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University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center
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(This group currently has 2 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Bug identification

Have have some rudbeckia hirta (2nd year) covered with these bugs this year. None of the other surrounding flowers have them. The blackeyed susan is yellowing while all surrounding plants (sneezeweed, spirea, phlox subulata) are healthy. Any ideas what this could be?

Anne Arundel County Maryland insect or spider id Posted 31 minutes ago

Hydrangea problem

Each year these hydrangeas show leaf problems -- some years are worse than others. Can you tell me what is causing the problem and how to fix it?

Montgomery County Maryland Posted about 1 hour ago

Sealing raised bed made from treated wood

Hello, we recently constructed a raised bed out of treated wood (micronized copper azole). From HGIC info ( it seems this is minimal risk for food gardening, but we are still interested in sealing the wood, both for looks (stain), and to prevent things from the wood getting to the food. We have some stain left over from other non-gardening things we are interested in applying to the bed. Is it safe? It is Thompsons WaterSeal Timber oil ( I don't see much info on what is actually in it on the can or the web page. Is that Timber oil safe to use all over? If not all over, is it safe to use on the outside? I understand linseed oil is safe to use to treat food gardning wood, so we could treat with linseed oil where soil touches the wood, and colored timber oil on the more visible parts. Thanks!

Baltimore County Maryland Posted about 1 hour ago

Moss is taking over my front lawn

My lawn is on sloped ground facing north. It is the last in the neighborhood to lose snow. I had a lawn service until about four years ago but stopped when I realized that were giving it too much nitrogen (off the charts). My lawn is so full of moss that turns a light green or dies out and looks horrible. What steps should I take to get rid of the moss and replace with actual grass. The dirt is very clay-like I know grass can grow. I have lived here for 30 years and have had decent lawns in the past, but this is horrific now. PS: I tore out about a quarter of the front lawn and am in the process of making a pollinator garden. Not easy on a sloped yard, which is why I do need some grass.

Baltimore County Maryland Posted about 1 hour ago

South American butterfly?

I found this butterfly on an entrance pillar of my apartment in Gaithersburg. Body fuzzy and about 2 inches; each wing about 3 by 4 inches. You can see the scale against the bricks. Closest identification I can find is the Owl Butterfly that is from South America. Is this possible?

Montgomery County Maryland moths insect or spider id Posted about 2 hours ago

Undentified bumps on tree limbs

See picture below. This is a picture of sprigs that fell from a tree in my backyard. What are the little bumps on the limbs? What should I do to treat it? I also had a nearby oak die that was growi g easier this spring. See picture #2. Any thoughts or suggestions? It looks like a branch of a tree behind it is now dieing as well.

Anne Arundel County Maryland Posted about 2 hours ago

What's eating my veggie plants??

I've never had a problem like this before: all of a sudden, my eggplant leaves are destroyed, and I've got small white spots on everything else. (Photos below.) Is this powdery mildew? Some kind of mite? And if so, is there anything I can do to get rid of it and save my plants? I'm in the high-risk Covid category, so going out for more plants isn't really a good option. I really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Maryland vegetables pest insects and mites Posted about 2 hours ago

Brown spots in my lawn

Hello, I have noticed multiple brownish spots in my lawn. What that could be? Something I need to be concerned about? If a disease, how do I treat this? Thanks, Milan Basta

Montgomery County Maryland Posted about 3 hours ago

What is this tree?

Hi, I live in Baltimore and like many of my neighbors I have this tree (see attached photo) in my front yard. We guess it's some kind of dogwood but other than that we really don't know. Can you help us identify it? Thanks, John Husson

Baltimore Maryland Posted about 3 hours ago

Rose help

What’s wrong with my roses? The blooms look dull, they have white spots, and appear really red. How do I correct it? Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland Posted about 3 hours ago