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Native Plants for Meadows in Maryland's Coastal Plain

This webpage presents information about the selection of plant species for creating meadows in Maryland's two Coastal Plain ecoregions (63 and 65, below). Even when plant species are native in multiple ecoregions, local populations are often best adapted to local growing conditions. For this reason...

Pruning Trees

Illustration of branches to be removed from a tree Young trees frequently need pruning to establish beneficial branch structure. At first, however, newly planted trees should be pruned only when there are broken or damaged branches. It is a myth that trees should be pruned when planted to...

Pruning Tools

Lopping shears Photos: Pixabay Hand pruners Used for cutting branches up to one inch (2.5cm) in diameter and come in two types: anvil and by-pass (photo). Anvil pruners have a straight blade that closes against a small anvil or block as the handles are squeezed. By-pass pruners have a curved blade...

Native Plants for Shade

Lessons from Our Forests: How to Select and Care for Shade-Loving Native Plants Planning You can support plant biodiversity as well as pollinators and songbirds by planting locally native plants in your shade garden. Recent research suggests that if biodiversity is your motive, you’d do well to use...

Pruning Basics of Trees and Shrubs

Branch structure of a sycamore tree Pruned hedge What is Pruning? Pruning is the removal of undesirable portions of a plant. Each pruning cut should be well planned because each has the potential to affect the growth of the plant. After pruning, a plant must seal off every cut. To do so, it will...

Cultivars of Native Plants

We add native plants to our yards to attract and support pollinators as they pass through. Many native bees, and all moths and butterflies, need native plants to complete their life cycles. The decline of insect populations has numerous causes, but is directly tied to the decline of natural areas...

Soil to Fill Raised Beds

Healthy soil will help you produce healthy plants in your raised bed. Soil supplies plants and soil organisms with water, air, and nutrients. Ideal garden soil is loose, deep, and crumbly. It holds water for root uptake and allows excess rainfall to percolate downward quickly. The organic matter (...

Native Plants and Climate Change

Whether in natural areas or in our gardens, climate change is affecting native plants. According to the Maryland Climate Summary, our temperatures are expected to increase 5⁰ F to 11⁰ F by 2100. Higher temperatures cause native plants to experience more heat-related stress. Heat stress causes...

Lawns and Microclover

White clover or Dutch white clover (Trifolium repens) is a perennial plant, native to Europe, which often shows up in lawns by way of seed dispersal. All clovers are legumes. Through a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium soil bacteria, legumes are able to transform atmospheric nitrogen gas into...

Melting Ice Safely

Each winter, people apply tons of ice-melting materials to sidewalks, driveways, and steps, often without regard to proper application procedures or to what the deicing substance contains. Careless use of deicing products can damage both the home and the environment: Overuse of some deicers can...

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