Thursday, October 29, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Behnke Nurseries

Behnke Nurseries today reflects the same old-fashioned principles set by our founders. We offer the widest practical selection of top quality plants, with knowledgeable staff to assist in plant choices and educate in plant care.

Behnke Nurseries now enjoys nationwide recognition as Washington’s premiere plant and garden center. Here you will find all kinds of great articles and tips on a wide variety of plants and products from our staff of seasoned horticulturists.

See: http://behnkes.com/website/

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, October 28, 2015

Video Wednesday: Shutting Off Water Sources to Winterize Your Garden

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In this video, Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine, demonstrates how to shut off your water sources before winter.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Win Heaven is a Garden in October 2015 Washington Gardener Magazine's Reader Contest

For our October 2015 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving a signed copy of Heaven is a Garden: Designing Serene Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection by Jan Johnsen (a prize value of $18.00).  
   Why do some gardens make us feel so wonderful, relaxed, and refreshed? Using ideas based on ancient and modern practices, this book shows how you can uplift yourself and others in a serene setting designed for “unplugging” and relaxing. Whether you are intending to create a lovely garden or just thinking about a future outdoor haven, Heaven is a Garden will help you see your backyard in a whole new light and reawaken an awareness of the wonders of Nature. “Simplicity, Sanctuary, and Delight” is the guideline that noted landscape designer Jan Johnsen recommends in this elegantly written book. She draws on her 40 years in the profession and offers stunning visuals and specific ways to make a garden look glorious and feel harmonious at the same time. She reveals how to highlight a power spot, explores the lure of the sheltered corner, explains why a gate facing east is considered auspicious, and suggests which trees you can use to impart a special atmosphere. Gardeners will also enjoy the chapters on the mysteries of color, a rock’s resonance, and the magic of water.
   To enter to win a signed copy of Heaven is a Garden, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5pm on Friday, October 30, with “Heaven” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us which was your favorite article in the October 2015 issue of the magazine and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The pass winners will be announced and notified on November 1.

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winner Karen Bishop Wood of Hollywood, MD! Her entry was chosen at random from among the submitted entries.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fenton Friday: Closing out the Season

While this week has been mercifully mild, it is coming to the end of the official growing season and we are to have our individual plots cleared out and cleaned up by November 1. We can still continue to grow crops through the winter, if we wish, but many do not at my garden. A few have set up row covers, but mostly as I walked around today, I saw emptied-out beds and a few with freshly sown cover crops.

I have been working this week to pull out the last of the tomato vines and annual flowers (pictured below). My green beans are still producing well, so I'm leaving them up until the last possible second.

Over-wintering in my plot are:
- Calendula (pictured at top)
- Asparagus
- Strawberries
- Garlic
- Chives
- Arugula
- Carrots
- Cauliflower
- Broccoli
- Parsley




This will be my last Fenton Friday report for 2015. Check back in around mid-March 2016, when I plan to kick off the new growing season -- weather-dependent, of course.

 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, October 22, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Love & Carrots


Love and Carrots provides gardening assistance to people who would like to have an organic vegetable garden in their backyard, front yard, patio, balcony, or even bay window. DC is unique in that it has abundant yard space for a city. Many people here have both a front and back yard, however not many people use these spaces to grow food. They would like to see that potential realized and so far, they have seen that the interest in home gardening in DC already exists. Their aim is to help get people started growing their own food as locally as possible – in their own yard!

They design, install, and maintain organically grown vegetable gardens, transforming backyards and rooftops into fresh, organic banquets. Veggies are just a part of what they do – Love and Carrots also works with native plants, chicken coops, and rain gardens.

See:  http://loveandcarrots.com/

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, October 21, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Washington Gardener Magazine ~ October 2015 issue ~ Growing Cauliflower, Overwinter Geraniums, Bulb and Perennial Combinations, and much more


The October 2015 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out and posted online at:

This issue includes:~ Cauliflower: Growing Tips for Our Region
~ Large Flowered Bellwort: A Pure Gold Native
~ Your Garden Tasks To-Do List for October-November
~ Fall is for Planting: Giving Your Plants a Healthy Start
~ Local Garden Events Calendar for DC-MD-VA
~ How to Overwinter Geraniums
~ Combating Rhododendron Borer
~ Meet the New Director of the U.S. National Arboretum
~ Best Tested Bulb and Perennial Combinations
~ and much more...


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

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fenton Friday: Arugula Seedlings Up

The Arugula seeds we planted are all coming up now. I tasted one tiny seedling and it was very nice. I will give it another week or so until thinning them to take more for eating.


