Tag Archives: Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners

ANNUAL PLANT SALE

May 11 – 6TH ANNUAL PLANT SALE BY QAC Master Gardeners. 8-11:30AM. University of Maryland Extension, 505 Railroad Ave, Centreville, 410-758-0166 or rjrhodes@umd.edu.

Master Gardeners Certify Bay-Friendly Landscape

image001 (207 x 400)The Master Gardeners of Queen Anne’s County announce that the property of Merle Rockwell and Ed Modell, located in Queenstown, has been certified as an official Bay-Wise Landscape.

Ms. Rockwell and Mr. Modell are “Bay-friendly” homeowners, since they live along the upper reaches of the Wye River. They welcomed the Master Gardeners to come tour their yard and advise them on whether they were doing enough to make their landscape Bay-wise.

The Bay-Wise representatives were impressed with what these homeowners have done in their landscape. They have installed a septic system with state-of-the-art nitrogen-reducing technology, which is a great improvement for waterfront properties such as these. Merle and Ed do not mow near the waterfront, allowing deep-rooted trees and native plants to absorb runoff from the land before it reaches the water. They have native trees which provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, while cooling the house in the summer and protecting it from buffeting winds in the winter.

Due to the many beneficial practices used throughout the property, their landscape passed the Bay-Wise certification process with flying colors.

Master Gardener Stephanie Simpson, who helped certify the property, noted that most homeowners can easily adopt Bay-Wise landscaping. “We let homeowners know that there are plenty of little things they can do that make a difference. Since all of Queen Anne’s County is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it’s important, plus it’s fun. Bay-Wise landscaping can reduce the time and money you spend on your yard, while improving the health of your plants as well as the Bay.”

The Bay-Wise committee is part of the Master Gardener program, which is sponsored by University of Maryland Extension. Volunteers are trained to educate homeowners about landscaping practices that will improve surface and groundwater quality. And there is no cost to the homeowners.

The statewide program began in 1996 in Howard County. Currently, Queen Anne’s and Talbot County Master Gardeners offer Bay-Wise consultations in the mid-Shore counties on the eastern shore, including Kent and Caroline.

When called to assess a yard, committee members use the Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick, a checklist of landscape management practices such as fertilization, wise plant use, mulching, stormwater management and lawn care. Items on the list are worth points, or “inches” on the yardstick. For certification, a homeowner gets 36 or higher out of 72 possible points. Once the landscape is certified, the homeowners get a certificate and a 6” x 7” blue sign for their yard.

Ms. Simpson noted that homeowners may seek advice from the Bay-Wise committee without a certification. “If a homeowner just wants us to come out and advise them on how to maintain their landscape in a Bay-friendly way, we are happy to do that,” she said.

The Master Gardeners also assess and certify public gardens as Bay-Wise, such as the rain garden at the Queen Anne’s County Free Library in Centreville.

Wanda MacLachlan, state coordinator of the Bay-Wise program, said the program is unique in that the volunteers work one-on-one with the homeowners on solving landscape problems and promoting bay-friendly landscapes.

“The Bay-Wise program promotes plants, native or not, as long as they are not invasive, and are drought tolerant, and are relatively pest-free,” she said.

Regarding lawns, Ms. MacLachlan added, Bay-Wise promotes reducing the area of your lawn and encourages the use of slow-release fertilizers.

Now that the gardening season is getting underway, the Master Gardeners encourage county residents to take advantage of the free Bay-Wise consultation service.

To schedule a visit or for more information on the Bay-Wise program, call 410-758-0166.

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners To Offer Free Classes

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners will offer the following FREE classes at the Kent Island Library. All classes are open to the public.

Monday, March 4th: Basic gardening, companion planting and soils 6:30-7:30 PM. Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday, March 18th: Seeds, including root vegetables 6:30-7:30 PM . Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday April 8th: Garden insects 6:30-7:30 PM. Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday, April 22nd: Weeds in the Garden 6:30-7:30 PM. Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday, May 6th: Water, water everywhere-rain barrels and drip irrigation 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register
Wednesday, May 8th: Composting…and worms eat my garbage. 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register

Queen Anne’s Master Gardeners will offer the following FREE classes at the Centreville Library. All classes are open to the public.

