Rita Pelczar Title: Garden Writer Education: University of Maryland Location: Morganton, North Carolina Expertise: Kitchen gardening: home vegetable, herb, and fruit production, Growing annuals, biennials, and perennials, Trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines, Gardening science Rita is a writer, editor, and garden coach with over 40 years of professional horticultural experience. She has taught horticulture at the college level and to Master Gardeners. As a writer and editor she covers topics from kitchen gardening and landscaping for wildlife to the scientific principles behind gardening techniques.HighlightsOver 40 years experience as a professional horticulturist30 years experience as a garden writer and editorContributed to more than a dozen gardening books18+ years Associate/Contributing Editor for "The American Gardener" magazineContributed articles to major national gardening magazinesFormer associate professor of horticulture at Northern Virginia Community CollegeFormer manager, Green Springs Gardens and Horticulture Center in Alexandria, VirginiaFormer Extension Agent, Montgomery County, MarylandFormer Peace Corps Volunteer, St.Lucia, West Indies Experience Rita has gardened all her life. She has had a varied career that has drawn on and expanded upon her expertise in growing both ornamental and edible plants and designing gardens. She has pursued her interest in sustainable practices, organic gardening, use of native plants, and gardening for wildlife.She has contributed to over a dozen volumes of gardening books including: Editor-in-Chief of "Homegrown Harvest: A Season by Season Guide to a Sustainable Kitchen Garden," Author/consultant for New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques," Co-author of "Smart Garden Regional Guides," Contributing author to "Sunset's Mid-Atlantic Top Ten Gardening Guide," Researcher/writer for "Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening".Rita's articles have appeared in national gardening magazines including: Fine Gardening, Horticulture, The Herb Companion, Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News, and Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications.In addition to writing, Rita has shared her knowledge of gardening while teaching college level courses including: plant identification, greenhouse production, plant propagation, houseplants, and vegetable production. She has instructed Master Gardeners and is a popular garden speaker and coach to home gardeners.Rita has grown certified organic hops commercially for local breweries in North Carolina, where she has shared her growing experience through workshops and Extension Service tours. Education Rita has BS & MS degrees in Horticulture from the University of Maryland. About Better Homes & Gardens Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.