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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
How should I mulch a vegetable garden? Do I need to mulch all of it? Anywhere you don't want weeds will require mulch. Mulch helps retain moisture and moderate soil temperatures, but weed suppression is the No. 1 goal because weeds steal water, nutrients and sunlight from vegetables. Organic mulches of mowed leaves or straw with three to four layers of newspaper underneath make an impenetrable barrier to weeds while allowing rain to soak through. These will last the growing season and decompose over the winter, feeding the soil.
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By Liz Atwood, For The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2014
Creating a beautiful garden isn't a matter of luck. The winners of this year's Baltimore Sun garden contest prove it takes knowledge, artistry - and a strong back. These gardeners hoisted paving stones, moved heavy pots and cut logs from fallen trees in their quest to create beautiful spaces where they could relax, reflect and spend time with friends. Best Overall: John and Maureen Lalley, Ruxton John Lalley's children surprised him with an unusual Father's Day gift: They nominated his and his wife's garden for The Baltimore Sun's garden contest.
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By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2012
Can I grow veggies in a fully screened-in garden? I want to eat tomatoes without stink bug spots. Growing vegetables in a screened garden may reduce light, but the biggest problem is the exclusion of pollinators and beneficial insects. Vegetable plants that require insects for cross-pollination, such as cucumber, muskmelon, squash, pumpkin and watermelon, will not produce crops without them. Of course, you could hand-pollinate the flowers if you have the time. An organic method of excluding insect pests in the veggie garden is the floating row cover, which you drape directly on the plants.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2014
My son has had Lyme disease twice - serious infections requiring intravenous antibiotics. How can I keep ticks out of my yard? He plays in our wooded lot every day, and I'm at my wit's end! Ticks like to hang on branch tips and grab a ride when we brush by. Establish wide paths. Remove non-native invasive plants to encourage a functioning native ecosystem, which includes predators for the white-footed mice that are deer ticks' main host. Ticks are native and also have native predators, usually insects, that keep their numbers down.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer | April 8, 2010
Proposed cuts to Baltimore's budget would put the second season of the City Hall vegetable garden, which produced more than a ton of food for the homeless last year, in danger of an early frost. Cuts to the University of Maryland Extension Service in the city would likely eliminate the service altogether, and with it the Master Gardeners Program, which provided most of the labor and expertise during the garden's first year. Bill Vondrasek, chief horticulturist for the City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is in charge of city gardens, said he would still plant a vegetable garden around War Memorial Plaza, "but it probably wouldn't be done as well."
ENTERTAINMENT
By SUSAN REIMER | September 3, 2009
Like first-time gardeners everywhere - inspired by the White House vegetable garden and bitten by the gardening bug - Maryland first lady Katie O'Malley doesn't want the fun, or the fresh vegetables, to end. So, with a couple of hard-won gardening lessons under her belt and the help of master gardener Lisa Winters, a fall vegetable garden has been planted this week at Government House in Annapolis. "I'd give the garden 100 percent," said O'Malley. "We have a few issues with the drainage and with the soil, but we have been working on those."
ENTERTAINMENT
By SUSAN REIMER | January 21, 2010
The number of home gardeners jumped by almost 40 percent last season, but nearly half of them won't be back this year. Most probably found vegetable gardening too much work. Or, because it was a pretty poor gardening season, they didn't have much success. So, in a series of columns, I'm trying to get rookie vegetable gardeners off to a solid start. Last week, we talked about siting the garden, and my advice was to consider constructing a raised bed and filling it with bags of compost.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | June 15, 2003
I use a product called Preen to control weeds in my flower beds. Can it also be used in my vegetable garden? Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide that kills germinating seeds. It will not harm vegetable seedlings or kill established weeds. When Preen is spread evenly over the soil, it forms a chemical barrier that will prevent most weed seeds from emerging. To be effective, it must be spread after flower or vegetable seedlings have been planted. If it is spread before planting, the planting process will break up the chemical barrier and weeds will grow in the disturbed areas.
NEWS
May 30, 1999
Q. Is it OK to use wood chips in my new vegetable garden?A. No, stay away from wood chips. They can damage tender plant stems and they will rob your soil of nitrogen. Microbes in the soil will use up available nitrogen for protein synthesis as they break down the cellulose in the wood. Select other types of organic mulches for your garden, such as grass clippings, newspaper covered with straw, or leaf mold.Q. My beautiful climbing rose was attacked by some type of insect (I suspect gypsy moth)
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | May 11, 2003
I am getting a very late start on my vegetable garden and will not be ready to plant until late May or early June. What can I do to help ensure that I still have a productive garden? I would give up on planting any of the early crops like cabbage, peas, spinach and carrots. However, there is still plenty of time to plant a summer and early fall garden with tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans, greens and other vegetables. Although these plants prefer to be planted earlier, they will do fine with a little extra care.