Tuesday, March 19th: Basic gardening, planning, soil preparation and companion plants. 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Wednesday, March 27th: Seeds, including root vegetables. 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday, April 15th: Garden insects and integrated pest management (IPM). 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.
Monday, April 29th: Weeds in the garden. 6:30-7:30 PM Contact QAC Extension 410 758-0166 to register.

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Volunteers Visit Local Orchid Grower

By: Rachel Melvin, Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator-Queen Anne’s County

The Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Volunteers took advantage of the cool September weather and visited local orchid enthusiast, Roger Cole, owner and operator of Arbec Orchids in Queen Anne, MD.  Roger has been actively growing and judging orchids for over 30 years and his knowledge on orchids is bounding.  His greenhouses offer many different varieties of orchids but he mostly grows orchids of the Cattleya genius.  Cattleya genius orchids can be found in their native habitat of Costa Rica to tropical South America, but they are readily available at most home and garden stores today.  They are widely known by their large, showy flowers and have been used in the cut flower industry for some time.  This variety of orchid grows best when they have 4 to 6 hours of strong sun on their leaves.  An east or west window in your home with sunlight at noon is an excellent choice for your Cattleya orchid to grow.

If you would like more information on orchids you can visit Roger at the Easton Market Square on Saturday mornings.

For information contact: Rachel Melvin, (410) 758-0166 or rmelvin1@umd.edu; or visit Queen Anne’s County Extension, 505 Railroad Avenue, Suite 4,Centreville, MD 21617;

University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

In photo: Roger Cole (Right) educates Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners (pictured left to right) Nancy O’Conner, Rodger Tilden, Carol Romano, Lynn Wait, and Julie the many varieties of orchids Tompkins on grown in commercial greenhouses.

What’s Wrong with my Birch Trees?

By: Rachel Melvin, University of Maryland Extension-Queen Anne’s County Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator

Spring has sprung right into the heat of May without a second glance.  As the temperatures warm and the flowers grow, so do the insects.  Not only do we get bombarded with mosquitoes upon stepping out of our homes but our trees, flowering perennials and vegetable plants are subject to the same misfortune.  As the Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator for the University of Maryland Queen Anne’s County, I get my fair share of questions on anything from, insects to plants to rodents.  But this week the hot topic in the area has been; what’s wrong with my river birch?

The common variety of birch best suited for Maryland’s climate is the river birch, Betula nigra.  Additionally, nearly all the cultivars of river birch for the landscape is the ‘Heritage’ variety.  This cultivar has a majestic exfoliating bark in colors ranging from beige to salmon, is tolerant of heat and drought, and is resistant to many insects and diseases.  However, the common pest on birch, particularly river birch right now, is the Spiny Witch-hazel Gall Aphid Hamamelistes spinosus.  It has a complicated life cycle in that it alternates between two hosts: birch (Betula) and witch hazel (Hamamelis spp.).  Overwintering eggs are laid on witch-hazel in June and July.  These eggs hatch the following spring and the new aphid nymphs crawl to the flower buds to feed.  Feed on the flower buds induces the plant to form a spiny gall.  A second generation of winged aphids develop inside the gall, but then leaves and moves on to the birch.  These winged aphids give birth to scale-like females that settle and hibernate on the birch until the following spring.  As the birch leaf buds open, the scale-like aphids move from the bark to the leaves and begin feeding.  The growth and reproduction of the aphids is rapid, and the leaves soon develop characteristic “cor¬rugations.” The corrugations on the undersides of the leaves fill with aphids and a white granular material. Winged aphids develop on the birch leaves then seek witch-hazel on which to lay eggs and complete the life cycle. This activity takes place before the end of June.  In addition to the characteristic corrugations of the leaves, this aphid can cause a variety of issues from premature leaf drop to dead twigs and branches.

