Friday, June 30, 2017

Fenton Friday: Bunny Blues

So the rabbits have found us. I arrived at my plot on Monday morning to find my bean seedlings had been bitten down to nubs. I tucked a cover cloth around them and they mostly seem to be recovering now. I have also chased a rabbit out of an adjacent plot on a few occasions, so the culprit is obvious. What is puzzling though is where our neighborhood feral cat colony (part of the trap-and-release program) has gone. I have not seen any kitties in months and it is no coincidence that now we have bunny issues. 

In the good news department, I had my first 'Sun Gold' tomato of the season. I ate it this morning as I watered the plot. The Watermelon vines are growing like crazy and the Zinnia seedlings are all up and looking good. I am not sure the Mouse Melon seeds have emerged or if those are tiny weeds in that spot, I will give them another week or so to prove themselves.

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 6th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Garden Books Gifted to Brookside Horticultural Reference Library

Jason Gedeik, Brookside Gardens Adult Education Manager,
accepts the latest book donations from Washington Gardener Magazine. 
Guest Post by Ana Hurler

Washington Gardener staff stopped by Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, on June 28 to drop off a donation of several books to add to the Horticultural Reference Library.
Editor and publisher Kathy Jentz has featured reviews of several of the books in previous editions of the magazine. The books cover a wide range of horticultural topics, such as growing vegetables and flowers, creating pots and containers, and food gardening.
The gifted books value $217.64, added to the previous donations this year for a total of $684.04.  Last year’s book donations totaled $683.01, and in 2015, Washington Gardener gave $534.99 in books. The magazine’s largest yearly donation was in 2013, with $3,070.94 in books donated.

The mission of the Horticultural Reference Library at Brookside Gardens is to be a resource for Brookside Gardens and Montgomery County Parks staff, the citizens of Montgomery County, MD, and any other individual interested in learning about the science and art of Horticulture. The Library is staffed Monday-Friday from 10am-3pm (or by appointment) by volunteer librarians ready to help you find answers to your plant questions.

About the Author
Ana Hurler, a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ana is interning with us this summer.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fenton Friday: Giant Garlic

Okay, the Garlic we dug this week wasn't "giant," but it sure was impressive! We got 6 very large and nice heads and 1 kind of dinky weird one. It is now curing on a screen in my backyard gazebo. I am trying that location out this year versus my sunroom and will see how it goes.

Elsewhere in the plot, we planted a row of 'Granny's Bouquet' Zinnias and the Mouse Melon seeds plus Pole Beans planted last week have already germinated!

Due to the intense heat, followed by rain deluge, almost everything in the plot has doubled in size overnight -- including the weeds! We had been keeping really on top of them, yet the dastardly Thistle seems to pop up overnight everywhere. I am applying liberal doses of compost around everything, but still it is a struggle to stay on top of it.

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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Win a Sunflower Garden Seed Collection from The Gardener’s Workshop


For our June 2017 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away the Seed Collection, Sunflower Garden from The Gardener’s Workshop (each seed collection is a $23 value).
   This collection represents all the colors and sizes of the sunflower family. If the flowers are left in the garden the birds will flock to feast on the delicious seeds. This collection requires full sun. Seeds may be planted directly in the garden after the last frost.
   What began as a small cut-flower farm producing for local markets has grown into so much more. The Gardener’s Workshop has become a leader in the cut-flower growing industry. They are based in Newport News, VA, and can be found online at https://www.thegardenersworkshop.com
   The seeds they offer are the same they plant and grow in their own garden for sale as cut flowers. They only select easy-to-start seeds that are strong growers.
   This collection has seeds for six different sunflowers and includes a diagram and tips for planting the garden.
   To enter to win the sunflower seed collection, send an email to WashingtonGardener@rcn.com by 5pm on Wednesday, June 30, with “Sunflowers” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us which was your favorite article in the June 2017 Washington Gardener Magazine issue and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The seed collection winner will be announced and notified on July 1.

UPDATE: The winner is Joanna R. Protz of Virginia

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Video Wednesday: Charlie Koiner's Urban Farm





Take a video tour of a true urban farm. Charlie Koiner, 96, purchased four lots in downtown Silver Spring, MD, in the 1980s, and has been farming the land ever since. Charlie and his daughter Lynn grow a variety of vegetables and fruits, which they sell each week at the Farmer's Market and at their farm. 



