Leafgro, Compro make great soil additions

Backyard Q&A

November 22, 1998

Q. What's the difference between Leafgro and Compro? And is this a good time to add these materials to new flower beds I'm digging now?

A. Leafgro is composted yard waste and Compro is composted sewer sludge, also known as bio-solids. Both are safe and effective. They are made from locally produced waste by the Maryland Environmental Service. Either one could be mixed into a new planting bed to improve soil structure and provide nutrients to plants.

Compro has a relatively high pH (7.6 to 7.8) and should not be used around azaleas, blueberries and rhododendrons.

Q. My sister and I recently encountered some very unusual creatures walking around our bathroom at night. We never see them during the day. They have long antennae and resemble crickets except that they are larger. What could they be and how do we get rid of them?

A. You're sharing your bathroom with camel crickets. They are striped, 1 1/2 inches long and humped in the middle. They like dark, moist places and are harmless. Check for areas that remain wet due to a leaky pipe or leaky faucet. Drying out the area will take away the crickets' habitat. Don't try to control them with insecticides.

This Week's Checklist

1. Dig a hole now if you plan to buy a live Christmas tree to plant after the holidays. Fill the hole with mulch or cover with landscape fabric to prevent soil and water from filling in.

2. Review your 1997 garden diary to remind yourself what worked and what did not. Jot down your observations to help you build on successes next year and avoid mistakes.

3. Need a holiday present for your favorite gardener? Order a copy of the Maryland Master Gardener Handbook by calling the number listed below.

Garden tips are provided by the Home and Garden Information Center of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland. For additional information on these questions, or if you have questions of your own, call the center's hot line at 800-342-2507, or visit its Web site at www.agnr.umd.edu/users/hgic.

Pub Date: 11/22/98

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