Category Archives: Gardening Answers

Bundle Up Your Garden



Be Inspired Seasonally with Rita Calvert
After the winter of 2013-2014, many of us want to be more vigilant to protect our precious trees and perennials from the big chill. For me, …

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When Gene Sumi Speaks, We Listen


by Rita Calvert
Every year both stores of Homestead Gardens feature winter workshops to help us get charged up for planting and growing seasons and just help educate by answering many questions. Gene Sumi …

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Most Popular Gardening Topics of 2013


It’s the year with 365 brand new days to fill! Bet you never thought of it that way before. You chose if you want the day half (or completely) full or half empty. …

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All Plants Think About Is Sex!


Seasonal Design with Rita Calvert
Lucky me, to be able to visit Selby Boatanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida for the holidays. The real beauty of the exhibit this time of year is the night …

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How to Turn Garden Chores into Entertainment Time!


This time of year, gardening is pretty mindless stuff, like weeding and watering.  Those are jobs that require very little attention, and zero creativity, so I say why not use the time to entertainment myself …

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Seed Saving From Your Kitchen Garden


Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook
Novice Guide to Seed Saving
 As your summer fruits and vegetables get plump-ready to pluck, it’s time to learn about saving those seeds. The tradition …

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My Gardening Chores for July


Watering This unusually rainy spring and early summer probably won’t last all season, so I know I’ll be doing plenty of watering this month. That’s especially true for everything in containers (except for succulents), and …

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My June To-Do List


Here’s what I’m doing in my garden this month, plus a few chores I recommend to others. 
Ornamental Plants

Deadheading perennials, like the Salvias shown above.  (And boy, am I glad I don’t have …

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Tips on Watering

hose flicker

This month’s Golden Spades talk was all about watering, a topic that’s crucial to keeping our plants alive, especially with summer coming on – slowly but inevitably.  Gene Sumi told the group he LOVES

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May To-Do in my Garden


Wow, it’s finally happening – spring in the Mid-Atlantic – and there’s lots to do in the garden. (Also, lots to see in other people’s gardens – hope you’re going on some spring garden tours.)  …

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The Return of the Cicadas


 You all remember the last invasion of cicadas in our area back in 2004, right?   The sound was almost deafening, and when we walked in our gardens they fell in our hair, and crunched when …

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What to do about Downy Mildew on Impatiens


The world of horticulture is abuzz with news of the “Downy  Mildew” fungal disease that’s killing the ever-popular shade annual Impatiens walleriana – that’s the one shown above, the most popular type of all.  …

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Are your borders ready for spring?


Suddenly, there’s lots more to do than I think I can accomplish in time.  In time for what?  For the intense gorgeousness that I expect to see in my very own garden by about mid-April, …

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A Few of Rick Darke’s Favorite Nonnative Plants


Last weekend I attended Rick Darke’s wonderful talk about “Balancing Natives and Exotics in the Garden” and promised to report back from this special fund-raising event for Annapolis’s Unity Gardens.  So here are …

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How Gardeners Haul Plants, Mulch, and More


With major spring projects coming up soon, it’s a good time to bring up the rarely mentioned but extremely common problem known to all passionate gardeners:  How to haul stuff.  And you know what stuff …

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Change comes to the Golden Spades


 What’s New?  Double the EventsGood news for Homestead’s customers of a certain age (50 and up)!  Our monthly gatherings for talks by Education Coordinator Gene Sumi will be offered twice a month starting soon …

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Cactus and Succulents for Marylanders? You bet!


Our own gardening guru Gene Sumi spoke to the Golden Spade Club this month about a topic you don’t hear enough about in the East – the world of succulents and cacti.  He handed out …

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Yes, you CAN garden in January


We’re lucky here, despite the heat and humidity we complain about in July, to have such mild winters that we can actually work in the garden for most of January and February.  As long as …

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What to do in the Garden in November


Some timely gardening tips from the University of Maryland and our own experts.
Plant those Bulbs
If you haven’t planted your spring-blooming bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, do it now.

Conifers …

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New-Garden Challenges, Part 2: Poor Soil

Filling up empty space may be the most obvious challenge in creating a new garden, but surely the challenge that keeps on giving the gardener headaches is bad soil.  Some sites naturally have poor …

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