Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Plant Profile: Euphorbia aka Spurge

Euphorbia Plant Profile

Euphorbia (Euphorbia spp.) also known as spurge is an easy-care perennial plant that deserves a place in your garden. Aside from being low-maintenance, it is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and long-blooming. 

It is hardy to zones 4-10. Euphorbia prefers full to part sun and well-draining soils. Some plants are short-lived and need to be dug and divided every few years. Euphorbia is also easy to propagate by taking stem cuttings, stripping off the lower leaves, and rooting them in a soilless potting mix.

The common garden spurge is in the same family (Euphorbiaceae) as poinsettia, croton, castor oil plant, and several kinds of succulents. One thing you will notice that many have in common is they exude a white milky sap when a stem is broken. Be careful when pruning them as this sap can be a skin irritant and harmful if you get it in your eyes.

Like their poinsettia cousin, the spurge’s so-called flowers are actually modified leaves called bracts. These stay on for a long time and lend great color appeal to these decorative plants.

Spurge are available in colors ranging from bright chartreuse to deep burgundy.  Popular varieties include ‘Ascot Rainbow’, ‘Glacier Blue’, and ‘Polychroma’.

Euphorbia - You Can Grow That!


The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz


 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out

 FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE


~ Podcast: GardenDC

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday Thoughts

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, & no culture comparable to that of the garden." - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, April 18, 2021

April 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine – Flowering Quince, Deer-Resistant Native Plants, Heirloom Corn Salad, and much more

The April 2021 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

Inside this issue:

·         Flowering  Quince

·         What Happens to All Those Plastic Plant Pots?

·         Petal Porches on Parade

·         Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast

·         Why Do Soil Tests Not Include Nitrogen Levels?

·         Meet the Chief Veggie Officer of Little Wild Things City Farm

·         Seed Swapping Carries On

·         How to Grow Heirloom Corn Salad (Mache)

·         Crystal Installation Shines Amidst Dark Year

and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the May 2021 issue are due by May 5.


>>  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:

Saturday, April 17, 2021

GardenDC Podcast Episode 55: Container Gardening Basics

In this episode, we talk with Michaelle Scanlon and Deborah Lessne, co-owners of Garden sPOTS, about container gardening basic. The plant profile is on Asparagus and we share our upcoming events and local gardening news!

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

Note: this post may contain Amazon affiliate links.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Fenton Friday: Kicking Into Higher Gear

potato plants emerging
This week was mostly cool with some passing showers and a few windy days -- a typical spring.

I added three types of lettuce ('Asian Baby Leaf', ''Mesclun Provens Style', and 'Garden Blend') on Monday and can you believe the seeds have already sprouted?!?

The  'Garden Party' radishes and 'White Egg' turnips are also all up. 

Also making an appearance are the fingerling potato plants!

No sign of the 'Ultimate Hybrid' carrots seedlings yet, but that is as expected

I picked a few more stalks of the asparagus. The fava beans are still growing nicely, while the peas seem to be slowing down for some reason. I added in some 'Oregon Giant' snow pea seeds, just in case the others were duds.

I also sprinkled Sluggo everywhere. Those slugs are not feasting on my seedlings!

The strawberries are flowering profusely and the garlic keeps growing by leaps and bounds.

The  'Navaho' thornless blackberry plants are leafing out nicely too.

How is your edible garden growing?

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 in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 8th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bloom Day: Tulip Time

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 in the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, spring has finally sprung! It feels like EVERYTHING is blooming at once now, so I decided this month just to focus on the tulips. I made the collage graphic shown above. The main frame shows 'Purple Prince' and the side panel are a few others that caught my eye. See my article here on several other of my favorite tulip varieties. 

In the rest of the garden today, I have blooming: Heather, Hellebores, mid/late-season Daffodils, Grape Hyacinths, Lilacs, Leucojum, Epimedium, Primrose, Redbud tree, Weeping 'Higan' Cherry tree, Confederate Jasmine vine, 
Corydalis, Pansies, Viola, African Daisy, Alyssum, Brunnera, Phlox, Trillium, Euphorbia, Pushkinia, Golden Ragwort, PJM Rhodidendron, Azalea, Vinca, and much more!

Be sure to follow @WDCgardener on Instagram for daily pics of what is blooming in our garden and area gardens that we visit.

So what is blooming today in YOUR garden?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Plant Profile: Asparagus

Nothing says, "SPRING!" like fresh asparagus. With no real work on my part, I am able to get a decent harvest of asparagus from my community garden plot. The only thing this perennial vegetable really requires is patience.

Having to hold off on harvesting for three years from the initial planting date was a real test of my will power, but the wait is worth it. They are so tender fresh from the garden that they only need a quick blanching to prepare them.

To plant them, buy asparagus crowns (roots) via mail-order or from your local garden center. Plant them in a trench about 6 to 12 inches deep and a foot wide in a sunny spot in your garden. Add in some organic compost when re-filling the hole and then keep the area well-mulched.

 Let the plants go through their growth cycle for two years without picking any so they gain strength and get well-established. In the third year, you can finally selectively harvest some spears by grasping them near the ground to bend them and they will naturally snap off at their weakest point.

At the beginning of May, stop harvesting and let the asparagus spears grow. They need the tall foliage and recovery time to send energy back down to the developing roots. You will need to tie-up the long asparagus fronds in the summer with a bungee cord or string as they like to flop over.

 In the fall, the plant forms little red seed pods or "berries," The asparagus seeds can be collected, dried, and planted the next spring. Towards the end of autumn, the foliage starts to turn brown --cut it back and compost it. Then mulch the bed with an organic material like straw.

I let strawberries encroach in my asparagus bed as their surface-runners don't really interfere much with the asparagus roots, but you really should keep it weeded and free of other interloping plants.

By the way, “white” asparagus is the same plant as the regular green one. It is just deprived of sunshine so it can’t produce chlorophyll and turn green. To grow white asparagus, bury the spears in mounds -- adding a few inches of soil a little at time, leaving the very tips showing. Harvest by digging them out and cutting off the top growth.

Asparagus - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz


 If you enjoy this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our Youtube channel (thank you!)

Remember to TURN ON notifications to know when our new videos are out

 FIND Washington Gardener Magazine ONLINE


~ Podcast: GardenDC


Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Thoughts

"The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies."
- Gertrude Jekyll 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

21+ Gifts for Gardeners ~ Gardening Gifts ~ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

Spring is here, so I thought I'd share again the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true work tools that make my garden grow, save my back from breaking, and generally make life a little easier. Treat yourself!

BTW, the gift ideas are linked to an Amazon affiliate account, so if you click on them and order any, Washington Gardener Magazine gets a few pennies added to the account for the referral. Our full Amazon storefront is at:


Need even more ideas? Here are some gift guides from my garden blogging friends -

Disclosure: Clicking on these links and then ordering anything from Amazon may put a few pennies in the Washington Gardener Magazine bank account. Thank you for anything you can direct our way. We are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Gifts for Gardeners ~ Gardening Gifts ~ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

Today is Amazon Prime Day, so I thought I'd again share the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true w...