The summer interns, Ana and Mika, put this together. Great job!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sea Holly, Featherbells, Poison Ivy Myths, and much more in June 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine


The June 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.

Inside this issue:
·         Eryngium: Growing Sea Holly
·         A Visit to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens 
·         Your Garden Task List
·         Create a Vintage Garden Look with Bulbs
·         Native Featherbells
·         Handy Garden Claw Weeders
·         Sourcing Local Flowers with Ellen Frost
·         DMV Gardening Events Calendar
·         Scratching Poison Ivy Myths
·         and much more…


Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the July  2017 issue are due by July 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

Fenton Friday: Baby Tomatoes


One small bonus to this very hot past week was that I have tomatoes forming already!

Thanks to another plot gardener, Beth, I also have Mouse Melon (aka Mexican Sour Gherkin) seeds planted now.

Today I put in a Pole Bean 'Seychelles,' which is a 2017 AAS Edible Winner. It seems like it will be very prolific.

When I get a spare five minutes, I need to pull out the Garlic and cure it -- it is looking past time for that really.

Everything else is coming along nicely. It is all I can do right now too keep things watered and alive. Weeding is a luxury that I will save for after we get some decent rain and cooler temps.

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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bloom Day Salvias

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 http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/
Here is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, the past month had been cool and wet. Then summer came early (as usual). We have had a week of no rain hear and highs in the mid-90s! The plants are all suffering and I can hardly keep up with minimal watering just to keep things alive. My rain barrel is dry and I had to turn on my outside water hose for the first time.
This bloom day I decided to focus a few new Salvias (sages) that I added to my garden in the last year. Enjoy!
Salvia 'Brookside'
Salvia 'Purple Rain'
Salvia "Mesa Azure'

So what is blooming in YOUR garden today?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Video Wednesday: Kathy Jentz, Garden Speaker


Kathy Jentz is editor and publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine, based in the Washington, DC region. A life-long gardener, Kathy believes that growing plants should be stress-free and enjoyable. Her philosophy is inspiration over perspiration.

To book her for a garden talk, see: http://greatgardenspeakers.com/listing/kathy-jentz-4c818b5cdacc5.html

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DISCUSS "Big Dreams, Small Garden" WITH WASHINGTON GARDENER BOOK CLUB

For our Garden Book Club's Summer 2017 Meeting we will be discussing:

Big Dreams, Small Garden: A Guide to Creating Something Extraordinary in Your Ordinary Space by Marianne Willburn


Our reviewer said in the May 2017 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine, "This is the great book for gardeners who may be both passionate and experienced, but not able to create their ideal garden because of limited resources...Pleasantly designed, Willburn’s book includes a ton of personal experience, photos, and useful information that beginner or intermediate gardeners might not think about. Profiles of small space and limited-resource gardens are sprinkled throughout the book, complete with pictures and advice to recreate what is shown. It is the perfect addition to your gardening library."

Please join us on Thursday, July 20 from 6:30-8:00pm at Soupergirl, located right next to the Takoma metro stop. Soupergirl offers soups for sale that are incredibly healthy. They are 100% plant-based, low salt, low fat, and most importantly, absolutely delicious, so plan to come a bit early to purchase and eat your dinner with the garden book club. 

Please RSVP to washingtongardener (at) rcn.com or at the book club event page at facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine by July 18, so we know how many chairs to reserve for our group.

The Washington Gardener Magazine's Garden Book Club is free and open to all. We meet quarterly on a weekday evening near a metro-accessible location in the DC-area. We will announce the details of each upcoming meeting about two months in advance. Please check back on this blog for schedule updates and announcements.

In case you like to read ahead, here is our next 2017 selection:
~ Ghost Image: A Sophie Medina Mystery (Sophie Medina Novels) by Ellen Crosby (fiction) - Fall (November)

Monday, June 12, 2017

GARDEN PHOTO SHOW OPENING RECEPTION 2017

You are invited to view the winning images of the 11th annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest at an art show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. All 17 stunning photos were taken in DC-area gardens. Both inspirational and educational, this show represents the best of garden photography in the greater DC metropolitan region.

