Saturday, July 04, 2020

GardenDC Podcast Episode 18: Shade Gardening, Clematis, and Logging Offline in the Garden

This episode, we talk with Jenny Rose Carey about Shade Gardening. The plant profile is on Clematis and I share my tips for Logging Offline in the Garden.



BTW, YOU can become  a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month!See how at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/support. 


It is also available on -
  • Google Podcasts at this link, either now or soon (note that currently, this link will only work on Android devices)

We welcome your questions and comments!

You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Fenton Friday: First Tomato of the Season


The race for the first ripe tomato of the season was won by 'SunGold.' Not a big shocker there as cherry tomatoes have a bit of an unfair advantage in the first-to-ripen competition. Do you grow any early tomatoes? If so, which are the first to ripen for you?

Elsewhere in the plot, the 'Burpee's Tenderpod' bush beans have not surfaced yet -- but I am keeping a close vigil. The Icebox Watermelon 'Sugar Baby' seedings are up and all the potatoes have pushed up and put on good growth. We added a row of 'Mrs Burn's Lemon' Basil to from seed also.

I finally pulled the flowering Sweet Peas (not to be confused with the edible ones), which were looking pretty fried in this week's intense heat. In their place, I planted Edamame (soybeans). Last year, the soybeans were duds, but I have high hopes for these fresh seeds from Renee's Gardens.

What are you growing and harvesting this week in your edible garden? 

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.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

DIY: Floating Glass Globes


Floating Glass Balls

This project is purely decorative to add a bit of flair to a small water garden or a floating floral arrangement. These colored balls mimic the ones used for floating fishing nets, which are rather pricey. I chose colors in the blue-green spectrum to blend in with my container lotus, but you can use whatever color combinations strike your fancy.

Level: easy   Cost: minimal   Use: gardening 

Materials:
- egg carton
- skewer 


Step 1:
 Remove the hanger/insert from the top of the clear glass balls. Then, clean any dust or debris inside the balls and let them dry thoroughly.
Step 2: Mix 2 tablespoons of Mod Podge and a squirt of a food coloring gel together in a bowl or cup using a skewer. You can add more food coloring gel or mix colors together, as you desire. Note that the colors will appear much darker now and will dry to a translucent finish.
Step 3: Sit the clear ball with the opening facing up in the egg carton and carefully pour in the colored Mod Podge. Swirl the coloring around and then turn it upside down over the egg carton and let the excess run out overnight.
Step 4: Let the balls dry until clear and then place them in your water garden.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a few pennies from Amazon.
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



Plant Profile: Smooth Hydrangea



Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is a native shrub that blooms from late spring through summer.  Typically, the flowers emerge green in color then turn white before they fade to brown.

Newer introductions have added shades of pink to the color selections available. These include ‘Invincibelle Ruby’, ‘Invincibelle Mini Mauvette’, and 'Invincibelle Spirit'.

Some favorite new varieties include the Invincibelle Wee White® Hydrangea, a dwarf selection that gets only about 2-feet-tall.

The best known Smooth Hydrangea is ‘Annabelle’ with its enormous blooms, but it does tend to droop from the heavy flowers, so look instead for the improved ‘Incrediball’ at your local garden centers.

They are deciduous and unlike the Mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) you cannot change their flower color by adjusting the soil pH.

They prefer part-sun to full sun locations. It is a good idea though to give them protection from the harshest afternoon rays.  These plants need well-drained, but moist soil. Add mulch around their root zones to help keep the soil moist during dry periods.

Fertilize in early spring, before new growth starts to appear, with a slow-release fertilizer that is designed for woody plants. You should then prune them by trimming back one-third of the total length of the branches. As these shrubs bloom on new wood, this will serve to strengthen the plant’s stems and encourage lots of blooming in the growing season.

Smooth Hydrangea - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.
Visuals by Taylor Calavetinos
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
~ Facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine
~ Podcast: GardenDC on Spotify, Apple, etc.


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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Savory Sunday: Polish Beet and Chard Summer Soup (Botwinka)

By Anastazja Kolodziej


This Polish soup, called botwinka, uses both the beets and the greens (chard) that come from a beet plant—so if you’ve recently pulled some beets from your garden, you already have the main ingredients for the soup! Here is the bountiful beet harvest from our community garden plot.

Note: This recipe makes 10-12 bowls, which was enough for one dinner for 5 people.

