Capital Weather Gang: Gardening


Posted at 01:09 PM ET, 03/18/2013

Spring's arrival turns thoughts back to the garden

By the end of the month, average temperatures cross the magical 50 degree F mark - the threshold that really revs up the motors of most plants.

By David Streit  |  01:09 PM ET, 03/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening | Tags:  Gardening

Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 09/14/2012

September gardening: the solution is di-vine

The solution to the dead spots in my garden came to me as I looked out my window at the flocks of hummingbirds: annual blooming vines.

By David Streit  |  10:28 AM ET, 09/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening

Posted at 09:59 AM ET, 07/13/2012

Wanted for wanton acts of garden destruction

From storms to pests, gardeners have recently felt nature’s wrath.

By David Streit  |  09:59 AM ET, 07/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening

Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 06/08/2012

Water diet for the garden, watching your waste

We know too well that warmer days are ahead and rains will be erratic. Methinks it’s a good time to look at some ways to maximize the moisture we get during the course of the summer.

By David Streit  |  02:28 PM ET, 06/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening, Local Climate

Posted at 03:10 PM ET, 05/24/2012

Give your garden a burst of color with annuals that are a perennial favorite!

When it comes to planting, perennials are almost always going to be my go-to plants. While not work-free, nearly all will give quite a few years of reliable performance in the garden. However, who doesn’t like the bursts of color that annuals can bring to the garden?

By David Streit  |  03:10 PM ET, 05/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Gardening, Latest

Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 05/03/2012

Beat the drought with this arsenal of tough garden perennials

We’re back in the fast lane to drought. Since March 1, we’ve received less than half our normal rain. Fear not, for there are plenty of plants that will stand up to just about the worst dryness that the season can offer up. But please Mother Nature, that is not a challenge!

By David Streit  |  11:03 AM ET, 05/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2012

Drought sneaks into D.C.’s eastern suburbs, weather doesn’t have to wither gardens

It is hard to believe that we have been slipping into a drought in mid-April, but here we are. A spring drought is a bit sneaky since it is hard for us to think about watering yet and yet we must. What are your favorite plants for holding up to the dryness?

By David Streit  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 10:54 AM ET, 04/06/2012

Taking advantage of the dry weather for gardening

The warm and dry weather has been great for getting garden chores but this dryness has got to stop. We are so close to drought status it is not funny.

By David Streit  |  10:54 AM ET, 04/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Gardening

Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 03/22/2012

Summer in spring? Head for the hoses...

Our unseasonably warm readings have pushed soil temperatures in much of the area into the 50s. Given this warmth, do we dare to start planting seeds and seedlings of tender plants outside?

By David Streit  |  12:41 PM ET, 03/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening

Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 02/29/2012

As cherry blossoms promise an early bloom, some pre-spring gardening tips

We are just beginning our most floriferous time of year. Of course, one of the main treats in Washington, D.C. will be the bloom of the region’s cherry blossoms. This is the 100th anniversary of these trees coming to the Tidal Basin so it should be quite an event.

By David Streit  |  12:36 PM ET, 02/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Gardening, Gardening

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 02/02/2012

Our gardens in a mild winter: the good, bad and beautiful

Let me say right off the bat, my garden does not look much different this year than any other year, except it isn’t buried under a snow drift! Why is that? Many of our plants evolved over the centuries to be more in tune with the dependable daylight hours than the more erratic temperature regime.

By David Streit  |  10:20 AM ET, 02/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 01/27/2012

New USDA plant zones clearly show climate change

Planting zones are retreating north all over the country, but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) won’t state the obvious: the shift is a rock solid indicator of climate change.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:54 PM ET, 01/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Government, Local Climate, Gardening

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Winter activities to keep a gardener occupied until spring

Certainly the last month has been a kind one to the late season garden with plenty of rain and relatively mild temperatures. Pansies are looking pretty good out there along with the cabbages and kales. It doesn’t look like any real cold blasts are coming any time soon either so more time to enjoy the hardy garden denizens. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some time off from the garden. But inevitably I find myself drawn to it. So what is a gardener to do this time of year?

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 11/10/2011

Appreciating fall, and preparing the winter garden to shine

Depending where you are in the area, the leaves are at the peak of their brilliance or falling fast! Despite the dry spells and deluges this summer, most of the colors came on pretty nicely. It is an annual delight to see those brilliant yellows of the gingko trees in Georgetown, russet beauty of the oak trees in Takoma Park and glowing oranges of the maple trees that line many of our streets throughout the area. But it is now time to focus on some of the other preparations for the winter season.

By David Streit  |  12:45 PM ET, 11/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011

Prepping the garden as winter approaches...

The weather has been pretty accommodating for gardeners in the past week, given the nice weekends. Moisture has been plentiful as can be seen in the map of the past two week’s rains. I have been busy getting my spots all plotted for those bushels of bulbs that have just arrived. The dormant season is approaching, but now is far from the dormant time for the gardener, so today let’s talk about getting the garden ready for winter.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011

Musings on a fall gardening weekend...

For once, the past two weeks have been pretty uneventful. Rains have been a little light but nothing bad, save for a few heavy showers this morning. Temperatures have been near normal. Why we even have the good weather coming on the weekends now! This brings me to the week’s discussion: musings while working in the garden last weekend.

By David Streit  |  01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Fall is here, but for gardens, time to think about next summer...

