Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 2019 Washington Gardener: Garden Tours, Blackeye Peas, Peonies, and much more...




The April 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now out.


Inside this issue:
  • Spring Garden Tours Round-up: Explore the Best Private Gardens in Our Region
  • Top Tips for Peony Success
  • Earliest, Sweetest, Easiest Spring Peas
  • Grasscycling for a Healthy Lawn
  • Native Pussytoes, an Almost-ideal Groundcover
  • Bamboos for the Home Garden
  • Bountiful Blackeye Peas
  • DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar

and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the May 2019 issue are due by May 5.

PS  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, April 19, 2019

Fenton Friday: Lettuce Eat


This week the lettuces are taking off. They are almost full-size and I think ready for cutting and making a few big salads. The wire cage did its job, there were no rabbit incursions. However, something is nibbling at one of the lettuce mixes. Maybe slugs? I'll try sprinkling a bit of Sluggo around it after the storm system passes through the area today.

The pea plants are also putting on some growth, but no flowers yet.

I harvested a BIG batch of asparagus.

I never got time to weed or plant the radishes and carrots. Maybe can get to that on Easter Monday. Then next on the to-do list will be sowing a cutting garden.

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 FentonStreet 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, April 15, 2019

Bloom Day: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

two lilacs - one pink, one purple
Move over, Santa! Spring is in full swing and every bird is singing with joy! If I weren't tied to this desk, doing our April issue layout, I'd be outside twirling away madly like Maria in the Austrian hills.


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, we had a few bad wind/thunderstorms this past week, but today it is sunny and calm,

In my garden, I have a multitude of blooms. Here is my list of what is in flower today:

- Carolina Jasmine
- Corydalis - yellow and purple
- Redbud Tree
- Lilacs
- Primroses
- Violas
- Snapdragons
- Rhododendrons
- Forsythia (ending)
- Weeping Cherry Tree (ending)
- Alyssum
- Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' and 'Sulfur'
- Leucojum 
- Azalea (just opening)
- Hellebores - various
- Daffodils - various
- Tulips - various
- Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) 
and more....

I cut a bunch of 3 big Lilac bouquets and plan to do more this week.

So what is blooming today in YOUR garden?

redbud - straight native species
last fall I planted this "river" down my front slope

Friday, April 12, 2019

Fenton Friday: Asparagus Between the Weeds

This week we built a rabbit-proof cage for around our lettuce crop. (We'll share plans in an upcoming DIY post.)

The peas are popping up too and will soon need a rabbit-barrier in place as well.

The weeds are starting to get away from me as I spent the week running around the tour various gardens and attend/give garden talks. Despite their incursion, the asparagus is still emerging and throwing up several deliciously edible spikes.

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, April 11, 2019

Community Gardens of the DMV: Common Good City Farm

By Johnny Moseman


Sitting on V Street between 2nd and 4th Street in NW Washington, DC, is a community garden like no other. Established in 2007, Shaw EcoVillage gave permission to Common Good City Farm to direct garden programs at the 7th street site and they then named it the “7th Street Garden.”

This garden stood from 2007 to 2009 and then after their work each year  expanding our programs to feed more people, educate DC residents’ young and old, and contribute to the sustainability of the organization they were invited to their new location that stands in LeDroit Park in 2008.

Now, over 10 years of farming on almost half an acre in the middle of DC, Common Good City Farm can feed more people through their farm market, engage more students in their Seed to Table Workshops and Youth programs, and serve more community members at their events.

The goal of Common Good City Farm is to “create a vibrant, informed, and well-nourished community through urban farming while also actively engaging with all members of a diverse community and create opportunities for connections on our farm, while emphasizing intensive vegetable production and modeling best practices in sustainable urban agriculture,” according to their website.

“Our goal is to feed people and bring them together while also helping teach them about healthy environmental practices,” Executive Director of Common Good City Farm, Sam Wetzel said.

Since January 2007, this garden has provided over 10 tons of fresh produce to the community, engaged over 2,700 adults and 4,500 young people in educational programs, and hosted over 3,000 volunteers.

Common Good City Farm offers a plethora of free community events that help provide hands-on training in food production, healthy eating and environmental sustainability. They also hold an after-school activity for students to help teach them healthy eating as well as cooking skills. All upcoming events can be found on their website (www.commongoodcityfarm.org).

“We just want to get better at what we do,” Wetzel said. “We are very hyper-local and focused on helping the neighborhood. We just want to stay connected with people and also spend time with our hands in the dirt.”