The photo show reception is Sunday, July 9 from 2:00-3:30pm at the Meadowlark Visitor Center's lobby. The opening reception is open to the public and is free to attend. You may also come by and view the photos any time during the normal Visitor Center hours (10am-7pm daily). The photo show runs through July.


To RSVP and for updates, visit our Facebook event page at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1970412239859992

Washington Gardener Magazine is already announcing an 12th Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest. Start gathering your images now and throughout this year. Most all of the entry rules will remain the same as this year’s contest. We will again accept the entries during the first three weeks of January.

Washington Gardener Magazine (http://www.washingtongardener.com/) is the gardening publication specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs. Washington Gardener Magazine’s basic mission is to help DC area gardens grow better. The magazine is written entirely by and for local area gardeners.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (www.nvrpa.org/park/meadowlark_botanical_gardens) is a park of beauty, conservation, education and discovery. Throughout the year at this 95-acre complex are large ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections. Walking trails, lakes, more than 20 varieties of cherry trees, irises, peonies, an extensive shade garden, native wildflowers, gazebos, birds, butterflies, seasonal blooms and foliage create a sanctuary of beauty and nature. Meadowlark is part of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Fenton Friday: Red Cotton


This week, I planted: 7 kinds of Tomatoes and herbs such as Holy Basil, Genovese Basil, Chamomile. I also stuck in a row of Marigold seedlings I got in at a plant swap to border the tomatoes.

Two new additions that I am very excited to be trying out for the first time this year are Malabar Spinach and Red Cotton. The three cotton plants (pictured above) are from the Silver Spring Garden Club Garden Mart and are already a healthy foot+ in size. I have no idea on cotton spacing. (The only research I could find was for huge farm fields of it!) I may have planted them a bit too close together, we shall see.
   Fort the Malabar Spinach, a green that thrives in heat and loves to climb, I constructed a ladder-like two-side trellis that I aim to train it up. I may add a companion climber to the other side. Perhaps a Mouse Melon?

The daily rains have stopped that means I am entering the "run over and water before Noon" phase of the season -- meanwhile, I still have a lot of things needing to be planted and we are due for record heat wave in the next few days. This will be a test of real endurance for me and the plot!

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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

Monday, June 05, 2017

Intern Intros: Ana and Mika

This summer, I have taken on two editorial interns. If you attend any of our events, like the DC Plant Swap, you are bound to run into one or more of them. As a first assignment, I asked them to write a short introduction to our readers...



Hi all! My name is Mika Park and I'm very excited to spend the summer interning for Washington Gardener. I was born in Holland and was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and currently live in College Park where I go to school at the University of Maryland.
   I am a multiplatform journalism major, and although I haven't had any personal experience with gardening, I look forward to engaging in it in my time with the magazine. What has drawn me to journalism was its power to unite communities and provide a platform for information tailored to the needs of its audience, and the horticulture community is one that I can't wait to learn more about.



My name is Ana Hurler and I am a senior multi-platform journalism major and Spanish minor at the University of Maryland, College Park. On campus, I serve as the editor-in-chief of the yearbook, The Terrapin, and write for Stories Beneath the Shell, a student-run publication. I love to travel, especially if it involves nature and the outdoors and food. I like to think I have a little bit of gardening experience, which largely consists of keeping several houseplants alive in my apartment.  I’m looking forward to expanding my abilities and learning how to grow more plants – particularly things I can eat! As a native of Memphis, Tennessee, I’m excited to learn more about the local gardening scene – and hopefully pick up some useful tips – during my time with Washington Gardener this summer.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Fenton Friday: Peppers Planted


The summer interns started this week and we put in a whole section of Peppers to trial. Several are from Burpee and a few are from purchases of heirloom plants at spring plant sales. A few are sweet peppers, but mainly they are hot ones.

We also planted mini Watermelon and Canteloupe seeds. I am hoping they germinate fast so the interns can harvest some by mid-August.

The weather has warmed up a bit, but it was still very wet. Today was the first day in weeks that I can recall it not raining! I hope to put in the Tomatoes and herb seedlings along with all the other seeds (Okra, Zinnias, etc.) in the next few days.

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 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

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