Dill: Easy, Versatile Herb to Grow

dill flower headsDill (Anethum graveolens) is easy to grow from seed. I just throw a few seed in a large plastic container on my deck in late March. I don’t worry about frost or cold nights but I do make sure the top of the soil is moist until I see the leaves come through the soil and then I water a little less often. Here in Virginia, we seem to have plenty of rain or snow in March so the seeds do not dry out. Now, when the garden soil is warmer, I will gently lift the seedlings out with a trowel and plant in the garden bed in full sun.

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May Is Dahlia Planting Time

Mother’s Day signals the time to plant dahlias. Like chrysanthemums, many people associate dahlias with the fall but dahlias can bloom from the beginning of summer to frost. Dahlia flowers are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes. Each bloom can be 2 inches across to more than 10 inches, in all colors except blue. Plants can reach one to 6 feet tall. Some plants have beautiful dark foliage instead of green leaves. Although there are 40 plus species there are thousands of cultivars. In addition, there are numerous forms such as the single, peony, anemone, collerette, star or single orchid, double orchid, cactus, waterlily, ball, and pompom. Continue reading

Subscribe to a Free Gardening Newsletter for the DC Metro Area

coneflowerPegplant’s Post Gardening Newsletter is a free, local monthly newsletter. Each edition lists between 50 – 100 local gardening events, recently published gardening books, articles, news, and tips specific to the DC metro area. Enter your e-mail here to subscribe. Pegplant’s Post always has a giveaway, an opportunity to win a free plant or gardening-related product – a benefit for subscribers only. For the upcoming May 2022 issue, the giveaway is an echinacea or coneflower plant from Must Have Perennials.

Must Have Perennials is a brand born from the Blooms of Bressingham. For 25 years, Must Have Perennials has been connecting breeders and their plants to a network of experienced propagators, growers, and retailers to bring new perennial plants to gardeners. The Must Have Perennial brand brings new, innovative perennials to the market, including the well-known geranium Rozanne. Every Must Have Perennials variety has been trialed and tested throughout the country. These trials establish reliability and excellent garden performance to ensure success for gardeners.

The giveaway is one Echinacea Lovely Lolly which is a coneflower with frilly, pink-red flowers about 3 inches wide. The plant grows to about 2 feet high in full bloom. Hardy to Zone 6, this perennial prefers full sun and is drought resistant when established. It blooms from summer to fall. If you leave the seed heads in the fall, the plant will provide food for birds.

Twenty Tips for Growing Tomatoes Successfully

By now you should have started your tomato seeds indoors under lights. This is just if you want a head start of course, it is not necessary. You can also purchase tomato plants but be aware that the night temperatures are still cold for them to be out in the garden now. They prefer warmer weather. Waiting to plant tomatoes until the beginning of May or Mother’s Day will give you the best results. For tomato success, read these twenty tips for growing tomatoes in the Washington DC metro area. Continue reading

Multiply Your Holiday Cactus Through Cuttings

stem cuttings twisted off holiday cactus plant

This spring is a long, wet spring, the kind that prevents you from getting out in the garden. Frustrated? Take heart, we can still garden indoors. Now is a great time to taking cuttings of your holiday cactus. It should be done blooming now and cuttings are a great way to make many more plants to give away as gifts. Continue reading

Marvelous Mint

peppermint

peppermint

Mint is a great plant to have, as long as you grow it in containers. It is very versatile — there are so many uses plus it is easy to propagate and make gift plants. Hardy to zone 5, they survive the winters well in containers here in Virginia. Continue reading

Start Easy-to-Grow Lettuce Now in the Garden or in Containers

Now is the best time to grow lettuce. Lettuce prefers cool temperatures and can tolerate a frosty evening. This green is easy to start from seed or you can purchase small plants at the nursery. In the spring, lettuce should be given as much light as possible. Growing lettuce can be done in containers or in garden beds. Look for places that are full sun, especially where trees have not leafed out yet. Containers do not have to be large or deep. You can grow lettuce in containers with a depth as shallow as 6 to 8 inches. Continue reading

Historic Garden Week Is Back — Tour Virginian Homes and Gardens

Eyre Hall on the Eastern Shore, photo by Diane Ginsberg

Historic Garden Week is back! The last time I wrote about this great event was in 2019, before the pandemic. Although some gardens were open last year, this year Historic Garden Week is back full scale. Starting Saturday April 23 through Saturday April 30, 2022, you can tour private and public gardens throughout the commonwealth of Virginia. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV), Historic Garden Week (HGW) is an annual event for the public to tour almost 200 private homes and gardens and historical sites in Virginia. Continue reading

Breeding Better Herbs

basilHappy Days! My breeding better herbs article was just published in the March/April issue of the American Gardener, the magazine of the American Horticultural Society (AHS). AHS is a great organization to join plus they have a bimonthly magazine, webinars, events, trips and a reciprocal admission program to public gardens. Here is the article and here is a link to the entire issue. Thank you AHS for publishing this!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy Your Shamrock Plants

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Although the shamrock plant looks like a three-leaf clover it is actually a species of Oxalis. These are commonly sold as St. Patrick’s Day gift plants but they make great houseplants and garden plants. Continue reading