Control of this pest can be best left to nature.  Examine the undersides of the leaves for beneficial insects such as ladybird beetles and their larvae, predaceous midge larvae, Syrphid fly larvae, lacewing eggs and larvae, and parasite activity. Descriptions of these beneficial insects may be found in Home and Garden Mimeo #HG 62, IPM: A Common Sense Approach to Managing Problems in Your Landscape. Any combination of these predators and parasites may give sufficient control without having to spray with an insecticide. If damage is heavy, spray tree with a registered systemic insecticide. Coverage of the lower surfaces of the leaves is critical, as the aphids are fairly protected in the corrugated folds of the leaves.

For more information contact Rachel Melvin, Horticulture Educator with University of Maryland Extension-Queen Anne’s County at (410)758-0166 or at rmelvin1@umd.edu .  Also check out the University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center http://www.hgic.umd.edu Home and Garden Mimeo #HG58, for more tips on growing great birch trees.
It is the policy of the University of Maryland and University of Maryland Extension, that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or disability. Equal opportunity employers and equal access programs.

Pictures Included:

Ladybird Beetle Eggs: The female ladybird beetle will lay her eggs on plants where she knows aphids, scale or mealybug colonies are present.  This supplies the ladybird beetle larva with a fresh supply of food.  A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiny Witch-hazel Gall Aphid Hamamelistes spinosus: Heavy infestation of Spiny Witch-hazel gall aphids found on a birch tree in Centreville.  Aphids produce a sticky secretion called Honeydew which will attract ants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference Used:
UME HGIC Fact Sheet HG58

Becoming a Bay-Wise Gardener

By: Rachel Melvin, Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator-University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County

Like many long term residents of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, my earliest memory of the Chesapeake Bay starts with crabs.  Every Saturday morning my parents would pack my brothers and me into the car at the crack of dawn to catch our Saturday night dinner. Upon arrival dad and my brothers would head to the shore and wade out to scoop crabs, while mom & I monitored the chicken necks off the pier.   When I was old enough dad would let me wade out with my brothers, but this was few and far between because what big brother wants his annoying little sister tagging along?  Like many things time offers change and before we knew it we were no longer “chicken necking” off the pier, but we were on the boat using a trout line.   We often caught our limit by noon and we would pack up and head home to steam our wonderful bounty.  At that age, I had no idea that enjoying this delicious essence of summer could become a threatened experience.  Now as an adult, I realize the harm in over harvesting not only our crabs but our oysters and what implications this has on our wonderful estuary.  But this is only a fragment of the equation.  Our backyards also play a major role in the health and survival of our beloved Chesapeake Bay and its inhabitants.

So what can we do in our backyards to help the Bay?  Creating a landscape that is beneficial to the bay is simple and easy.  First, keep paved areas to a minimum.  Hard surfaces such as drive ways and sidewalks do not allow water to soak into the ground.  Consider using gravel, stepping stones, or bricks on sand if you are installing a new walkway or patio.  Also, diverting the flow of water from your home is extremely important; direct downspouts to a grassy area or planting beds where water can soak in.  Consider purchasing a rain barrel to collect rainwater, collected rainwater can be used to water plants during our summer droughts.  Create planting beds along hard surfaces to help prevent water flow from entering the streets and eventually the Bay.  Incorporate native plants in your landscape beds.  Native plants are adapted to our area and are often drought tolerant and support many species of wildlife.  These are only a few of the Bay-Wise friendly landscape techniques that can be implemented in your home landscape.

For more ways to create a Bay-Wise friendly landscape the Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Volunteers are our local resource. These Master Gardeners Volunteers have been trained through the University of Maryland Extension system on Bay-Wise friendly landscape techniques and are available to conduct free Bay-Wise consultations for all residents.

For more information on the Bay-Wise program or to schedule a consultation contact, Rachel Melvin Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator-University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County, at rmelvin1@umd.edu or (410) 758-0166 or visit http://queenannes.umd.edu/QACMG/MGProjects/Bay%20Wise.cfm

It is the policy of the University of Maryland and University of Maryland Extension, that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or disability. Equal opportunity employers and equal access programs.

