Ume_hgicicon_color_rgb_medium MDHGIC

University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center
We can answer your gardening and pest questions!
For more information on a variety of gardening topics, visit and bookmark our website Also, visit our blog, Maryland Grows!

(This group currently has 2 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Kissing Bug

We have found quite a few of these bugs in our house and are concerned that they may be Kissing Bugs. I have done some research on the internet and have found a certain type of Stink Bug that looks very similar to the Kissing Bug. Please confirm whether these are Kissing Bugs or Stink Bugs from the below images? Erik Shorb

Montgomery County MD Posted about 1 hour ago

When to begin

I'm new to SOMD and wanted to know what is generally the last frost date? Also the chart below states "Time seeds need to germinate" So I should plant my seeds indoors after the last frost date or backing up the seeding, to coincide with planting on the last frost date? Thank you Plant Approximate time to seed before last frost date (weeks) Time seeds need to germinate (days) Temperature (F) Light/dark requirement Broccoli 8 5 to 10 70 Either Cabbage 8 5 to 10 70 Either Cauliflower 8 5 to 10 70 Either Cucumber 4 or less 5 to 10 85 Either Eggplant 8 5 to 10 70 Either Lettuce 8 5 to 10 70 Light Muskmelon 4 or less 5 to 10 85 Either Pepper

St. Mary's County MD Posted about 16 hours ago

Hell strip plants

I’d like to grow a hell strip garden but I don’t know what shade tolerant plants to use. The area is shaded by Bartlett pear trees with shallow roots. Also, the soil is compacted clay. Where would I find information about Montgomery County, MD regulations about planting in a hell strip? Thank you

Montgomery County MD Posted about 16 hours ago

Ornamental ground cover

Last spring, virtually all of my ground cover, ivy, creeping mazus, mondo grass and even my indestructible Bishop's Weed died. Only the moss remains. I intend to replant but, perhaps, I should first have the soil analysed. Any thoughts?

Baltimore County MD soil testing groundcovers Posted about 22 hours ago

horse stripping & eating tree bark

Is tree and/or bark poison or hallucinagenic?

Anne Arundel County MD Posted about 22 hours ago

Conflicting advice regarding ivy-on-tree control

Today's Garden Q & A column in the Baltimore Sun, 26 January 2020, "advised avoiding application of weed killers on trunks or under trees". Past columns about controlling ivy on trees recommended applying glyphosate (AKA RoundUp) after cutting ivy at the base of a tree. This seems to be conflicting advice. Please, explain further how to safely control ivy around trees.

Baltimore County Maryland Posted 1 day ago

DARK Purple Lilac Planting

What is the best DARK Purple Lilac to plant in Catonsville, MD? When would be the best time to plant?

Baltimore County Maryland Posted 1 day ago

What are some plant names in a native meadow?

I live in a new neighborhood. The builder cleared a small meadow to plant trees, destroying habitat for many birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects. There were wild flowers, grasses, wild berries, and small trees in the meadow. I'd like to re-establish as many of the native meadow plants as I can. I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks. Tom

Montgomery County Maryland plant care meadows Posted 2 days ago

Using Geogrids in Raised Beds

I'm interested in the use of geogrid material in raised beds to reduce the pressure which can cause the walls to bow out. Do you have any information on this or are you aware of any studies done using that building technique?

Carroll County Maryland soil raised bed gardening Posted 2 days ago

Would a rain garden help with easement runoff?

On the side of my property is an area that has a stream-like outflow after rainfall. I was wondering if the creation of a rain garden like structure/vegetation in the stream bed would improve absorption of the water, prevent standing pools of water, and be overall helpful to water management. The area is more than 100 feet long and the stream bed is now about 12 inches wide and varying depths depending on what debris - leaves, plants, rocks, etc. - is present but no more than a few inches.

Prince George's County Maryland stormwater management Posted 2 days ago