Friday, October 19, 2018

Fenton Friday: Garlic Planted

Elephant Garlic and "regular" garlic
Thanks to Tony Sarmiento's talk to the Silver Spring Garden Club on Monday, I had the inspiration to get my garlic in this week. Tony showed several kinds of garlic (see pic at left) and shared many planting tips.

One thing Tony advised was to not wash the garlic right after harvesting, but to just brush off the soil. This year, the soil was so wet it was caked on the garlic, so I felt I had to give it a good scrub anyway before hanging them to cure.

The other tip that was new to me was so dip the cloves in a solution of 10% bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) and then plant them immediately (do not dry them off in-between). I have never done that and didn't this year either.

Both of these tips are to guard against fungal and diseases issues, which I have been lucky enough not to be bothered by -- so far.

We cleared out a section of the plot - mercilessly ripping out the last of the tomatoes and some herbs.

We planted three heads of 'Music' (aka 'Porcelain' or 'German White') Garlic, which yielded 16 cloves. One clove was about half the bulb size - very strange, but we planted it anyway.

What is growing in your edible garden 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 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October 2018 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine: Art of Meadows, 5 Deer-proof Species Tulips, Autumn Crocus (Colchicum), How to Harvest and Cure Sweet Potatoes, etc.





The October 2018 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.
You can view it online at:

Inside this issue:
~ Glenstone and Larry Weaner: The Art of Meadows
~ 5 Deer-proof Tulips for Your Gardens
~ Autumn’s Beautiful Bulbs: Colchicum
~ How to Harvest and Cure Sweet Potatoes
~ Mucking About Garden Boots
~ Meet Smithsonian’s Rosarian Shelley Gaskins
~ Why, When, and How to Prune Perennials
~ A Cool, New Cosmos
And much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the November 2018 issue are due by November 1.
 
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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cool-season Edible Gardening Tips

By Ashley O’Connor

Kathy Jentz, editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine,
gave a talk on cool-season edible gardening for the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday, September 28, at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.

Included in her speech were the following tips:
  • Test your soil before you go out and purchase amendments and other materials
  • Clay holds a lot of nutrients, but it has poor drainage, this will effect the plants you choose
  • You don’t need fertilizer for the fall season!
  • For insulation, you can use cover clothes, cold frames, greenhouses, or hotbeds… just make sure you have proper ventilation
  • When trying to choose between direct sown or seedlings; consider cost, timing, and convenience
Below are some of the recommended edibles to try:
~ Herbs -- cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme and lavender
Note that sage, thyme and lavender need good drainage

~ Perennial edibles -- asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb
 Warning: Jerusalem artichoke “will take over if you let it”

~ Root vegetables -- carrots, radish, potatoes, turnips, and beets
 These need to be direct-sown because they don’t like being moved
 Be patient with carrots, they are slow growers

~ Salad Greens -- kale, swiss chard, spinach, arugula
 Brassicas -- broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage

About the Author:
Ashley O’Connor, a senior multi-platform journalist at the University of Maryland. This autumn, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bloom Day: Purple October

Here in the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, the past month has been wet (understatement of the century) and chilly autumn temps arrived dramatically over the weekend. 

Though fall is known for its yellow/orange/rust tones, I revel in all the pinks, blues, and purples that Mother Nature gives us to enjoy. Here is a collage of royal-hued beauties from my garden today.


It is the 15th of the month, which means Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again. To view links to other garden bloggers' blooms around the world to see what it blooming in their gardens today and to read their collective comments, go to: 
https://www.maydreamsgardens.com/2018/10/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-october-2018.html
So what is blooming in YOUR garden today?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Amazon Influencer

 
Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I am now an Amazon Influencer - I earn a little bit from anything you order there after clicking through on this link. I'll be updating my collection with the garden tools and products I use daily and love. See the link below.
I thought you might be interested in my curated page on Amazon.
Check out this page for wdcgardener
Check out this page for wdcgardener
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fenton Friday: A Sprinkling of Ground Cherries

This week, I found these Ground Cherries (Physalis spp.) from a couple plants that had reseeded in my garden plot and camouflaged themselves among the Marigolds. 

They are not the golden-yellow color that they should be for safe eating and turning sweet-tasting. I threw these few out to the squirrels and birds. I suspect they aborted early due to all the rains we've had. This is a plant that likes things a bit on the hot and dry side like its cousins the Tomatillo and Tomato. 

You can find out all about sourcing and growing Ground Cherries in our September 2014 back issue of Washington Gardener Magazine posted here.

Elsewhere in the plot, the Beets and Swiss Chard are doing okay. Basils are hanging in there and we harvest a few Cherry Tomatoes. Mostly though it is prime-time for the cut flowers with the Zinnias and Celosia putting on a pretty autumnal show of lipstick-pinks and complementary deep-reds for the last of my small sunflowers. 

What is growing in your edible garden 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 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Fenton Friday: What's the Story, Morning Glory?