If you feel like our climate has shifted to rain forest, you are not alone. The damp mild weather is not a novelty here but the persistence has been. However, for those of us close to D.C., would you believe that over the past two weeks (prior to last night), our rainfall has been nearly an inch below normal? There is probably no need to run for the sprinkler as temperatures have been mild and humidity levels high. Last time we spoke it was to prepare for spring bulb planting. Today, we go even farther into the future and think about summer bulbs.

By David Streit  |  12:15 PM ET, 09/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Fall is here, but for gardens, time to think about Spring!

Hopefully everyone’s garden survived the deluge from tropical storm Lee’s remnants. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place with all of Lee’s voluminous moisture funneling up from the south and Hurricane Katia offshore, blocking it from progressing out of the area. While the onslaught of rain was one way to break a drought for good, it was probably not the best way. Fortunately, we are drying out nicely now as it is about time for one of my favorite garden endeavors, bulb planting.

By David Streit  |  12:15 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/01/2011

Cleaning up the garden after sloppy hurricane Irene!

I hope everyone is recovering from the wrath of Irene. Looking at some of those pictures of flooding in wetter areas up north, I would say our drought was our salvation. Having dry soils helped to keep most trees well rooted and safe from toppling, which would not have been the case if the ground had already been soaked. So I guess we can count our blessings in many ways.

By David Streit  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 08/11/2011

Moving plants can be a moving experience

I figured that while the weather took a little break from the baking we have seen all summer, this would be a good time to talk about moving plants. I have joked before that at this point in the life of my garden, I spend as much time rearranging plants as I do planting new ones.

By David Streit  |  10:30 AM ET, 08/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011

Watering tips for keeping up with our sneaky drought!

Oh what a summer this is turning out to be! If your lawn/garden looks like anything but the Mojave, give yourself a pat on the back. So what are we to do…water is the main solution at this point, plain and simple. The key is to try to make the most of the water you put down.

By David Streit  |  02:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Something’s eating my flowers and I like it!

All gardeners have their horror stories when it comes to caterpillars in the garden devouring their hard work. My pansies disappeared thanks to all the munching. But to my surprise, a couple weeks later the garden was aflutter with hordes of fritillaries! I was hooked on finding other ways to help promote the caterpillars

By David Streit  |  11:15 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 06/30/2011

Oh deer! Is it a garden or a restaurant?

If the sneaky drought wasn’t enough to worry about, two of my most dependable pests have arrived right on cue in the garden: deer and Japanese beetles. Little did I know that some of my plantings are, as a good landscaping friend stated, “their version of filet mignon”.

By David Streit  |  11:45 AM ET, 06/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 06/16/2011

Let your plants do the seeding!

The wonder of new seedlings each year is something I really look forward to and am happy to promote. Before you know it you will have more than enough flowers and can share with friends.

By David Streit  |  01:50 PM ET, 06/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 06/02/2011

Xeriscaping, it’s not just for the desert!

Xeriscaping. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi story. For me, it was always something I associated with rocks and cactus in the Arizona desert. Well, taking a course from the USDA a few years ago, I got a real awakening. It is not just about rock gardens, it can be adapted to any environment and can be every bit as inviting as the grandest English garden.

By David Streit  |  01:55 PM ET, 06/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011

Perfect garden combo: beautiful and edible too!

How can you beat a garden that is both beautiful and edible?! A couple of herbs that do great at filling that bill are dill and fennel. I am a spice freak, so peppers like cayenne make a great addition to the hot spots in my garden. But by far my favorites are the edible flowers! In the spring there are the pansies and violas. Another great edible is squash blossoms.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 05/05/2011

Gardening in another dimension: “nanoclimate”

We all hear plenty about climate these days! Many of you know about microclimate too. One example is the urban heat island around D.C. which results in a longer frost free period; another is the infamous National Airport with its cooling river breezes (warming in winter). However, today I want to go even smaller scale. Let’s call it “nanoclimate”! It is something that nearly every gardener is going to run into at some time or another and the more you think about it the better off your plants are likely to be.

By David Streit  |  11:30 AM ET, 05/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Gardening

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011

Confessions of a gardening meteorologist

I figured now was as good a time as any to make a few resolutions since this is New Year’s time for gardening. To do this, I am going to take you along on some of my recent adventures in the garden. Trust me, this hurts me more than you! I loved having a few weeks to be the teacher and sage about gardening, but it is time for some humility. In fact, I will share some learning experiences and if they remind you of some aha moments of your own, please share. That way, we all benefit.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 04/07/2011

April showers bring...April flowers!

Since we last spoke two weeks ago, we have been below freezing and well up into the 80s... Yep, it is springtime in D.C.! I mentioned a time or two that getting down a bed of mulch right now sure helps to even out those temperature extremes and protect all those wonderful plants now just coming to life.

By David Streit  |  10:45 AM ET, 04/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Environment, Gardening

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/24/2011

Spring blooms busting out, weather is fine

The vagaries of spring are upon us. Temperatures up to 80 one day and down to 30 a few days later are the kind of roller coaster conditions that we can expect for a few weeks. Fortunately for we gardeners this is weather that our plants can stand up to...probably better than us.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Cherry Blossoms, Environment, Gardening

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Spring into action, gardeners!

Notwithstanding the current and recent deluges, planting time is fast approaching. I always like to keep an eye on the map of average temperatures over the past several weeks. It is a good rule of thumb for monitoring soil temperatures in the garden. We have risen above the 40 degree mark and that signals the beginning of plant awakening in our area.

By David Streit  |  01:00 PM ET, 03/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Cherry Blossoms, Environment, Gardening