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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Good for the Body and the Soul

But it takes science for it to work

Gardening is the most popular of all hobbies. In addition to giving you hours of relaxation, it is good exercise. Gardening forces you to go outside, bringing you closer to nature. Whether you are growing vegetables, flowers or woody plants, gardening provides great satisfaction.
    Dorothy Frances Gurney says it all:
    The kiss of the sun for pardon;
    The song of the birds for mirth;
    One is nearer God’s heart in the garden;
    Than anywhere else on earth.

    Gardens can range in scope from a few potted plants to an entire landscape including the vegetable garden. It can be enjoyed by all ages. Getting children interested in gardening can have life-long consequences. On the other hand, you are never too old to start gardening.

More on Pruning and Digging

Can nandina be cut back all spring and summer as it grows so quickly? Any hints on removing six-foot-high ornamental grasses?
–Debbie Fischel, by email

  Nandina can be cut back to the ground in the spring and will develop new growth from the base.
  Removal of ornamental grasses are best accomplished by digging up the clump. It can be killed with Glyphosate, but you must wait to spray it just as it is coming into bloom in late August or September.

Ask Dr. Gouin your questions at DR.FRGouin@gmail.com. All questions will appear in Bay Weekly. Please include your name and address.

Gardening through the Seasons

  Fans of The Bay Gardener will want the bound volume of his wisdom. Enough Said: A Guide to Gardening Through the Seasons, compiled by the Annapolis Horticulture Society, is on sale for $20 at Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian and at Grauel’s Office Supplies in Deale. For direct orders — DR.FRGouin@gmail.com — add $6 postage. The Bay Gardener will inscribe your book and send it by return mail.

    In Maryland, ornamental horticulture is the second largest agriculture income-producing industry. In the U.S., it ranks third. Its popularity increases as we learn more about horticultural therapy and the benefits gained from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, especially growing your own. Organic gardening has also attracted many into the field.
    Your garden — and satisfaction — will thrive if you recognize that gardening is a science. Many problems can be avoided by following proven practices and by applying the knowledge gained by controlled scientific studies.
    Start by locating your garden where it will receive full sun if your interest is in growing vegetables, fruit and sun-loving flowers and ornamentals. Neither fertilizers, compost nor pruning practices can substitute for full rays from the sun.
    Chemical fertilizers cannot always substitute for the benefits of organic matter that not only include nutrients but improve soil potential. Very few horticultural plants can grow in poorly drained soils. Nor can all species grow in acid or in very alkaline soils. Nutrition is as important to the success of growing plants as a proper diet is good for our well being.