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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2013
I'd like to grow carrots, but I hear it's tricky. Any tips? Because carrots are roots that need to push through soil, having light loose soil is a big determiner of success. For carrots, a depth of 12 inches is ideal. Add compost to your soil structure. It is the Year of the Root Crop on Grow It Eat It, our all-vegetables. all-the-time site. Find us at our new url: extension.umd.edu/hgic. Our online newsletter starts off the year with a great article providing many tips for growing root crops in Maryland.
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By Ellen Nibali and For The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
A soil test recommended adding a lot of phosphorus to my new shrub bed this spring. The soil was very low in phosphorus, and I worked it in well before planting. Should I add more this fall? It's good that you thoroughly worked the phosphorus into the soil, because phosphorus is one of the big polluters of the Chesapeake Bay. It's important to prevent it from being washed into storm drains or waterways that lead to the bay. Phosphorus binds with soil and is not volatile like nitrogen, so the full application you already made should suffice for years to come.
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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
I ordered some trees from North Carolina and the nursery wanted to send them in February. What is a good time to have them delivered? You can't put the trees into the ground until the soil is workable, meaning it's dry enough so a clump crumbles in your hand when squeezed. That time varies from year to year depending on weather. April is a good bet. Sandy soils are ready earlier than clay soils. If the soil is unworkable when your plants arrive, keep them outside in a cool, shady area.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
Fishing with my nephew made me wonder - would bait worms be good to add to my garden? No! We think of earthworms as good, but some species can be very destructive. The latest non-native worm to establish itself in several states is the crazy snakeworm. Fortunately, it's not in Maryland - we don't want that nightmare here. The crazy snakeworm voraciously consumes the upper organic soil layer or mulch and turns it into grainy, dry worm-casting piles. Forest understory life is destroyed and other earthworm species disappear.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
Nothing will grow in one area of my lawn. I've tried shrubs and perennials multiple times and watered when needed, but they still die. How do I test for a toxin in the soil? When testing for a plant toxin, you must specify which one. That's impossible in cases like this. In any case, such tests are expensive. However, you can do a simple home test by planting annual ryegrass seed in two containers, one filled with suspect soil and the other with healthy soil. Observe for a week after germination.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com | March 28, 2010
The problem: Soil has been eroding from an abandoned construction site in Cherry Hill for years. The backstory: Gary Peters loves fishing in the Middle Branch. He's been fishing for 50 years all over North America, but his best trips have been on the Middle Branch, he said, catching rockfish and striped bass and releasing them back into the water. The Catonsville resident worries, however, that soil washing down a hill off an abandoned construction site on Waterview Avenue will harm the ecosystem.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2010
Question: Please send me a soil test kit. I want to test my vegetable garden and lawn. Do I need two kits? Are they complicated? I want to get this done right away, but I've never done it before. Answer: The soil test "kit" we offer consists of instructions on how to choose a soil test laboratory, a chart of labs in our region, and a sturdy bag to mail your soil sample to the lab. The information is all on our Web site, and you do not need a special bag to mail a soil sample - a sandwich baggie works just fine.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
My neighbor is installing a rain garden. Won't that breed mosquitoes? Isn't it better for rain to run off quickly? Water must sit, unmoving, for three days for mosquitoes to have time to reproduce there. A rain garden empties before then, absorbing rainwater into the permeable soil, down to the roots of water-loving plants. Yes, rainwater must drain away from a home, but slowly is the operative word. Fast run-off can't be absorbed by your lawn or by your plants' roots, meaning the same plants may still need to be watered.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2010
One lane of I-83 southbound was closed Tuesday afternoon when a tractor trailer lost some of its 78,000 pounds of potting soil, according to officials. A state police spokesman said the right shoulder and right lane on I-83 south, near Mt.Carmel Road is expected to reopen by about 7 p.m. The spokesman said no one was injured. He could not say how much soil was deposited on the road, but by 6:30 p.m., the truck had been righted.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2013
Last year my potted impatiens had that terrible new disease, impatiens downy mildew, and all died. Can I use my old infected potting soil in non-flower beds this year? Send it to the landfill? Impatiens downy mildew spores overwinter in infected plant debris, not soil per se. Remove all obvious plant debris and a couple of the top inches of soil that may have minute bits of debris in it. Send that to the landfill. You can use the rest of the potting soil elsewhere in your landscape, but do be careful to wash and disinfect your pots before reusing them.
