University of Maryland Extension

Home and Garden Information Center

Base Name: 
hgic

Support for HGIC

The Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) is a state-wide program that provides outreach education to Maryland residents and beyond. Our Mission : Develop and deliver science-based, sustainable gardening and integrated pest management education for better human and environmental health. The...

Tips for submitting photos to Ask Extension

The following are tips on how to take good photos and send detailed information that will help us understand your question and respond quickly with a confident answer. General photography tips Make sure your photos are clear and in focus. Wipe off your cell phone camera lens before taking the...

Testing for Lead in Garden Soil

Key Points All Maryland soils contain naturally-occurring background levels of lead , typically less than 50 ppm. Some garden soils, however, contain moderate to very high levels of lead that may pose a serious health risk. The risk is primarily from contaminated soil brought into the home on...

Fertilizing Vegetables

Key Points Fertilizers, whether organic or synthetic , supply nutrients to plants when they need them. Fertilize based on soil test results and plant needs. Nutrient needs vary between plant families and species . For example, leafy greens require more nitrogen than beans and peas. Vegetable crops...

Lilac-test

Key points Syringa vulgaris is a woody shrub grown for its fragrant flowers Height: 8’ - 12’; spread: 10’ - 20’ Flower color: lilac, white, pink, purple, reddish Period of interest: showy for about 2 weeks in May Uses: specimen, border Zones: 3-7 Problems with lilacs will only increase with climate...

Poinsettias

Key Points Poinsettias add color and beauty to the interiorscape during the holiday season. Blue, orange, and other colored poinsettias are also popular. They don't grow this way. White poinsettias are dyed and sometimes decorated with glitter to fit different holiday themes. The introduction of...

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...

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...

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