Our big community garden clean-up session is tomorrow and I hope to get most of my plot cleared up -- especially the tomato vines are we are due to be hit by a frost/freeze this weekend.


Our cistern is also closing up for the season this week, so in order to have any nearby water for my cool-season edibles, I will be bring in over 20+ kitty litter containers that I have saved up for this purpose. We will drain the cistern into them and line them up for communal use,



 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, October 15, 2015

Bloom Day's Shoulder Season

Saffron Crocus
Seedheads on Lily of the Valley
Nippon Daisy
Water Hyacinth
 It is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day again! On the 15th of each month, we gardeners from all over the world share a few bloom photos on our blogs. My garden is in the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border.

The month of October is a shoulder-season for us. Summer annuals and edibles are still hanging on, but a frost could come at any time, so the leaves are changing. Many of us are putting in cool-season plants and spring-blooming bulbs.

In my own garden, I was surprised to see my Water Hyacinth put on a big show this week. After putting out one or two blooms at a time all summer long, this week I have 10 blooms at once and my hardy yellow water lily is also throwing out a rare flower.

The Nippon Daisy and Saffron Crocus are just opening. I had hoped also for Toad Lily blooms to show today, but they look to be still a week away from opening.

Finally, the Lily of the Valley are covered in their berry-like fall seedheads. Who says they are a one-season-interest plant?

What is blooming in YOUR garden today?

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Plant a Row for the Hungry


Plant a Row for the Hungry is People Helping People
Since 1995, over 20 million pounds of produce providing over 80 million meals have been donated by American gardeners. All of this has been achieved without government subsidy or bureaucratic red tape -- just people helping people.


Plant A Row is a public service program of the Garden Writers Association and the GWA Foundation. Garden writers are asked to encourage their readers/listeners to plant an extra row of produce each year and donate their surplus to local food banks, soup kitchens and service organizations to help feed America’s hungry.

There are over 84 million households with a yard or garden in the U.S. If every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and donates their surplus to local food agencies and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger.


Support Plant A Row and help make a difference in your community.

PAR Hotline 1-877-492-2727
or go to http://www.gardenwriters.org/gwa.php?p=par/index.html

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, October 14, 2015

Video Wednesday: NCOS Orchid Show and Sale

The National Capital Orchid Society hosted their 68th annual orchid show and plant sale at Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, Maryland, from Saturday, October 10th until Monday October 12t, 2015. The show, called “Present Orchids!” featured one-hour educational lectures by NCOS members and visiting professional growers, tours of orchid exhibits conducted by NCOS members, and hundreds of prize-winning unique orchid plants in bloom. Vendors sold decorative pots, tropical plants, houseplants, seasonal items, gardening supplies and more. An “Orchid Doctor” was available to customers for questions about growing orchid plants. The NCOS will host an orchid auction in the spring.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Native Spotlight: Gentiana andrewsii

Guest Blog by Rachel Shaw



Gentiana andrewsii, commonly called Closed Gentian or Bottle Gentian, is a gorgeous, late-blooming garden treat. The petals of the beautiful blue flowers remain tightly closed, looking like large buds on the verge of bursting into full bloom.

This is a plant that likes relatively moist rich soil. This summer’s extremely dry weather was harder on my Closed Gentians than on most of my native plants, even with some supplemental watering. I worried that they wouldn’t flower this year. The tiny immature flower buds seemed to stay that way for weeks, although perhaps that is usually the case and I just hadn’t noticed. But I needn’t have worried. Even before the recent days of steady rain, the flowers seemed almost overnight to have grown and plumped up. The foliage is red-tinged rather than the deep green of previous years. But the rich blue of the flowers is stunning, and even more so on gray dreary days.

Closed Gentians are pollinated by bumble bees, said to be the only pollinators strong enough to force their way into the tops of the tightly closed flowers to get to the nectar. I was surprised when I first learned this, because most of the bumble bees I’ve seen on these plants have been on the outside facing down, clasping the base of the flower.

Just recently I just came across a link to a book, Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide by Paul H. Williams, et al., with a fascinating observation. The authors note that bumble bee species with long tongues are better than short-tongued species at reaching nectar in long tubular flowers such as Closed Gentians. However, some short-tongued bumble bee species have learned to pierce the base of the Closed Gentian flower to get at the nectar. I have no idea if that’s what I’ve been observing. Maybe the bees are just resting after a difficult fight into the top of the flower! Please let me know if you have any knowledge or observations about this. 



