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You’re never too young to garden

As a child in west central Florida, I was lucky to have a father and grandmother who were into plants. Dad introduced me to the bottlebrush shrub that lived beside our neighbor’s constructed pond. The sharp scent of its leaves, its fuzzy, flouncy red flowers and the way its seedpods all clustered together like rock candy on a stick fascinated me.

Use this summer to grow big bulbs for fall harvest

I like to plant onions in early April. But if you have not ordered your onion plants yet, there is still time.     Forget about those onion sets that only produce green onions, or scallions. Grow some real bulbing onions like Copra, Candy, Big Day, Super Star and Sweet Spanish. If you want to grow onions this summer, make certain that you order long-day or intermediate onions. Do not order short-day onions because they will produce only green onions during summer’s long days.

This New England transplant finds our warm summers and mild winters great for growing a wide variety of plants

From where I come from, I wonder if you properly appreciate all of your Maryland gardening advantages. I lived and gardened in central New Hampshire, where summer includes the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August, and where winter temperatures can drop to 30. So I know that gardening in middle and southern Maryland is heavenly.

Make a bed or make way for stalks now pushing up

Time to turn your attention to asparagus. One of spring’s earliest crops, asparagus is typically ready for cutting in Maryland between April 25 and June 15.

Renewal is the irresistible urge of spring, reaching from the ground up into our homes and hearts.    
    It’s time to make some changes. But unless you bring home some new ideas, you’ll be recycling the same old stuff.    
    In the nick of time, here’s Bay Weekly’s 2015 Home and Garden Guide, bringing you 28 partners to inspire and assist your renewal.

All the Tools Your Inner Artist Needs Are you a DIY sort of person? Do you need supplies and inspiration for your creative projects?     Art Things, Inc. in West Annapolis is a place you should explore.

Clip right to force branches of flowers

Now is the time to force forsythia, quince, magnolia, crabapple, lilac and weigela branches into flower. Select heavily budded branches from the center of the plants so as not to distract from the natural appearance of the plant when it flowers later in the spring. Flower buds are easily distinguished this time of year because they tend to be plump as compared to vegetative buds. In many species, the ends of the flowering buds are rounded.

Hard-working pods make fat peas

March 17 is the day many gardeners plant peas. So it’s time to know a little about them.     Did you know that the green pea pod generates most of the energy needed to swell the peas in the pod? It would seem that the leaves on the vine would be contributing. However, research shows that only the leaves immediately adjacent to the pod contribute to the formation of the flowers and the pod itself. Once the pea pod has formed, it generates the energy that causes the peas within to expand. 

What you don’t know can kill a tree

Did you know that only roots less than one inch around are capable of generating new roots from the cut end? Did you know that the cut end of a small root can only grow three new roots at the most?     Roots are not like branches. When you prune away the end of a branch, you stimulate the development of side branches. Root regeneration only occurs at the ends of the cut root.

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

This time of year gardeners feel the itch for warm weather. We’re wistful about anything green and have gardening books spread out in inconvenient places in eagerness for another season.     Scratch the itch by honing your design skills with plantsman, author and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens executive director William Cullina. He comes to Annapolis March 7 to talk about the botany of design.

Native seeds need to cool down before sprouting

Seeds of native plants in the temperate region require chilling, called stratification, before they can germinate and grow seedlings. The acorn of the mighty oak must be stratified before it can germinate in the spring. But don’t go placing acorns in the freezer before planting.