There are no current plans for expansion, Wetzel said, citing that the nature of expansion creates a disconnect between the community and they want to stay as connected with the community that they help each year.

To get involved, Wetzel said the best way is to come to some events and check out the garden, talk to people and see what they like. There are also two open community work days coming up where people can come and volunteer if they want to start helping out.

Come join hem on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at 10am for their Spring Kick-Off Event.



About the Author: Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.


The Community Gardens of the DMV blog series is profiling community gardens across the DC-MD-VA region. If you have a community garden you would like profiled, please leave a comment below and let us know how to reach you.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Fenton Friday: Feeling Fresh

emerging pea shoot
Our last Fenton Friday post was mid-November when a freeze pretty much ended what he had left in our community garden plot. It was a long, cold winter with a few dips into polar vortex temps, but the plotted is cleared and things are looking good for coming season. There is still a fair bit of weeding to do, which I hope to complete this weekend.

Returning from last year are Garlic and Asparagus.

Newly planted from seed by the magazine interns are three different kinds of Peas and three different Lettuce varieties. We are building wire rabbit barriers for protecting both crops - we have temporary ones right now as the seedlings emerge.

I plan to add in Radish and Carrot seeds in the next few days and to renew my Strawberry patch, which seems to have all petered out.

garlic
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.
lettuce under bunny barrier

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Community Gardens of the DMV: Columbia Gardeners


By Johnny Moseman

Ever since the 1960s, Columbia, MD, has had their own set of community gardens that foster and inspire leadership, committed memberships, and thousands of hours of hard work.

Starting in 1968, Columbia activist Evelyn Haynes persuaded Columbia developer James Rouse to donate land for for community gardening. Initially, 30 people gardened on land that is now the Columbia Mall.

In 1974, word had spread and soon 1,000 families rented garden plots to use. This was when the term "Columbia Gardeners" (CG) was coined and they began to campaign to keep the plots permanently.

Howard County’s first permanent garden came in 1977 at the Elkhorn Branch Community Garden on Oakland Mills Road. Two more permanent gardens were added in 1988; one in Long Reach and the other on Martin Road. Both of these sites added raised beds for physically-challenged gardeners.

In 2010, 100 plots were added to these gardens through cooperation with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Today, there are over 600 plots across the three garden sites.

Gardeners within CG have a very diverse background and range from novice gardeners to expert gardeners, representing countries all over the world as well as those from cities to those that grew up on farms.

Each site offers garden plots that are approximately 20 by 25 feet, access to these plots by common pathways, centrally located water supplies, common compost bins, wood chips, parking, a locking entrance gate, and picnic tables.

 
Gardeners are then responsible for any work that needs to be done on their individual plot and they can grow whatever fruits, vegetables, or flowers they please in those plots.

CG’s mission is to provide safe and affordable garden space to community residents, be a knowledge-sharing resource for healthy, sustainable gardening practices, partner with other groups and communities to enhance gardening opportunities.

They hold a variety of social and educational events from April through October, including talks by Master Gardeners, talks by regional gardening experts, seed exchanges, garden work days, bird walks, butterfly walks, plant diagnostic workshops, garden tours, and picnics.

All information regarding Columbia Gardeners or future events they are holding can be found at columbiagardeners.com or their Facebook page.


About the Author: Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.

Photo Source: Columbia Gardeners

The Community Gardens of the DMV blog series is profiling community gardens across the DC-MD-VA region. If you have a community garden you would like profiled, please leave a comment below and let us know how to reach you.

Monday, April 01, 2019

DIY: Watering Can Pours Crystals

By Alexa Silverberg

Have an old metal watering can wasting away in your basement? Maybe one that has holes in it and that is no longer usable for watering, but is still pretty or has sentimental value? Use this fun and easy do-it-yourself project to create beautiful garden accessories out of new or recycled materials.



Things you will need:




Watering can 
Beads, crystals, or old necklaces 
- Thread, fishing line, or string*
Scissors 
Tweezers 

Steps:

1. Cut the string of beads/crystals into smaller pieces. You want them to be different lengths about 3-5 inches each.

2. Push the cut bead string through the holes in the top of the water can's pour spout head. Use tweezers if necessary to help pull through the string.

3. Tie string into secure double knots. 

4. Repeat stringing until you achieve the desired look.

5. Hang your masterpiece in your garden!

*Pro-tip: don't have string handy? Dental floss will do the trick!



About the Author: Alexa Silverberg is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland and is from Short Hills, NJ. She is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener Magazine this spring semester.

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