Ingredients:
·  4 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
·  8 medium beets, chopped
·  1 pound chard, chopped
·  4-5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
·  5 cloves of garlic, cut into quarters
·  2 bay leaves
·  2 vegetable stock cubes
·  1.5 tablespoons salt 
·  Pepper, to taste
·  4 tablespoons heavy cream, and more to taste
·  Egg (optional)

Prep:
·  Remove chard from the beets, washing everything thoroughly
·  Cut chard (stem and leaves) into bite-sized pieces
·  Peel and chop carrots and potatoes
·  Chop beets
Cooking:
·  Boil water with bay leaf, garlic, salt and vegetable stock cube
·  Add chopped carrots and cook for 10 minutes
·  Add chopped beets and cook until soft, approximately 15 minutes
·  Add chopped chard and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are soft, approximately 20 minutes
·  Turn the stove off, add cream and sprinkle the soup with pepper, to taste. I added about 4 tablespoons of cream into the pot and served the soup with cream on the side so people could add more as they desired
·  Optional: This soup can be served with an egg (hard-boiled or sunny-side-up) on top of the bowl

Optional: Sprinkle fresh dill on top






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"Savory Sunday" is a weekly summer blog series with seasonal recipes from the garden.
About the Author:
 Anastazja Kolodziej is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, double majoring in multiplatform journalism and the classics (Ancient Greek and Latin). On campus, she serves as an assistant managing editor at The Diamondback.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

GardenDC Podcast Episode 17: Garden Photography, Hardy Geraniums, and Confessions of a Plant Hoarder

This episode, we talk with Mike Whalen about Garden Photography. The plant profile is on Hardy Geranium and I share my Confessions of a Plant Hoarder.

BTW, YOU can become  a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month!See how at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/support. 

The episode is posted at: 
https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/episodes/June-27--2020---Garden-Photography--Hardy-Geraniums--and-Confessions-of-a-Plant-Hoarder-eg0cet

It is also available on -
  • Google Podcasts at this link, either now or soon (note that currently, this link will only work on Android devices)

We welcome your questions and comments!

You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

PIN THIS FOR LATER:



Friday, June 26, 2020

Fenton Friday: You Can't Beet Them!

Badger Flame Beets
'Badger Flame' Beets

Beets 'Chioggia'
'Chioggia' Beets 

We pulled the Beets this week that were planted earlier this year by the spring interns. I do not like to eat beets myself, but have to admit their colors are amazing--practically glowing!

Elsewhere in the plot, the Okra seedlings are already up as are the Marigold seedlings and Cucumber seedlings, the latter of which we thinned to the best few plants per hill.

We also pinched out the flowers on the Basil plants so they would grow bushier.

I finally pulled the Peas and planted some Beans in their space--'Burpee's Tenderpod' bush beans. I also planted a hill of Icebox Watermelon 'Sugar Baby' seeds and out in a couple of Potato 'Clancy' seedling plants, next to the potatoes I had already put in. I have never started potatoes with a plant before rather than a tuber, so I am eager to see how they compare.

I also tucked in a Rosemary 'Arp' into one of the plot corners as I never could find a good spot for it.

The bunny deterrent I spread around the Sweet Potato slips seemed to be working as they are leafing out again and hopefully will recover well enough.

Back home, I planted Pumpkin 'Blue Prince' seeds in a side bed that I  am crossing my fingers it gets enough sun there for these to develop. I wanted them at the plot too, but just couldn't find the room for a another vining plant that may reach out 7 ft. in diameter in a 10x20 plot!

What are you growing and harvesting this week in your edible garden? 

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Plant Profile: Clematis


Clematis is a perennial vine that features blooms from large and small in a rainbow of colors. The flowers shapes can vary from layered stars to tiny bells. Many have wavy edges or twisting petals.

The showy flowers aren’t the only cool thing about clematis. They also attractive seed heads that last for months and add additional seasons of interest. Clematis make excellent cut flowers and their seed heads are great to use in dried arrangements.

Some clematis are more shrubby than vining; and others have a running habit that makes them a good groundcover option. Some of the climbing vines are aggressive spreaders like the invasive ‘Sweet Autumn’ Clematis, while most others are slow-growing and stay relatively small—making them perfect for a container.

There are springtime bloomers; while others bloom late in the summer and into fall.

There are over 200 different species of clematis and hundreds of different cultivars. The purple ‘Jackmanii’ is the best-known clematis of all time. Also popular is the pink-and-white ‘Nelly Moser’ and the new ‘Taiga,’ with its dramatic green center.

There is a native Clematis virginiana, known commonly as Virgin’s Bower, that looks very similar to ‘Sweet Autumn’ Clematis. There is also Clematis viorna with bell-shaped blooms that is native to the southeastern U.S.

Clematis are said to demanding to grow and harder to prune, but their needs are actually fairly simple. Clematis want their roots kept moist and their heads in the sun. (One exception to that rule is the pastel-flowering clematis, which will fade in strong afternoon sun.)

