Annapolis, MD, US

Member Since: 07/22/2010

recent comments

Re: Managing Weeds with a Light Touch (Part 2 of 2)

I don't recommend synthetic weed barrier fabric at all. 1) I used it a number of years ago in a new peony bed, where I didn't expect to move plants for a long time. I cut X's in the fabric as directed on the pkg, but they turned out to be too small (needed to be around 18" in diameter, and actual holes, for mature peonies.) The fabric prevented new shoots from coming up in the spring. 2) Worse, though, is the fact that weeds sprout in the decomposed much on top of the fabric. This happens every year after the first. I have to do about the same amount of weeding in this bed as any other. 3) Deep-rooted vigorous weeds will sprout in the mulch and send their roots down through the fabric, so it gets pulled up when I pull the weed. 4) Whenever I take a shovel to this bed for dividing, transplanting, etc, I chop up the fabric and I have to fish pieces out of the dirt I've dug. Don't use this stuff!

Re: For Crying Out Loud: Tips for No-Tear Onion Cutting

Never understood the "cut under water" advice. What exactly does that mean? Anyway this works fairly well for me: Work next to the sink, and rinse the juice off the top and root ends of the onion after you slice them off. Put the sliced ends cut-surface down in the trash or compost. A sharp knife does indeed allow you to work faster. Scrape the diced onions into a pile on the board and cover with an overturned bowl, or keep in a covered container until needed.

Re: Tomatoes: Request for Reader Recommendations

I'm mainly a flower gardener, so I put in just a few tomatoes each year. I'm not a good tomato grower, but I had great success with Juliet this year. Lots and lots of tasty fruit.

Re: Fall Leaves Make a Great Garden Mulch

P.S. More than once, I have taken old Christmas trees off my neighbors' lawns before the County picked them up. The branches make a great breathable winter much for my pansies and violas. My teenagers were the ones who were mortified and they refused to help me.

Re: Fall Leaves Make a Great Garden Mulch

I've had the same experience as KAMyers. I'm really surprised that you don't even have to shred the leaves. When we've tried your method, in the spring the leaves are matted, wet, and whole. Not pretty, and nearly impossible to turn under. What kind of trees do you have? Mine are maples and oaks. Now we shred the leaves by running over them several times with the mower, then doing a last pass with the bagger attached. Even then they don't break down that much over the winter when I spread them on my large shrub border. I don't have the turning under problem,and it gives us a place to put the leaves without too much hauling.

Re: How and When to Water Your Garden

In really hot weather (90ish or better here in the Mid-Atlantic-- it's been this hot since mid-May)containers need watering daily. Maybe twice if it's near 100. This includes pots in the shade. The only things I do less often (every 2 or 3 days) are the succulents.

It's a good idea to water briefly to wet the soil, then go back and water a second time. If soil is really dry, even a generous amount of water applied all at once can run right through and not wet the root zone.