Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Master Gardeners Take Over the Governor's Mansion!

(photo courtesy of Jon Traunfeld)

This past weekend, Anne Arundel County Master Gardeners were asked to help the first lady, Katie O'Malley, plant a vegetable garden at the Governor's Mansion. We went to the mansion on Tuesday to do the prep work and to do a majority of the planting. We left one end of the garden, as well as four containers, to be planted during the media event on Saturday. The weather was great and we were greeted by the chef, Medford Canby, who was carrying a plate of freshly baked muffins!

Along with the Master Gardener volunteers, their were volunteers from the Department of Agriculture and their children. We were able to invite four people who attended the Grow It It Eat It seminars that we gave back in March. They were all new to the world of vegetable gardening and they were able to get some hands-on experience.

If you find yourself walking in Annapolis, stop by and take a look. It is located right next to the infamous fountain. As it turns out, there was a victory garden located in the same place during WW II. Next time, I'll give you a tour of what we planted.

I feel that I should thank the businesses that donated to the project. River Hill Nursery in Clarksville donated plants and seeds, Bowen's Farm Supply in Annapolis donated plants and potting soil And Knopp's Farm in Severn donated plants.

Putting your small fruit plants on hold

My small fruit plants arrived at home before I could plant. Here's what I did to "store them". In all cases, keep the plants cool and out of direct sunlight and keep the roots moist:
  • I opened the box they arrived in and surrounded the roots with moistened shredded newspaper. I've also used potting soil.

  • I "planted'' some of them in a 5-gallon plastic bucket with drainage holes in the bottom and covered the roots with potting soil.
  • I made a 6-in. deep trench in a shady spot in a garden bed for my blueberry and purple raspberry plants. I laid the plants perpendicular to the trench with the roots in the trench. Then I covered the roots with soil.

In all cases, I kept the plants out of direct sunlight and kept the roots moist. The plants leafed out while on hold and that was ok. After planting them in their permanent location I cut the raspberry and blackberry plants to within 2-3 inches of the soil and I cut back the blueberry plants by 50%.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I love asparagus!

There's nothing better than asparagus fresh from the garden! We harvested our first spears this morning and roasted them in the oven for lunch.
For a real treat, toss spears with a little olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, add freshly ground pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven (or grill) for about 15 minutes or until tender-crisp.