NEWS
By Marlene A. Condon | August 21, 2014
Some years ago, a colleague told me how, when he was a boy, he would vacation each summer with his parents in Ocean City . He and his mom always looked forward to crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, where the sea breezes carried the very essence of this estuary - the smells associated with the vast array of organisms that live and die along the shoreline or in the saltwater. But by the 1980s, Rick noticed that the air surrounding the bridge no longer brought to mind visions of the beach with its myriad periwinkles, sea stars, crabs, shorebirds and seaweed.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Allison Eatough, For The Baltimore Sun and By Allison Eatough, For The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2014
Each spring, potted herbs and vegetables dot the fire escape of Steve Kelly's home in Mount Vernon. He grows anywhere from six to nine types of peppers, ranging from red and yellow to cayenne and banana. His herbs include basil, tarragon, chives, rosemary and thyme. And then there's the mint. Kelly grows three kinds: orange mint, spearmint and peppermint. He uses them in tea, water and the occasional "adult beverage," he said. "I throw [herbs] in almost everything I make," Kelly said.
NEWS
By Allison Eatough and For The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
Gone are the days when factory-produced food went unquestioned. In the age of GMOs and climate change theories, a growing number of consumers are demanding to know how their food gets from the ground to their dinner plates, and local farmers are ready with answers. Whether they are reducing pesticide use, raising animals in pastures instead of confinement or rotating crops to keep the soil healthy, an increasing number of Harford County farmers are taking steps to protect the environment while running a healthy, thriving farm.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
Three light rail stations in North Baltimore reopened Thursday after being closed last week for repairs to an area of eroded soil near the transit system's tracks. The reopening of the Mount Washington, Cold Spring and Woodberry stations came about two weeks earlier than city officials originally estimated, significantly diminishing the inconvenience of to riders. "They were working very hard trying to make sure that they could finish before the July Fourth weekend, but nobody could ensure that," said Paulette Austrich, a Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman, of the initial longer timeline.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2014
My neighbor is installing a rain garden. Won't that breed mosquitoes? Isn't it better for rain to run off quickly? Water must sit, unmoving, for three days for mosquitoes to have time to reproduce there. A rain garden empties before then, absorbing rainwater into the permeable soil, down to the roots of water-loving plants. Yes, rainwater must drain away from a home, but slowly is the operative word. Fast run-off can't be absorbed by your lawn or by your plants' roots, meaning the same plants may still need to be watered.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
Nothing will grow in one area of my lawn. I've tried shrubs and perennials multiple times and watered when needed, but they still die. How do I test for a toxin in the soil? When testing for a plant toxin, you must specify which one. That's impossible in cases like this. In any case, such tests are expensive. However, you can do a simple home test by planting annual ryegrass seed in two containers, one filled with suspect soil and the other with healthy soil. Observe for a week after germination.
FEATURES
By MIKE KLINGAMAN | June 27, 1993
Creating a new garden requires careful planning. For instance, it helps to have the right supplies. Here is my checklist:(1) Seeds.(2) Spade.(3) Sun.That's all I need to start a garden. The soil, I take for granted. Who doesn't?Soil adds stability to a gardener's life. Think about it. You may lose those flower seeds and that favorite shovel, but not the soil. Never the soil. How can you misplace something that is always underfoot?Soil is one thing gardeners can count on. The sun may disappear for days, but not the soil.
FEATURES
November 30, 1997
I want to improve my vegetable garden soil this fall. A co-worker has offered me some horse manure. Is this going to be safe for my garden? I'm a little worried about E. coli and other diseases.Horse manure and other farmyard manures are excellent for supplying nutrients to soil and improving soil structure. Yes, there are risks, but they can be minimized. First, select manure that has been composted and aged for three to four months (harmful microbes are killed by the composting process)
NEWS
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
I ordered some trees from North Carolina and the nursery wanted to send them in February. What is a good time to have them delivered? You can't put the trees into the ground until the soil is workable, meaning it's dry enough so a clump crumbles in your hand when squeezed. That time varies from year to year depending on weather. April is a good bet. Sandy soils are ready earlier than clay soils. If the soil is unworkable when your plants arrive, keep them outside in a cool, shady area.
NEWS
AEGIS STAFF REPORT | February 18, 2014
Lee McDaniel, a farmer from Darlington and longtime member of the Harford Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors, has been confirmed as president-elect of the National Association of Conservation Districts. "I am honored to know that I will be the first NACD President from Maryland," said McDaniel, who has been involved in the national association for several years. NACD represents the country's 3,000 conservation districts and nearly 17,000 men and women who serve on their boards.
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