increasing microbial activity, sequestering more carbon, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields,” Nichols said. “Off the farm, these practices are improving water and air quality, too.”
   The ad, is part of an on-going awareness and education campaign designed to help farmers, landowners and consumers understand the basics and benefits of soil health. Ultimately, the goal of the agency’s campaign is to increase the adoption of soil health-promoting systems on the nation’s farm and ranches.
   Later this summer, NRCS will distribute 15- and 30-second public service ads to television stations throughout the country.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fenton Friday: First Strawberries and Carrots


Another dry week here, which meant almost daily watering at my community garden plot. One blessing is that we finally received a load of compost and wood chips as my pathways and beds were an explosion of weeds overnight! I spent an hour yesterday just pulling out thistles that seem to have appeared out of nowhere.

While weeding, I was amazed to see what looked like a touch of red on a couple of my strawberries and today I returned to find 3 of them full ripe! I ate them immediately and also pulled out a few carrots to check on them, though small, they are sweet and delicious.

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 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Bloom Day: Spring Twilight

Drumstick allium
Daisy
Japanse silverbell tree
Spiderwort
Water iris
 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 a very dry start to May, so I finally turned on the outside water this week and am spot-watering anything new.

In bloom now are many flowering shrubs from spirea to weigela. Pictured here are a few flowers that struck my fancy as I walked around my garden at twilight last evening.

What is blooming in YOUR garden today?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center


Master Gardener / Master Naturalist Annual Training Conference, June 4th 2015

When:  Thursday, June 4th, 2015 8:00am-4:30pm
   
Where: University of Maryland College Park campus

Stamp Student Union & Plant Sciences Building

Conference Highlights:

·         Opportunities to connect with over 800 Master Gardeners and 100 Master Naturalists

·         Keynote Speaker William Woys Weaver, Ph.D. will be discussing:

o   The Kitchen Garden for Culinary and Cultural Research: The Roughwood Seed Collection and Baker Creek Alliance

·         40 presentation options

·         New this year: The Master Gardener Expo – see displays of interactive techniques to teach horticulture in your communities

·         Over 25 Trade Show exhibits

·         Continental breakfast

·         Choose one of four box lunch options

·         Free parking in Lot 1b (less than a 5 minute walk to the Stamp Student Union)


Registration Details:

Online registration is encouraged.  Go to: https://mgatc2015.eventbrite.com to register today!

If you do not have an affiliation as a MG or MN, the late registration cost is $109.00.

Overview of the Schedule:

7:45-8:30 AM -- CHECK IN, CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, TRADE SHOW

8:30-10:15 AM -- MASTER NATURALIST MEETING

8:30-9:15 AM -- OPENING REMARKS

9:15-10:15 AM -- MASTER GARDENER KEYNOTE ADDRESS

10:30-11:45 AM - SESSION 1 PRESENTATIONS

12:00-1:30 PM - LUNCH, TRADESHOW, MASTER GARDENER EXPO

1:45-3:00 PM - SESSION 2 PRESENTATIONS

3:15-4:30 PM - SESSION 3 PRESENTATIONS

 Contact Alicia Bembenek with any questions:  aliciafb@umd.edu or 410-531-1754



ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK Details
Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine Facebook page and Yahoo list we feature a current advertiser from our monthly digitall magazine. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Video Wednesday: Growing New Gardeners



Here’s some news from my Sesame Street contact:

Our entire 40th season curriculum is titled "My World is Green and Growing" and is focused on connecting preschoolers with the wonder of nature. 15 of the 26 episodes for the upcoming season have an "Enviroment and Science" theme. Much of this will include growing plants!

 Sesame Street normally airs on MPT M-F at 9:30 AM. Check you local PBS listings.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Fenton Friday: Radishes Revealed

Just a quick post this week to note that the radishes in my community garden plot are already ready for harvest at the same time as most of the lettuce greens being ready for their first cutting. Salad days are here!

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 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Green Spring Gardens


ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Green Spring Gardens
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/


Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax County, VA., is a "must visit" for everyone in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. It's a year-round gold mine of information and inspiration for the home gardener. It's an outdoor classroom for children and their families to learn about plants and wildlife. It's also a museum, a national historic site that offers glimpses into a long, rich history with colonial origins. There's something here for everyone: a wooded stream valley with ponds, a naturalistic native plant garden, over 20 thematic demonstration gardens, a greenhouse filled with tropicals, and a well-stocked horticultural reference library. Visit the Garden Gate Plant Shop and the two gift shops, where you'll find gift ideas ranging from books and gardening gloves to china and wind chimes. Green Spring will educate, inspire, and delight you. The gardens are always changing, so come back often for new ideas. Be sure to come to the BIG SPRING Plant Sale on May 16, Saturday 9am-3pm. Free. Spring is a great time to plant and Green Spring Gardens is hosting more than 25 plant and craft vendors to satisfy your gardening needs. Come and support Friends of Green Spring and one of Virginia’s most innovative public gardens. 

Every Thursday on the Washington Gardener Magazine blog, we feature a current advertiser from our quarterly print magazine or monthly online enewsletter. To advertise with us, contact wgardenermag@aol.com today.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Video Wednesday: Strawberry Fields Forever



New wireless sensor technology from the University of Maryland is helping local strawberry farmers better protect crops from frost, reduce water usage, and cut down on fertilizer — all to enhance production of juicy, red strawberries.


Monday, May 04, 2015

Lilacs: You Can Grow That!


Lilac (Syringa) is a large shrub whose flowers emit one of the most beautiful scents found in nature. On a sunny, breezey day like today, I can smell my lilacs in the side yard all the way down my block.

The Mid-Atlantic-area is pretty much the southern-most region that lilacs can flourish in -- as they need to experience a winter freeze and like a temperate climate. They like a sunny, well-ventilated location and can take most all soil types. 


The only real problem for them in our region is that they are prone to powdery mildew and in our humid climate most show signs of it by late summer. It will not kill the plant, it is just unsightly.


Remember to prune them after they finish flowering. Trim the bush to shape it, and remove suckers at the same time. You can given them some leaf-mulch or aged manure as a compost, but don't over-fertilize them.

Recently introduced to the market was the 'Bloomerang Lilac,' which reblooms throughout the growing season. This plant is a bit controversial among old-school gardeners who like their blooms to stay "in season." IMHO, flowering too often or not at the "correct" time is hardly a reason to dislike a plant! Though I am partial to the old standard lilacs and find them to be hardier
, more robust plants.




All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at http://www.youcangrowthat.com/.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Fenton Friday: Peas Soaring and Lettuce Ready


lettuce greens

This week at my community garden plot was a strangely dry one -- every predicted rain in our area just skirted past us and our shared cistern has yet to be filled-- so now I have a very parched patch of seedlings. I brought a bucket full of water by once alraedy and drmped out my drinking water on it as I came home yesterday, will be back with another bucket-load tonight. Hauling water is one of my LEAST favorite things in life -- had thought that living in the 21stC was going to at least benefit me in that me - nope!

Peas about 12 inches high
Ah well, such is life. Everything is progressing nicely despite the dry conditions. The potatoes I never dug up last year are all coming back in force.

The lettuce seedlings I put in last month are about an inch high and lettuce
that re-seeded itself about is already ready to harvest -- see photo.

The peas are all about a foot tall now and I read an article on how great pea shoots and tendrils are to eat raw, so I sampled a few. They are good and taste just like, well, fresh peas. But I don't want to sacrifice all my pea crop, so I'll leave the rest to grow and remember to plant extra next yeat just for harvesting the shoots and tendrils.

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 4th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)