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Gardening

Who Ate the Cantaloupe?

Something has been nibbling on husband Charlie’s cantaloupe. I suspected the squirrels, and Charlie blamed mice or voles. Friend Fritz Riedel happened to snap another candidate: an eastern box turtle. It’s circumstantial evidence, but very convincing. Charlie’s conclusion is a new twist on the fable of the turtle and the hare: Turtles are faster than humans at getting to a ripe cantaloupe.     –Sandra Lee Anderson, St. Leonard

Doug Sisk’s Towering Tomatoes

Those plants that are taller than me were all volunteers sewn by last year’s plants.

Bunnies Scorn Arugula, We love it

I hoped to be awash in tomatoes. I had plenty, but the rabbits ate them. I am engaged in full-on bunny wars.     So I choose to celebrate and harvest what the bunny does not eat: arugula.

Heaps of Beautiful Tomatoes

I’m so pleased with my garden this year. In early spring I built four new raised beds out of some reclaimed lumber scrounged from a local sawmill. I was rewarded with heaps of beautiful tomatoes by early July. My best producing tomatoes are Cour de Bue, an ox heart variety, Brandywines, Romas, and June pinks, another early potato vine type. I’ve been freezing tomato sauce for a while now.

Harvesting Furgurson’s Folly

In a 10-by-20-foot plot at Goshen Farm’s Sharing Garden in Cape St. Claire, my family has built a little organic city. Furgurson’s Folly, my father dubbed it.     On one end are tomatoes, fat to the point of splitting, interspersed with basil plants. On the other, two trellises host green beans, one so abundant the trellis teeters over our plot’s edge.     Between them on one side thrive jalapenos and carmen peppers. On the other, cucumber and zucchini wane.

Gathering Figs

Figs, like many fruits in our yard, are a month early this year. We have two varieties, including my favorite, brown turkey, which I’d picked up at Mount Vernon in 2006 and nursed through a few years of condo living before planting in Annapolis. The other is Hardy Chicago, and I’m getting more of them this year, when they taste better than they usually do.
Gathering Garlic
I followed Bay Gardener Frank Gouin's advice about using compost and was rewarded. In the past, I was stingy about feeding my garlic and, come harvest, some of the bulbs weren’t much bigger than marbles. In November (a bit late), I planted German Porcelain, Musik, Spanish Roja and an Italian red variety in well-composted soil. On two or three occasions afterward I top-dressed with compost, digging in just a bit. In mid-June, I snipped off the flowers when the scapes bent over and harvested on July 7, later than usual.

Bay Weekly’s Ephemeral Guide to Spring Plant Sales

The flowers that bloom in spring are often ephemerals, their precious blooms here one day and gone the next.     So, too, is the season for plant sales. Starting this weekend and continuing to mid-May, local garden clubs, historical and horticultural societies and nurseries bring out their abundance.

A sharing garden keeps Goshen Farm growing

You may have heard whispers about a haunted house somewhere behind Cape St. Claire Elementary School. If yours is one of the 2,500 families living in the Cape, you probably have. If your children heard the stories, they may have even headed up there for an adventure.

Color chases away winter blues

Mother Nature is busting out. Leaves are unfurling, buds are bursting and grass is growing. Winter is history, and with it dull brown and gray landscapes. Spring has sprung, and its bright greens, sunny yellows and cool purples leave us hungering for more. We want — no, make that need — color. The fever has infected us. There is no escaping it.