Sunday, November 18, 2018

Adaptive Gardening and much more in the November 2018 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine





The November 2018 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is out.

You can also view it online at:

 Inside this issue:
·         Adaptive Gardening: Gardening for a Lifetime
·         All About Amaryllis
·         Pickled Paperwhites
·         Tips for Growing Chrysanthemum
·         Turnip Tales
·         Botanical Artist Marcella Kriebel
·         When Is It Too Late to Plant?
·         Spotted Lanternfly Facts
·         3 New English Roses
·         Native Honeysuckle: A Fine Vine
·         How Porous Pavement Helps Capture and Clean Water
·         And much more….

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

Friday, November 09, 2018

Fenton Friday: Freeze Coming = Final Post of the Season

With a real freeze (not frost) predicted for this weekend, this will be my last Fenton Friday post of the growing season. At the point, there is not much left in the garden to do. I brought in some helpers from the Silver Spring Time Bank (pictured at left) last Sunday and we cleared out most of the plot. We then spread a thick layer of straw over everything.

What is left wintering over in the plot:

The Asparagus and Strawberry beds are mulched and dormant.

The Garlic shoots are already up. I was given more garlic varieties to trial this week and will get those in asap as well.

The Beets and Swiss Chard are looking good and we should be able to harvest them in a few weeks.

I also have two Thornless Blackberry bushes and a Blueberry bush still in pots, that I think I'd like to move to he plot as my home garden is too shady for them. We'll see if I get time to do that before the ground freezes.

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, November 02, 2018

Fenton Friday: Surprise Carrots

While we were cleaning out one of the garden plot beds this week, I gave a tug on some leafy foliage and ended up with a big handful of carrots! These were the ones I planted early last spring and had totally given up on. The row was kept shaded and hidden when the cosmos, zinnias, and celosia came up and the mild, wet summer helped also. I dug the rest of the row and cleaned them off. They are sweet and not woody or tough in the least. This just proves what I keep telling folks at my cool-season edibles talk--carrots take for-ev-er to germinate and grow.

I think I'll seed in a new row of them this weekend and see if by next spring they are ready.

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.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

DIY: Stepping Stones

Pavers and stepping stones in your garden are essential for navigating your way around precious plant materials. The decorative aspects are unlimited. Make a path of them, create some as personalized gifts, or use them to mark the burial spot of a beloved pet.

We did these ones (pictured) from a kit, but you can easily gather the supplies and do one from scratch.

This is an easy craft for kids, though it does require close adult supervision as the mixing needs to be precise and the glass mosaic pieces can be sharp.

Caution: Cover your mouth and eyes with protective gear when mixing concrete as the dust can be hazardous if breathed in.





Materials:
- Bucket to mix in
- Water and measuring cup
- Stir sticks or skewers
- Acrylic Paint (optional)


Instructions:

Step 1- Spread out newspaper and lay out a pattern for your mosaic. You may wish the use the cutters to cut the pieces to the exact shape you desire, but I think it is more fun just to work with what you have as a puzzle.

Step 2 - Coat the sides and bottom of the mold with cooking spray so the stone will easily release afterwards.

Step 3 - Add water to your concrete mix according to package instructions and stir. Once it reaches a pancake-batter consistency, pour it into the mold. Use a stir stick to level it and lightly tap the mold on the table it to get out any air bubbles.

Step 4 - Transfer your mosaic art on to the paver surface. Leave at least an 1/8-inch space between the glass pieces. This is where you made need to adjust things as I always find your pattern "expands" when transferred. Next, decorate with the glass gem pieces as desired.

Step 5: Set aside to cure for a day and then un-mold it. Then let it set for another couple of days to totally dry before setting it outside.

Optional: After it has set for about 30 minutes, you can use one of the stir sticks to scratch in some words or a design into the concrete. After the stepping stones are totally dry, you can paint them or leave them plain. 

TIP: Decorate with found objects from marbles to small toys. Press in a leaf or plant stems to make neat-looking impressions.


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, October 26, 2018

Fenton Friday: Cistern Drained

We've had a few frost days this past week, but the Basil is holding on - though a bit damaged.

It was time to drain our cistern and hoses, so we filled up several jugs and buckets to hold water for cool-season watering. It was my first time in charge of this community garden chore. Frustratingly, the last few inches of water in the cistern are below the spigot line. I tried to lower in a bucket on a rope and a jug, but that I only got a few drops out. Anyone able to lend a giant sponge? I assume those last few inches always sit there at the very bottom and will do no harm when they freeze and thaw.

In the plot, the Swiss Chard (pictured) and Beets are doing fine. We cut back the Garlic Chive flowers to stop it from seeding everywhere. I pulled out some more of the summer annual flowers and will try to get to the rest next week to clear out a spot for some cover crops.

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, October 22, 2018

Win a Behnke Nurseries Gift Card in the October 2018 Washington Gardener Reader Contest


For our October 2018 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away a gift card to Behnke Nurseries, known as Washington’s premiere plant and garden center with weekly sales and special offers on plants and gardening products. (The card value is $25.00.)
   The story of Behnke Nurseries is the epitome of the American dream. A young man from Germany immigrated to the United States to seek a better life for himself while carrying on the family tradition. Now a local landmark, Behnke Nurseries began over 75 years ago in Beltsville, MD, through the hard work and determination of that young man, Albert Behnke, and his wife Rose.
   Behnke gift cards are the perfect gift for the finicky plant lover in your life. They can spend it now or wait until spring. The possibilities are endless with the Behnke gift card. The amount you select could grow into a new tree, window box garden, or a beautiful rose bush, not to mention a garden bench or decorative statue. Purchase online (http://shop.behnkes.com/product/behnke-gift-card/) or call the store and order over the phone at 301-937-1100.
    Email WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on October 30 with “Behnke Nurseries” 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 October 2018 issue and why. The gift card winner will be announced and notified on November 1.

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
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Featured Post

Top 10 Gifts for Gardeners

As the holiday season is upon  us, I find my email inbox filling up with requests from product companies and PR companies urging me to share...