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University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center
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Questions asked to this group

Chicken manure

I keep a few chickens and allowed them to run in a fenced area approx 15x 50 foot. We live near the water and a water rat was coming out and taking everything from my old garden so I decided to move the garden to the area where my chickens were. It is further from the water and fenced which I hoped would keep the water rat out. It did, but the garden did poorly. There is plenty of sun. I thought the ground would be good as the chickens fertilized it, but it did badly. Too much fertilizer? What can I do to help? Chickens not in there for a year now.

Anne Arundel County Maryland Posted about 1 hour ago

Grass invaded by ivy & strawberies

Over the tears my lawn is being overcome by ground ivy & wild strawberry along with some violets. My fault for using if it’s green it counts! This year we had some really hard freezes, below zero, & those weeds were hit hard. Is there something I can door to help me recover my grass? If so what, when & where? Thanks for any help. I really dont want to kill everything & start from soil

Carroll County Maryland Posted about 6 hours ago

Help resolving lawn overrun with fig buttercups

How can I, a homeowner in Silver Spring with a large back yard overrun with fig buttercups, prevent them from growing and spreading further this spring--especially into neighbors' yards? We have dogs, so would prefer a non-poisonous method of getting rid of the fig buttercups: Dig them out with a shovel and put them in trash bags for disposal, hire a company to remove and resod, cover with plastic tarps, put mulch everywhere? We used to have zoysia grass that grew well, but now there are fig buttercups in the spring, then wild violets and creeping charlie. Our yard is doomed. Can you help me?

Montgomery County Maryland Posted about 7 hours ago

crape myrtle pruning

What is the latest date in the spring to safely prune crape myrtles in the metro DC area?

Montgomery County Maryland Posted about 8 hours ago


Hello. I live in Bowie. I know I have moles, because I have raised tunnels in my yard. My question is holes in my landscaping that are 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide. I poke a stick in these holes, and the stick does not go down to a tunnel. The stick does not go far into the ground, maybe an inch or two and it stops. I think and question these holes cannot be vole holes because the depth of these holes is shallow. Wouldn't a vole hole go down to the mole's tunnel? I want to place a mouse trap w/PB and cover with a pot and brick, but feel I won't catch anything because the holes don't travel far into the ground. The holes are perfectly round, and do not look like bird or squirrel holes. Another question, do voles and moles escape the ground and walk on the surface? Thank you for your help.

Prince George's County Maryland wildlife moles voles grubs lawn and turf squirrels digging up nuts Posted about 9 hours ago

Plum black knot

I have remove the knots but every new season they come back . Which fungicide should I use to get rid of these knot problem. Can I use sulfur and hydrogen peroxide a. old farmer told me about those Please give names of any fungicide to use Thank Tyer

Baltimore County Maryland Posted 1 day ago

Soil Test Results

I had my garden soil tested at a local co-op the the results given me were pH 7 and "soluble salt 0.6 EC meter reading." My confusion was that based on thees results I was told that the soil is extremely deficient in nutrients and needed the addition of organic fertilizer. In searching the internet I found that soluble salts should be low. Can you explain? Do I need more detailed testing such as for nitrogen? Thanks

Anne Arundel County Maryland soil testing low soluble salts low nutrient levels Posted 1 day ago

Pokeweed Control

We have pokeweed that's starting to take over our yard, mainly on our property line adjacent to a sheep pasture. We've tried to manually remove the roots but have ended up with hives despite our best efforts to cover up. Is there any herbicide that will work well on the pokeweed without affecting our nearby trees, raspberry plants, and animals?

Frederick County Maryland Posted 1 day ago

Indigenous Ground Cover

Living next to a forest buffer, I have a patch of ground that is shaded and mostly void of vegetation. I would like to sow a low maintenance plant. Would something like an indigenous clover be an answer? Please advise - Thank you.

Baltimore County Maryland Posted 1 day ago

Dying heath

I bought a "Furzey heather" at Home Depot in 2002, and it's been a wintertime joy until now, when it seems to be dying. I will attach an overall photo and a closeup of a typical dying part of the plant. But some parts of the "dead" branches seem to have "mildew" of some sort. I checked my 5th edition of Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape plants, p. 348, which says of heaths in general: "DISEASES AND INSECTS: None Serious." I think the plant is too far gone to be salvaged. Maybe it's just mature and beyond and its time has come. Also, we had a very cold winter, with my digital thermometer registering 1 degree F one night and near that several more. I'm resigned to losing the plant but thought I'd share this information. And if you have any suggestions or observations, great. Here's what my garden notes say the Home Depot ID on the plant said in 2002: "Furzey heather, Erica x darleyensis. Deep lilac pink. Nov-May. Bushy, Ht. 14-18”. Prefers acid soil in sun to partial shade."

Howard County Maryland shrubs heather heath heather died Posted 1 day ago