GARDENING GODDESS: Feeling Itchy? You’re Not Alone


We asked Washington Gardener Magazine readers to tell us what makes them itch in the garden. Not surprisingly, poison ivy was a popular culprit, but there were several other itch sources that plague local gardeners that they shared with us. Here are several of their responses. I bet you can’t read this list without feeling the urge to scratch!

Dorothy Cichra of Silver Spring, MD, said, “What makes me itch is poison ivy.  The birds spread the seeds from who knows where and little plants come up unexpectedly.  Sometimes they are not obvious until too late.”

“I invariably come into contact with these noxious plants [like poison sumac], even though I am vigilant about avoiding them,” shared Eleni Silverman of Alexandria, VA.

“What makes me itch most in the garden is MOSQUITOES!!,” said Trish McKenzie of Washington, DC. “I wish the purple martin thing was true, and too bad we don’t have bats like in Austin.  I am most often in the garden around dusk when those voracious insects come out. “

Michael Kelley lamented, “What makes me itch most in the garden is… leaf mold.”

“What makes me itch the most in my Old Greenbelt garden is pulling up English ivy, pachysandra, and vinca then looking over the fence at the over-the-ankle deep flourishing growth of – you guessed it – English ivy, pachysandra and vinca just waiting to rush back in the moment I turn my back,” said Mary-Denise Smith of Greenbelt MD.

“Junipers make me itch the most in my garden. This, of course, is only if I safely stay away from the poison ivy!” said Howard Gorinson of Silver Spring, MD.

“What makes me itch most in the garden is squash plants,” said Faith Hood of Falls Church, VA. “Those tiny prickly hairs that protect the plant get me red and itchy every time I go out to pick.”

Kylee Baumle of Haviland, OH, wrote, “Sweet corn foliage makes me itch. I hate picking it in August because I have to walk between the rows and if I don’t have long sleeves on (and who has on long sleeves in Ohio in August???), I have to immediately take a shower or I’ll scratch myself silly.”

Teresa Liao of Arlington, VA, shared Faith and Kylee’s vegetable plant affliction, “What makes me itch most in the garden is waiting to harvest my crops.”

What makes YOU itch in the garden?

About the Author:

Kathy Jentz is editor/publisher of Washington Gardener magazine.

Washington Gardener magazine, is a new gardening publication published specifically for the local metro area — zones 6-7 — Washington DC and its suburbs.

The magazine is written entirely by local area gardeners. They have real-world knowledge and practical advice with the same problems you experience in your own gardens. They share their thoughts on what to plant in deep shade, how to cover bare spots, which annuals work best throughout the humid DC summers, and much more. If you are a DC area gardener, you’ll love Washington Gardener magazine!

The magazine is published four times per year with a cover price of $4.99. IN addition to the print magazine, subscribers also receive a monthly enewsletter 12 times a year that includes timely information such as a local garden events calendar and gardening to-do list for that month. A year’s subscription is $20.00 — that’s a savings of almost 40% off the per issue price. To subscribe to the magazine: Send a check/money order for $20.00 payable to “Washington Gardener” magazine to: Washington Gardener, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910 OR to pay via Paypal/credit card click on the “subscribe” link at

Washington Gardener magazine also makes a great gift for the gardeners and new home owners in your life.

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About the Author

Kathy Jentz
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at @WDCgardener on Twitter and welcomes your local DMV gardening questions.

1 Comment on "GARDENING GODDESS: Feeling Itchy? You’re Not Alone"

  1. Okra! It itches and burns.

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