This Morning Glory vine has threatened to take over the back half of my community garden plot for the last few years. I don't remember planting any Morning Glory seeds, but maybe I did. No matter. It is here to stay. Occasionally, I yank out a stray tendril here and there and beat it back a bit, but mostly I let it drape and wind its way through by the end of the growing season. Those flowers practically glow in the morning light and I cannot bring myself to ever totally eradicate it.

Do you have a garden interloper that you should remove, but don't?

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 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Video Wednesday: Urban and Small Space Gardening


I had a great time chatting with Mike of The Vegetable Gardening Show on small space and urban vegetable gardening! I hope you will check it out.

Monday, October 01, 2018

DIY: Flower Crowns


By Ashley O’Connor


Celebrate the height of cut-flower season with a fun flower crown activity. With friends, family, or just yourself, it’s an easy way to highlight some seasonal blooms. And with proper supervision kids can join in too!

Gathering the flowers is the best part. Flower crowns offer lots of flexibility. Use whatever flowers you have access to in your home garden or from your local florist or cut-flower farm. 

Materials:
·         Floral wire
·         Floral tape
·     Pruners
·         Wire cutters
·         Greenery/Vines
·         Flowers!

Instructions:

Step 1- Measure floral wire around your head to estimate the right length, then cut it with wire cutters -- leaving a bit extra. (Complete steps and 1 and 2 for children)

Step 2- Bend the wire in a rough circular shape and twist the ends together or wrap with floral tape.

Step 3- Wrap the wire with a strong vine such as a Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) or long-stemmed greens like Dill or Fennel. Keep in mind the more vine you use, the more natural the crown looks and the easier it is to attach flowers.


Step 4- Leaving at least 3-4 inches of stem; weave the flower stems into the wrapped vine OR create small arrangements of flowers, wrapping the stems together in floral tape or floral wire. Then attach these arrangements to the base of your crown with more floral tape or floral wire.
   You can place as many flowers around the crown as you like for a full look or just have one small bunch gathered on either side of your head for a more "Roman" look. 

Step 5-Take pictures of your beautiful creations! Be sure to use #gardenDC if you post it on social media so we can re-share them.

TIP: These floral crown creations are ephemeral -- perhaps lasting a day at most. If you want a permanent crown, you can use good quality, realistic silk flowers or paper flowers.

Four-legged friends love them too! Editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Kathy Jentz
and Santino, on of her cats, spend an afternoon making this pretty accessory.

About the Author:

Ashley O’Connor, a senior multi-platform journalist at the University of Maryland. This autumn, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener.

This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting "DIY" in the search box here at washingtongardener.blogspot.com




  

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fenton Friday: Cucamelons - Finally

This year's Cucamelons aka Mexican Sour Gherkins (Melothria scabra) took forever to form. The vines grew and grew, flowered and flowered, but not a "mouse melon" in sight, until this past week. I blame the constant rains and cloudy days.

Elsewhere in the plot, the end of the summer season is evident and the tomatoes are petering out. I'll be pulling those vines out soon and clearing out space for Garlic and cool season edibles like Spinach and Cilantro.

What is growing in your edible garden 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 7th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Win a Copy of The English Country House Garden in the September 2018 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our September 2018 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away three copies of The English Country House Garden by George Plumptre from Quarto Publishing (www.quartoknows.com). The prize value is $25.00 each.
   There is something special about the English country house garden: from its quiet verdant lawns to its high yew hedges, this is a style much-desired and copied around the world. The English country house is most often conceived of as a private, intimate place; a getaway from working life. A pergola, a sundial, a croquet lawn, a herbaceous border of soft planting—here is a space to wander and relax, to share secrets, and above all to enjoy afternoon tea. But even the most peaceful of gardens also take passion and hard work to create. This new book takes a fresh look at the English country house garden, starting with the owners and the stories behind the making of the gardens. Glorious photographs capture the gardens at their finest moments through the seasons, and a sparkling and erudite text presents 25 gardens—some grand, some personal, some celebrated, some never-before-photographed—to explore why this garden style has been so very enduring and influential. From the Victorian grandeur of Tyntesfield and Cragside, to the Arts & Crafts simplicity of Rodmarton Manor and Charleston; from Scampston, in the same family since the 17th century, to new gardens by Dan Pearson and Tom Stuart-Smith; and with favorites such as Hidcote and Great Dixter alongside new discoveries, this book will be a delicious treat for garden-lovers.
    Email WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on September 30 with “English County Garden” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Include your full name and mailing address. Tell us which was your favorite article in the September 2018 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine issue and why. The book winners will be announced and notified on October 1.

UPDATE:
Congratulations to our 3 winners chosen at random from among the submitted entries:
  • Barbara Delaney, Bethesda, MD
  • Cindy Haney, Falls Church, VA  
  • Madeline Caliendo,  Washington, DC




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