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Indoor Worm Composting or Vermicomposting

Feeding food scraps to redworms Photo credit: Natalie Hampton, NC State University Key Points Vermicomposting (from the Latin word vermis meaning worm) is an efficient and enjoyable method for turning kitchen food scraps into a rich compost. Composting with redworms is becoming popular because it...

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Smooth Patch on Oak

Smooth patch on lower trunk of a white oak tree Key Points Smooth patch goes by other common names including white patch or bark patch. The most commonly affected oaks in Maryland are white oak, Q. alba , and post oak, Q. stellata. Smooth patch can be found on oaks in both urban and forested areas...

Diagnostic Chart of Azalea and Rhododendron Problems

Symptoms Details Possible Causes Leaf Yellowing Towards interior of plant Older leaf drop (normal) Iron or magnesium chlorosis High soil pH and nutrient deficiency Leaves may also have sooty mold (black coating) Azalea Bark Scale Brightly colored, yellow-orange spots Azalea Leaf Rust Leaf Stippling...

Common Soil Problems

Bare soil prone to erosion Key Points Plant problems and poor growth (whether turfgrass, shrubs, vegetables, fruit, or flowers) may be caused, in part, by one or more soil problems. Soil compaction (dense soil that drains water very slowly), topsoil removal, and erosion are three key soil problems...

Soil Health, Drainage, and Improving Soil

Key Points Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans (USDA-NRCS). Most soils have been altered from their natural state. Urban and suburban soils, in particular, have been degraded: topsoil removed, compacted, and...

Soil Basics

Key Points Soil is a natural resource and a living ecosystem (the "living skin of the earth"). Soils sustain all life on earth and filter and break down natural and man-made toxins. Soils give plants water, nutrients, and support, along with oxygen for root growth. Soils have four main components:...

Meet a Pollinator: Sweat Bees

Sweat bee ( Agapostemon virescens) Photo: Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org Agapostemon splendens and Agapostemon virecens (sweat bees) (family Halictidae ) These bees are small, metallic green bees and are commonly called “sweat bees” because they are attracted to human perspiration. They typically will...

Kissing Bugs

The eastern bloodsucking conenose bug ( Triatoma sanguisuga) -- a type of insect commonly called a kissing bug -- is the most common Triatominae species found in Maryland. Photo: Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University, Bugwood.org ** Kissing bugs are present in Maryland, but they are of...

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