BUSINESS
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
How should I mulch a vegetable garden? Do I need to mulch all of it? Anywhere you don't want weeds will require mulch. Mulch helps retain moisture and moderate soil temperatures, but weed suppression is the No. 1 goal because weeds steal water, nutrients and sunlight from vegetables. Organic mulches of mowed leaves or straw with three to four layers of newspaper underneath make an impenetrable barrier to weeds while allowing rain to soak through. These will last the growing season and decompose over the winter, feeding the soil.
BUSINESS
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2013
Stiltgrass has taken over a 20-by-10-foot area of my woods and now it's getting into my lawn. I will use crabgrass pre-emergent for it on the lawn, but should I rake away the leaves and apply it in the woods? Invasive stiltgrass spreads like lightning by tiny seeds. The seeds stay alive in soil for many years able to germinate. Kill it before it makes seeds, which it does in August. In spring and summer, it is easy to pull stiltgrass - it has very little root. (Once it has formed seeds, pulled stiltgrass must be sealed in a plastic bag.)
EXPLORE
By Bob Allen | April 22, 2013
It was Dirty Finger Club Day at Linton Springs Elementary School, near Eldersburg. Out in the vegetable garden - one of a dozen "outdoor classrooms" in the meadows, wetlands and woodlands of school's spacious grounds - Anna Letaw, a volunteer who has been the dynamo behind Linton Springs' Environmental Education Program, was giving a kindergarten class a primer on gardening. "Oh, look what I found!" Letaw called out as she knelt. "An earthworm .... Can anybody tell me what earthworms do?"
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2013
I'd like to grow carrots, but I hear it's tricky. Any tips? Because carrots are roots that need to push through soil, having light loose soil is a big determiner of success. For carrots, a depth of 12 inches is ideal. Add compost to your soil structure. It is the Year of the Root Crop on Grow It Eat It, our all-vegetables. all-the-time site. Find us at our new url: extension.umd.edu/hgic. Our online newsletter starts off the year with a great article providing many tips for growing root crops in Maryland.
FEATURES
Susan Reimer | May 30, 2012
It was while she was serving dinner to her kids in 2008 and their dad was out campaigning for president, that Michelle Obama hatched a modest daydream: a vegetable garden on the White House grounds. She'd recently had a conversation with her children's pediatrician about their eating habits, and the poor health of children he was seeing in his practice. It shook her up — he was treating obesity and diabetes in kids — and she resolved to make better food choices for her family. She never said anything to Barack Obama about a vegetable garden (she told interviewers this week that she didn't want to jinx things with a "what if" question)
NEWS
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2012
Abdu Muhammad, who owns Pearl's Caribbean Cafe on Laurens Street in Upton, is known for his curry chicken. Now he is known for his garden, too. When Muhammad, a native of Guyana, South America, proposed to Baltimore officials that he "adopt" the enormous, trash-strewn vacant lot beside his cafe and make it a vegetable garden, they asked him to come to their offices. He thinks they wanted to know if he was for real. "I am a businessman in this community," said the shy cook who has operated the takeout restaurant for two years.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer and Susan Reimer,susan.reimer@baltsun.com | August 28, 2009
Just add water. That's all that was left for the residents of the East Baltimore neighborhood of Oliver to do after a vegetable garden and urban sanctuary were installed in a single day in a vacant lot in the 1300 block of N. Central Ave. Eight raised beds were filled with clean soil and planted with 150 vegetable seedlings Thursday. Around the perimeter, 400 perennials, herbs and shrubs were planted, plus 30 trees to shield the oasis from traffic noise. All planted in time for Mayor Sheila Dixon to cut the ribbon at the end of the day. "The vegetables that come out of this garden," said the mayor, "will help others make the change to greener and healthier living."
NEWS
July 22, 2007
Hopscotch tiles through a vegetable garden are one clue that Bethany Ziman's garden isn't just for grown-ups, but for kids, too. Tomorrow, see how she combines food, flowers and fun in her backyard by going to baltimoresun.com/gardener.
NEWS
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2012
Can I grow veggies in a fully screened-in garden? I want to eat tomatoes without stink bug spots. Growing vegetables in a screened garden may reduce light, but the biggest problem is the exclusion of pollinators and beneficial insects. Vegetable plants that require insects for cross-pollination, such as cucumber, muskmelon, squash, pumpkin and watermelon, will not produce crops without them. Of course, you could hand-pollinate the flowers if you have the time. An organic method of excluding insect pests in the veggie garden is the floating row cover, which you drape directly on the plants.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | April 1, 2011
First lady Michelle Obama sets the tone in trends with what she wears — and the way she gardens. The president's wife, who planted vegetables on the south lawn of the White House shortly after the family moved in, has revamped this year's garden by using raised beds. When students from Washington's Bancroft and Harriet Tubman elementary schools arrived in March to help plant seedlings, they found that each of the 34 vegetable beds had been converted to a box about 10 inches deep.
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