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.

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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
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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 . Update! The Garden Photo Show display has been extended through Sunday, August 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.

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Fenton Friday: They're Ba-ack!

Look closely at the photo above and you will see a young rabbit trying desperately to blend in with the surrounding herbs in my neighbor's plot. This little jerk (or his relatives) chewed by Sweet Potato slips that had just started to leaf out! We also suspect he was the culprit that absconded with our missing Cucumber seedlings - when we had blamed the birds or slugs!

I put little wire frames around the other Cucumber seedlings and replanted the missing ones. I also sprinkled used kitty litter around the  Sweet Potato slips, but I may have to resort to more dire methods soon.


In the rest of the plot, we dug up all the Carrots - not a huge crop - but a pretty one. I especially like the 'Purple Sun' ones.


I also dug up the Garlic and laid it out to cure on a rack in my sun-room. Two of the garlic heads were already starting to rot and the cloves slid right out of their peels with a few starting to grow green tips! I thought I was catching them on time, but I guess our long, cool and wet spring got to those. The rest of the bulbs were just fine though.

I planted a few 'Candle Fire' Okra seeds among the strawberries and we re-planted the Basil and Marigold seeds as the first sets never came up.

Next, I plan to finally pull the peas and plant some beans.

What are you 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.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 2020 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine – Foraging Secrets, Serviceberry, Sharing Surplus Harvest, and more



Inside this issue:
10+ Secrets for Successful Urban Foraging
Growing Native Serviceberry
Garden Touring in the Era of Social Distancing
Local Gardeners Sharing Surplus Harvest
Meet Shaun Spencer-Hester, the Curator of the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum
What to Do in the Garden this Month
Tips for Longer-Lasting Cut Lilies
What Causes Plants to be Stressed?
How to Test Your Homemade Potting Mix
and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the July 2020 issue are due by July 5.

>>  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

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Plant Profile: Hardy Geranium



Hardy Geranium, also known as Cranesbill, is a perennial plant -- not to be confused with the Zonal Geranium, which is an annual plant with a tall flower spike that is commonly seen in summer windowbox displays.

The Hardy Geranium is easy to grow.  It is useful in the garden as a ground cover and at the front of flower borders. It has an exceptionally long blooming period and you can sheer off the first flowers to encourage re-blooming throughout the summer into fall.

The flowers are attractive to both butterflies and bees. Even when not in bloom, the foliage itself is fragrant and it is fairly evergreen in our planting zone.  As a bonus, it is deer-resistant.

It prefers full sun to light shade and tolerates most soil types. The only care it ever really needs is a bit of watering during prolonged drought periods.

Several varieties do well in our region.  Two varieties that have pale pink flowers and that stay fairly low-growing are ‘Biokovo’ and ‘Pink Summer.’ ‘Rozanne®’ is the world’s best-selling hardy geranium. It produces large saucer-shaped violet-blue flowers with white centers. Another popular variety is ‘Max Frei’, which has bright-pink flowers. 

Hardy Geranium  - 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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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Webinar: Start Your Victory Garden NOW, No, it is NOT Too Late!



Sunday, June 28, 2pm ET
"Start Your Victory Garden NOW: It is Not Too Late!"
Washington Gardener Magazine Webinar
Whether you are a procrastinator or were just too busy this spring to get started, we’ll cover what you can plant right now to harvest later this summer. Learn what edible plants grow best in our Mid-Atlantic region, along with best practices, timing, crop succession, starting from seed or seedling, and much more. Whether you are a novice or a veteran edible gardener, this talk by Washington Gardener Magazine’s editor Kathy Jentz is for you.
Online Via Zoom
Fee: $10.
Register at https://py.pl/355sNqaplh8


NOTE: It will be a live session and we will record it, so that anyone who registers for it and is not able to make the live session (or misses a portion of it) can watch it later.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Colorful Combinations on Bloom Day

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 is the Mid-Atlantic USA (USDA zone 7) on the DC-MD border, the past month has been a roller coaster - from no sign of rain for days to deluges of several inches at once and temps ranging from scorching hot to quite chilly again this morning. It has been pretty hard unpredictable.

This month, I thought I'd share two favorite combinations blooming in my garden now. Both were unplanned and both involve daylilies. The first (pictured above) is the common ditch daylliy and chicory. I have both "weeds" planted along my back fence line and sidewalk media strip. They are hemmed in on all sides so cannot escape cultivation. Every year, they both open their flowers without fail at the exact same time -- I think they know just how well orange and blue set each other off.

The second combination is a daylily cultivar whose name I'm wracking my brain for, but alas, cannot recall. I planted it right against the Lavender 'Phenomenal' near my small water garden. The violet tones in the middle of the daylily really pick up the lavender wands around it -- trust me, it is much better in person than I can capture with my iPhone camera here.


What is blooming in YOUR garden today?

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Savory Sunday: Baby Kale Side Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette


By Anastazja Kolodziej

Welcome to the newest edition of the Savory Sunday column! I’m Anastazja, and I’m interning at the magazine this summer. The recipes that I’ll post on this column will be made using produce grown at the Washington Gardener’s community garden plot. Whether you’ve just started growing your own food or are simply seeking some inspiration, I hope my recipes will give you some new ideas on how to incorporate your produce into your meals!

This week, I got baby purple kale from the garden. The best part about baby kale is that it’s much more tender than when it’s fully grown. The kale had grown enough to harvest, but it was not enough to use as the main part of the dish. I decided to make a salad because, even though I used different greens as the base, kale helped me choose the natural pairings for the salad.


Ingredients:
Salad -
·        Purple kale (I had 35g from the garden)
·        Salad greens (I used romaine lettuce), as desired
·        1 apple
·        Dried cranberries, handful
·        Feta cheese to sprinkle on top

Apple cider vinaigrette -
·        5 tbsp olive oil
·        2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
·        2 tbsp maple syrup
·        2 tsp Dijon mustard
·        Salt/pepper to taste

This amount of ingredients made enough for 4 side salads. Adjust accordingly if making this dish as a main meal.

Directions:

1.    Wash and prep the kale, ripping the leaves off the stems. Discarding the stems makes the kale easier to eat.
2.    Add desired salad greens. I used romaine as the base of my salad.
3.    Add apple slices. For four side salads, using one apple came out to three slices per salad.
4.    Add dried cranberries.
5.    Make the vinaigrette by combining ingredients. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature so the vinaigrette emulsifies properly. 
6.    Drizzle vinaigrette onto salad.
7.    Top with feta cheese.





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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.

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