Category Archives: Gardening Answers

How to repair your garden after a spring frost


Maryland springs are unpredictable. One day you’ll be enjoying a sunny afternoon out on your patio. The next week you’re bundled back up in a winter coat and avoiding the outdoors. While the fluctuating temperatures …

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Do I have to trim back hostas after the first freeze?


Preparing your perennials for winter is essential if you want to see healthy blooms in the spring. Fortunately, some plants are very low-maintenance and require little to thrive. Hostas are a great example, as they …

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How to prepare your perennials for winter


Year after year we experience harsh winters with heavy snow, slick ice and freezing temperatures, yet our bodies never quite adapt to these unfavorable weather conditions. Sure, our Midwestern roots help us handle winters better …

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5 tips to efficiently water your garden


Water is a precious resource, and just like people need water to thrive, so do your plants. While watering plants is essential, there are ways to use the resource thoughtfully to prevent waste. Here are …

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5 Steps to Harden Off Seedlings


Botanical Interests ‘5 Steps to Harden Off Seedlings’Provided by Botanical Interests
Hardening off is the process of getting indoor-started seedlings accustomed to the outdoor environment by gradually exposing them to daily …

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Fencing Your Vegetable Garden to Keep the Critters Out

Vegetable Garden

Your vegetable garden is enjoyed by all, and not just the members of your family. If left unattended and unguarded, it will be enjoyed by the little and larger critters who live nearby, too. To …

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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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