University of Maryland Extension

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Pruning Tree and Shrub Basics

Branch structure of a sycamore tree (left); Pruned hedge (right) 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...

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 (...

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

Photo: Pixabay 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...

December Tips & Tasks

Back to Gardening Tips & Tasks Outdoor Yard and Garden Tips Evergreens like hollies, boxwoods, and pines can be moderately pruned. The trimmings can be used for holiday decorating. Carefully examine boxwood wreaths and decorative greens for symptoms of boxwood blight before purchasing. Be aware...

November Tips & Tasks

Back to Gardening Tips & Tasks Outdoor Garden Tips and Tasks Prune dormant shade trees that need to be pruned. Begin by removing all dead, diseased branches, and making any necessary cosmetic cuts. Do not cut branches flush with the trunk. Leave the branch collar ( swollen area on the trunk of...

October Tips & Tasks

Back to Gardening Tips & Tasks Normal fall needle yellowing on white pine Outdoor Yard and Garden Tips Flower buds are forming or are already formed on spring flowering shrubs. To prevent reducing next year’s bloom, don’t prune spring-flowering shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons until after...

September Tips & Tasks

Back to Gardening Tips & Tasks Powdery mildew on lilac Outdoor Yard and Garden Tips Powdery mildew may be seen now on many trees, shrubs, and perennials, like pin oak, roses, lilac, phlox, peonies, and monarda. This fungal disease favors high humidity but unlike other fungi does not require wet...

August Tips & Tasks

Back to Gardening Tips & Tasks Fall webworm Outdoor Yard and Garden Tips August is frequently a dry month. If needed, water newly planted trees and shrubs. Allow the water to soak ino the surrounding soil and the root ball. Fall webworm is a late summer caterpillar 1-2 inch long and hairy...

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