Don’t worry. You won’t kill it by pruning at the wrong time. If you make a pruning mistake, you may deprive yourself of flowers for a season, but you are still likely to get a few blooms.

The early spring time bloomers of Clematis Group 1 bloom on old wood and need only pruning to reduce their size or to remove damaged branches.

In Group 2 are the clematis that bloom in early summer. These bloom on both old and new wood. Most of the large-flowered hybrids are in this group. Prune them in the spring before new growth begins. Make your cuts just above the healthiest-looking buds. Next, cut out any tangles and damaged wood.

In Group 3 are clematis that flower from mid-summer well into fall. They bloom only on new wood and can be cut back hard in the spring to within 6 inches of the ground.

Clematis are heavy feeders need to be fertilizes regularly during the growing season, but remember to stop when they begin to bloom.

Classic companion plants for clematis include roses, evergreens, crape myrtles, and even other vines.

Clematis - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.
Visuals by Taylor Calavetinos
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
~ Facebook.com/WashingtonGardenerMagazine
~ Podcast: GardenDC on Spotify, Apple, etc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Win a DRAMM One Touch Rain Wand in our June 2020 Washington Gardener Reader Contest


For our June 2020 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, Washington Gardener is giving away a 30" One Touch Rain Wand from DRAMM in the color of your choice to one lucky winner (prize value: $30).
   Water with ease with the One Touch Rain Wand. It allows complete and total water flow control with just one touch of your thumb, thus eliminating the strain from squeezing caused by many current watering tools. It efficiently saves water while watering from one plant to the next. The rain wand is made with aluminum for a lightweight and durable feel and has a rubber over-mold for additional protection at the natural wear-point. It comes in six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and berry with a lifetime guarantee to the consumer.
    To enter to win the 30" One Touch Rain Wand in the color of your choice, send an email to WashingtonGardenerMagazine@gmail.com by 5:00pm on Tuesday, June 30, with “Dramm Rain Wand” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in our June 2020 issue and why. Include your full name and address. Winners will be announced on July 1.

UPDATE:
Our winner chosen at random from among the submitted entries is Tarah Demant of  Washington, DC. Congratulations, Tarah!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Garden Photo Show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens


You are invited to view the winning images of the 14th annual Washington Gardener Garden 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 runs through July 30. (Due to the COVID pandemic, there will be no opening reception.)

Washington Gardener Magazine is already announcing the 15th Annual Washington Gardener Photo Contest. Start gathering your images now and throughout this year. Most of the entry rules will remain the same as this year’s contest. Photos need to be taken during the 2020 calendar year in a garden-setting in the greater Washington, DC area. 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.


And a BIG Thank You to our Prize Sponsors: 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Savory Sunday: Quick-Pickled Carrots

 By Anastazja Kolodziej


Want the tangy taste of pickles with your lunch, but don’t have any at home? All you need is a handful of carrots and some reserved pickle juice to pickle your own carrots in only a few hours. In this recipe, we used 'Oxheart' and 'Purple Sun' Carrots we grew in our community garden plot.

Ingredients:
  • Carrots
  • Water, enough to cover ½ inch of the bottom of your jar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pickle juice (from pickles you like)

Steps:
  1. Wash, peel, and chop the carrots.
  2. Put them into a jar with the water and salt, then heat them on high in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  3. Once the carrots are softer (they should have some give, but not be too squishy), pour the water out.
  4. Pour pickle juice into the jar, enough to submerge the carrots properly. Let them sit for at least an hour.
  5. I started pickling my carrots in the morning, so they pickled for about 4.5 hours before I ate them. However, I liked their taste already by the 2 hour mark.
  6. If you have some carrots left over, keep them in their jar in the refrigerator. They will stay good for a couple of weeks. 
Note: I used a handful of baby carrots to make one side dish’s worth of pickled carrots; if you are making more, increase the microwave and pickling times. 

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"Savory Sunday" is a weekly summer blog series with seasonal recipes from the garden.
About the Author:
 Anastazja Kolodziej is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, double majoring in multiplatform journalism and the classics (Ancient Greek and Latin). On campus, she serves as an assistant managing editor at The Diamondback.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

GardenDC Podcast Episode 16: Garlic, Lavender, and No-stress Gardening

This episode, we talk with Tony Sarmiento about all things Garlic. The plant profile is on Lavender and I share my lessons in No-stress Gardening.

BTW, YOU can become  a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month!See how at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/support. 

The episode is posted at: 

It is also available on -
  • Google Podcasts at this link, either now or soon (note that currently, this link will only work on Android devices)

We welcome your questions and comments!

You can leave a voice mail message for us at: https://anchor.fm/kathy-jentz/message Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

Pin this for later:



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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...