Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Seed Packs for Trick-or-Treaters

I always like to give something on Halloween in addition to candy. Sometimes it is cool pencils or stickers. Other years I give out small toys. This year I went through my boxes of extra seed packs and sorted out ones I thought kids would enjoy growing or that had a fun autumnal look -- from pumpkins to carrots to sunflowers to funky gourds. I got out my box of scrapbooking supplies and found a "Happy Halloween" stamp. I stamped some card-sized paper samples then stapled them to the top of the seed packs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. Next year, I'll try to remember to make these a few weeks in advance of the Halloween holiday to give out at any events Washington Gardener Magazine may exhibit at as a nice booth freebie for kids and adults.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Corona Contest - Deadline Pushed Back Due to Sandy

For our October 2012 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away red t-shirts (size XL) and garden clippers from Corona Tools.

An authentic American brand, Corona tools were born in the orange groves of California in the 1920s. Since then, generations of agriculturists, gardeners, landscapers, arborists, and construction professionals have turned to Corona to find high-quality tools that work as hard as they do. They know that Corona’s iconic red handles are an immediate symbol of quality and long-lasting durability. Learn more about CoronaTools at

To enter to win a Corona T-shirt and garden clippers, send an email with “Coronoa” in the subject line to by 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 30 Sunday, November 4. In the body of the email please include your full name, email, mailing address, and tell us: “Your Favorite Gardening Tool and Why.” The winners will be announced and notified by November 6. Some of the entry responses may be used in future Washington Gardener online or print articles.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fenton Friday: Weeds and Last of the Potatoes

Pumpkin vine blossom
Spent some time in my garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden weeding and cleaning up some of the spent cucumber and melon vines. I did note that my Spinach is growing tall with nice foliage, but no heads forming yet. My pumpkin vine decided finally to set a flower (pictured) but unless we have the mildest winter weather, it is a waste of the plant's effort. Yeah, this has been a crazy year as far as timing.

I also weeded a bit as with other things ending, it is very obvious where weeds like Mares Tail and other nasty plants have snuck in underneath and behind the "good" plants. And they have the nerve to  be starting to set seed!

German Butterball potatoes
I dug my last German Butterball row of potatoes up too. Leaving these in all season paid off as I have far more yield from these than the plants I dug up mid-summer.

Video: How to Winterize Your Vegetable Garden

For 3+ days, I've bee trying to get my photos and video of the White House kitchen garden to upload so I can edit and share them with you all. I think I'll give that a break for now and hope that happens over the weekend so I can share them next week. Meanwhile, I'm postng this video from the Washington Gardener Magazine/ vaults on "How to Winterize Your Vegetable Garden."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Growing Moss Gardens and Lawns ~ Washington Gardener Enews ~ October 2012

The Washington Gardener Enews ~ October 2012 is now out and being emailed as a PDF to all current Washington Gardener Magazine subscribers.

~ Growing Moss Gardens and Lawns
~ Magazine Excerpt:
Knights in Muddy T-Shirts -- A Garden Rescue
~ Mid-Atlantic Garden To-Do List for October-November
~ Reader Contest: Win Garden Clippers and T-Shirts from Corona Tools by telling us Your Favorite Garden Tools
~ Washington Gardener's Recent Blog Post Highlights
~ Spotlights Special: New October Magic™ Dawn (Camellia sasanqua) from Southern Living Plants
~ Top Local Garden Events Calendar for October-November
~ Washington Gardener Magazine Back Issue Sale!
and much more... 

The issue is also posted and archived online at:
so you can access it anytime.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fenton Friday: Absent Gardener

I was away this past week at the Garden Writers Association annual symposium in Tucson, AZ. I had a great time networking, taking classes, and touring desert gardens, but I have to say I am so glad to be home where things grow lushly and almost effortlessly. I have about 500 photos from the trip I'm sharing shortly over at the page -- from variegated figs (the fruit not the foliage) to the true blue cactus -- I think you'll enjoy the photo album.

Between unpacking and catching up on piles of mails, emails, phone messages, etc., I ran over to my community garden plot to see how things were growing. This green eating machine (pictured above) was on a broccoli plant that somehow was outside the Remay cloth cover I had placed over the row in order to protect them from critters such as this one. I suppose while I was gone the wind and rains may have exposed it and it did not take long for the greedy insects to descend upon it. Glad I was there today to pick him and a smaller brother off and to re-cover the plant. Maybe I'll actually be able to have some home-grown broccoli to enjoy this fall!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Video Wednesday: Espoma

What do you think of Espoma's new campaign launch to overthrow the "Big Brother" of lawn care with its organic alternatives? This plays off the classic Apple Macintosh commercial, which itself was inspired by George Orwell's novel 1984.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fenton Friday: Melon Madness!

After waiting all summer, NOW my honeydew melon and cantaloupe become ripe. Here is my 'Hearts of Gold' cantaloupe cut open with honeydew behind it. Several more are still forming on the vines, though I doubt I'll be the frost to be able to eat those.

This one was quite tasty. My little cat, Versace, also enjoyed a few small pieces of it. You'll have to take my word on that though as every time I tried to get a good shot of him and the cantaloupe together, he would run away. He is a stinker like that.

Enjoy this weekend! What is ripening in your garden plot?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Video Wednesday: Fall Gardening

Local Master Gardener Kent Phillips talks about planting in the fall and overwintering plants through the cold months of the year. Many people think that gardening season is over when summer ends, but you can continue planting in autumn and produce delicious vegetables.

This video is brought to you by the Home and Garden Information Center, part of University of Maryland Extension. provides resources and encourages people to start their own food gardens.

Learn about our Grow It Eat It campaign, check out our facebook page for more gardening advice:!/GIEIMaryland

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Fenton Friday: Too Many Tomatillo

Purple Tomatillo
I grew one Purple Tomatillo plant at my community garden plot and it waited until now to all ripen at the same time. Which is great, if I had any plans for them, but, in truth, I just grew them because they are pretty and the seedling plant was free to me. So any suggestions or recipes?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Video Wednesday: Maryland Master Gardener Larry Kloze

This week, I thought I'd share this inspiring video about a local master gardener.

"Master Gardener Larry Kloze shares his experiences with urban gardening and community gardening as a part of the University of Maryland Extension program in Baltimore, Maryland"

Summer 2012 Washington Gardener Magazine

Our Summer 2012 Washington Gardener Magazine issue is now out. The cover story is on Tropical Gardens — from hardy exotic plants to native look-a-likes. You can create a cool paradise in your own yard.

You’ll also find in this issue:
• Watermelon Growing Tips
• Canna Plant Profile
• Do Gardens Convey?
• Diagnosing Southern Blight on Sage
• An Interview with City Blossom’s Lola Bloom and Rebecca Lemos
• Deer Deterrent Tips
• A DayTrip to an Historic Treasure: Gunston Hall in Virginia
• How to Simplify in the Garden
• Columbine Leaf Miner
• False Solomon’s Seal
• Before-After of a Plant Collector’s Garden Sale
• And much, much more...

To subscribe, send a check for $20.00 payable to Washington Gardener Magazine today to:   
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                    826 Philadelphia Ave.
                    Silver Spring, MD 20910  
or go to and use our PayPal credit card link.

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