About the author:
Rachel Shaw focuses on vegetable gardening and growing native plants in her small yard in Rockville, MD. She blogs at http://hummingbirdway.blogspot.com/

This guest blog post is part of a monthly Native Plants series posted around the 10th of each month.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Fenton Friday: An Artful View





Last night at the Fenton Community Garden we celebrated a new commissioned sculpture placed at the adjacent Fenton Street Urban Park. Isn't it gorgeous? The work is by Michael Enn Sirvet and it is called "Red Orchard Wall." The piece is reflective of the apple orchards that used to be a part of this once-rural community of East Silver Spring.

Meanwhile at the garden plot this week, the fall intern and I harvested a few last green beans and tomatoes. Then we planted some garlic.

 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, October 08, 2015

ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: 4th Annual Trees Matter Symposium

4th Annual Trees Matter Symposium: 

Trees and the Built Environment

Wednesday, November 4, 07:30 AM - 04:00 PM
The 4th annual Trees Matter Symposium will focus on the health and welfare of trees in our increasingly developed landscapes. Learn from some of the country's leading experts about innovative efforts to plant, protect, and preserve trees in urban and suburban landscapes.

Continuing education credits will be available for this event.

Cost: Early Bird (Oct 7) $55/Regular Rate $70

Confirmed Featured Speakers:

~ Michael Dirr, PH.D
Horticulturist and Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia
Author of the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants

~ Christopher Luley, PH.D
Vice President/Pathologist at Urban Forestry LLC
Author of Wood Decay Fungi

To register or if interested in becoming an exhibitor, please email: TreesMatter@montgomeryparks.org


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, October 07, 2015

Video Wednesday: How to Plant Garlic



Garlic is super-easy to plant! Here are a few tips specially tailored to home gardeners in the Mid-Atlantic USA (DC-MD-VA-PA-WV-NC-NJ).

Friday, October 02, 2015

Fenton Friday: One Sweet Pepper




Behold! My one and only Sweet Pepper of the season. This is why I generally do not grow the sweet ones - as the yield is so sparse and slow -- really not worth the space the plants  take up in the pot. The smaller, hot varieties do very well, so I grow those mostly just for fun and ornamental uses.

So, what did I do with this one, small, prized pepper? I diced it up and put it on a cheese pizza. It was pretty good, but nothing special.




The new fall intern started this week and together we planted some Arugula seeds from Botanical Interests. Then the deluge started. I am hoping these seeds are not all washed away in the flooding rains. After weeks of no rain and just coming back from visiting the drought in California, I am trying hard not to complain about even of the precipitation we receive this week.

 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, October 01, 2015

DIY: Create Your Own Garden Pathway

Guest blog by Gaby Galvin

If you find yourself ignoring parts of your garden or yard because of inaccessibility,

this project is for you. It only takes about 20 minutes to put together and can be

customized to fit your needs. You might not even have to purchase a single item for

this project – recycling is the name of the game.

 Supplies:
  • Wood pallets or crate boards in the same length
  • Soil, sand, or gravel – your choice
  • Garden rocks, plants, or other decoration
Instructions:

1. Dig up any plants or weeds in the area you are going to create your walkway,

making it a little wider than your wood boards.

2. Put down your soil, sand, or gravel, making sure it is still a little lower to the

ground than the two areas you are connecting.

3. Place the boards side-by-side horizontally to create the pathway. The boards

should be slightly embedded in the ground to keep them in place.

4. Place your garden rocks randomly or add decorative shrubs or plants. This is

the part where you get to be creative!

This project is simple and allows for a lot of creative leeway. You can alternate the

coloring of the wood boards to make the pathway more aesthetically pleasing. If

your pathway will be rounded, make sure to position the boards in an arch rather

than a sharp line. If you want this pathway to last a long time and it will be rained on

often, consider treating it or sealing it so it doesn’t rot. Sealing the wood will also

stop it from becoming too slippery.

About the author:
Gaby Galvin is a Washington Gardener Magazine summer 2015 intern who is studying multiplatform journalism at the University of Maryland. She does some gardening at home in Davidsonville, MD, with her mother and grandparents. 
 
This is the third in a 5-part series on DIY projects for the home gardener. Look for the next installments in this DIY blog series on the 1st of each month (through December 2015) here at washingtongardener.blogspot.com.


ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK: Advanced Landscape Plant IPM PHC Short Course

Advanced Landscape Plant IPM PHC Short Course

January 4-7, 2016

For registration
information, contact:
Avis Koeiman
Department of Entomology
4291 Fieldhouse Dr.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Tel: 301-405-3913
Email: akoeiman@umd.edu

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.