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Gardening

Blooming bulbs and camellias ­herald spring

       After a long winter, the early spring flowers are eagerly anticipated. I always believe in the wisdom of the groundhog and his prediction of an early spring, but this year his timing was a little off. When the bulbs started to bloom, I forgave him. Bulbs come in thousands of varieties.

Blooming bulbs and camellias ­herald spring

       After a long winter, the early spring flowers are eagerly anticipated. I always believe in the wisdom of the groundhog and his prediction of an early spring, but this year his timing was a little off. When the bulbs started to bloom, I forgave him. Bulbs come in thousands of varieties.

12 months of patience will yield 20 years of harvests

     Slender green asparagus is a spring treat. It is a true perennial vegetable in that — once you plant it — it produces for many years. Plant now, and you’ll wait about three years to get to good production. But it is worth the wait. Home-grown asparagus is delicious and nutritious. High in fiber and low in sodium and calories, it surpasses most vegetables in supplying folic acid and is a significant source of potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6 and rutin.
Or find experts who’ll do that and two dozen more chores and projects for you
     Paper in hand, reading these words, who are you?      Computer at hand, writing them, I’m my business self. To drive to my office in Annapolis, I don’t have to gird myself as staunchly as my husband Bill Lambrecht, Bay Weekly’s editorial analyst, who has to put on his “Washington face” before his harrowing daily commute. (It looks a little like the contortion he wears to show me how he terrified opponents as a high school football player.)
     The famous quotation about the certainties of life that includes death and taxes should also mention weeds. They are sprouting up all over. Even the most meticulously tended landscapes are not immune.   Where to Begin?

Dos and Don’t

     Don’t work your soil too early. Unless both March and February were dry, avoid the temptation to turn over or dig into wet soil. Tilling wet soil can cause it to become cloddy and brick-hard when it dries out. How do you know when your soil can be turned or tilled? One test is to form a clump of soil into a ball. Bounce it up and down in your hand a few times. If it breaks apart easily it’s probably OK to dig.

How to avoid most plant problems with one concept

     Many plant problems in your landscape can be avoided by choosing the right plant for the purpose and the site. Many insects and diseases are opportunists, taking advantage of plants that are stressed and aren’t healthy enough to fight back.

Tips for new and experienced gardeners

      Creating a beautiful landscape takes time and resources. Invest in careful planning and research before you begin to establish or renovate a landscape. It will pay off in the long run.      Here are a few common blunders that occur in landscaping and, more importantly, how to avoid them.   Problem: Planting Without Planning

Freshly dug potatoes from your ­garden will spoil you

      Visiting Provence, France, many years ago, I was overwhelmed by the potatoes in the farmers markets. I saw so many beautiful varieties of potatoes, including bright red ones, soft pink ones, dark blue, lavender, yellow and all shades of brown. As well as colors, potatoes come in many shapes, including petite tubular potatoes known as fingerlings. Today you can find many of these different varieties in most grocery stores.

Growing of the green will add cheer to damp, cold March 

      I remember as a kid sitting in a field of clover searching for one with lucky four leaves. Finding one never failed to make me feel like I was about to come upon a pot of gold.      To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day horticulturally, you can grow the traditional shamrock plant, Oxalis regnelli, which usually is found in grocery stores and nurseries around this time of year. Its bright-green color and white flowers are cheery on damp, cold March days.