The Maryland State Soil Conservation Committee is accepting nominations for appointment to the Harford Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors. The appointment will be to fill the unexpired term of Michael S. Birch on Oct. 17, 2016. Nominations should be sent to: State Soil Conservation Committee, Department of Agriculture, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Room 306, Annapolis, MD 21401. Any interested individual or organization may submit a recommendation. Nomination forms are available at the Harford County Extension Office, P.O. Box 663, 2335 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill, MD 21050.
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2013
Stiltgrass has taken over a 20-by-10-foot area of my woods and now it's getting into my lawn. I will use crabgrass pre-emergent for it on the lawn, but should I rake away the leaves and apply it in the woods? Invasive stiltgrass spreads like lightning by tiny seeds. The seeds stay alive in soil for many years able to germinate. Kill it before it makes seeds, which it does in August. In spring and summer, it is easy to pull stiltgrass - it has very little root. (Once it has formed seeds, pulled stiltgrass must be sealed in a plastic bag.)
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: Our online newsletter starts off the year with a great article providing many tips for growing root crops in Maryland.
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2013
The soil test on my garden says the pH is 6.7. I need to find out what plants grow in that pH. Congratulations. Your soil pH is in the ideal range that most plants like — slightly acid. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. Numbers above 7 are alkaline, and numbers below 7 are acid. Each number increases exponentially to the 10th power. Thus, a 6 pH is 10 times more acidic than 7 pH; and 5 pH is 100 times more acidic than 7 pH. Soil pH determines the availability of nutrients to plant roots.
EXPLORE | December 27, 2012
In wine, there is always a story. It's a product of the earth and therefore subject to both the vagaries of Mother Nature and the winds of fate. In many instances, the grapevine thrives on barren soil in combat conditions. Yet somehow, it manages to distill a magical elixir out of pure rock and stone. And in that struggle, it crafts a liquid that possesses both heart and soul. Many years ago, when I worked in the wine wholesale industry, I had the privilege of selling both the Banfi portfolio, and the Seagram Chateau and Estates portfolio.
EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | December 27, 2012
As more people occupy the same amount of land, things change. A generation or two ago, it was perfectly OK in Harford County to burn garbage and maintain a residential dumping pit on a rural property. It isn't all that long ago that the sewage system and stormwater system in Havre de Grace were one in the same, both emptying into the Susquehanna River largely untreated. Indeed, the city continues to deal with issues of separating the storm drains from sewerage lines under the roadways.
By Lou Boulmetis, | November 8, 2012
Mums are bee and butterfly magnets Just when I thought the bees and butterflies had disappeared from our garden until spring, I found more visiting our "chrysanthemums" (mums) than I could count. And, during one Indian-summer afternoon, I saw more bees and butterflies on our mums than I'd seen in our garden all summer. Guaranteed to enliven a fall landscape, mums are as popular with people as they are with bees and butterflies. Yet mums were popular with people more than 3,000 years ago, too, when they were first cultivated by the ancient Chinese.
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2012
Decades after first discovering the problem, state officials have settled on a $27 million plan to keep a cancer-causing chemical in the ground at the Dundalk Marine Terminal from seeping into the Patapsco River and blowing into nearby residential areas. Under the plan, Honeywell International Inc. and the Maryland Port Administration jointly pledged to re-line leaky storm drains beneath the state-owned shipping facility, which have run yellow at times with chromium-tainted water. They also vowed to see that pavement covering the contaminated soil remains intact so it can't become airborne.
June 3, 2012
Under some of my cabbage and broccoli plants there are ant hills. The stems look weak on those plants compared to others. Are the ants eating the plants? Ants don't eat garden plants, but a large colony can interfere with a root system and thus stunt a plant. While ants are helpful when they aerate the soil or churn the soil, bringing up nutrients from deep soil, you may have a case of too much of a good thing. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the ant hills. The sharp edges on this powder of fossilized diatoms should penetrate and kill enough ants to reduce the population.
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2012
I plan to plant 20 low-bush blueberries. I've prepared the beds with leaf mulch, compost and sulfur. How do you recommend planting to maximize survival? We hope you have not purchased these plants yet, as we suggest that you plant Northern or Southern high-bush blueberries instead. Low-bush blueberries are essentially wild, woodland plants that are not cultivated so much as maintained by growers in New England. One reason it's difficult to grow low-bush berries in our area is that we have different mycorrhizae (beneficial soil fungi)
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