Master Gardener Volunteers Visit Longwood Gardens

By: Rachel Melvin, Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator-University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County

Each one of us defines the arrival of spring in a different manner.  For many it could be the showy appearance of daffodils, crocus, tulips or the bright yellow blooms of forsythia.  As the years pass, I have begun to notice subtle hints of spring in many ways.  At first it was by the awaking of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).  To me, there is nothing better than those bright green leaves pushing their way up along the creek banks.  Slowly opening, as if it were a present just for me to see, blessing me with its presence.  As if to say, spring is here! Next come the mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), sprouting up to line the forest bottom with hints of green and white.  All winter long these are the things that lighten my days, knowing that soon spring will be here and spring peepers will sing their song.  After spring’s blooms, it is only a matter of weeks when our spring days that we all have longed for turn into the busy days of summer baseball games and picnics.

The Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Volunteers took time to enjoy springs bounty by visiting Longwood Gardens on Thursday, April 14th, 2011.  Longwood Gardens is only a short drive from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, around 2 hours and is located in Kennett Square, PA.  Present day Longwood Gardens was formed by Mr. Pierre du Pont in 1914 and has been the center of horticulture excellence since.  Master Gardener Volunteers meandered through the 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, observing majestic trees, spring blooms of azaleas, daffodils and tulips, and many fountain gardens.

For more information on the Master Gardener program in Queen Anne’s County contact, Rachel Melvin Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator-University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County, at rmelvin1@umd.edu or (410) 758-0166 or visit http://queenannes.umd.edu/QACMG/index.cfm

It is the policy of the University of Maryland and University of Maryland Extension, that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or disability. Equal opportunity employers and equal access programs.

Master Gardener Advanced Training -Vegetable Diagnostic

University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener Volunteers from all over the Eastern Shore attended a one day advanced training work shop on Monday, July 26th on Vegetable Diagnostics at Pot Pie Farm located in Wittman, Md.  This hands on workshop, taught by Jon Traunfeld, University of Maryland Extension Specialist in Fruits and Vegetables; State Master Gardener Coordinator; and Director, Home & Garden Information Center, focused on identifying summer pests, diseases and abiotic problems, prevention, deterrence and cures.

Master Gardeners learned how to identify summer garden pests, such as the harlequin bug, squash bugs, and cucumber beetle.  Master Gardeners had the opportunity to identify three stages of the harlequin bug life cycle, which were voraciously consuming Brussels sprouts.  Harlequin bugs usually attack brassica vegetables which include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Eggs of the harlequin bug resemble tiny white kegs standing on end in a double row.  There are five or six nymphal instars that feed and grow for four to nine weeks before they are capable of mating and laying eggs, which is temperature dependent.  The adults are gaudy red-and-black-spotted stink bugs about 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) long, flat and shield-shaped.  At rest, the front pair of wings overlap and the insect’s back appears to be marked with a distinct “X.”

Additionally, diseases and abiotic problems such as early and late blight and wilt of tomatoes were discussed and seen.  Discussions included the prevention and deterrence of these diseases and pests that are often found in a vegetable garden.  Also, Master Gardeners were instructed on new techniques to extend the gardening season into the fall by using a floating row cover.  Floating row covers allow for protection of the crop during periods of frost and allow for protection against pests.  Lastly, a demonstration was held on the various ways to irrigate your plants more efficiently using drip irrigation.

If you have a floundering vegetable garden or an unidentifiable garden pest, you can bring a sample or pictures to one of the many Ask a Master Gardener Plant Clinics held in Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties.  Ask a Master Gardener Plant Clinics are programs where University of Maryland Extension-Master Gardener Volunteers provide information to home gardeners. Master Gardeners look at samples of ailing plants to make diagnoses, give recommendations, answer questions, and provide printed   information on a variety of gardening subjects.

Master Gardeners will be present at the Centreville Farmers Market located on Lawyers Row in Centreville on Wednesday, August 4th, Wednesday, August 18th, Wednesday, September 1st, and Wednesday, September 15th from 9am to 12pm.  Additionally, Master Gardeners will be present at the Chestertown Farmers Market located at Fountain Park in Chestertown on Saturday, August 7th, Saturday, August 21st, Saturday, September 4th, and Saturday, September 18th from 8am to 12pm.  All Ask a Master Gardener Plant Clinics are free and open to the public.

For information contact: Rachel Melvin, (410) 758-0166 or rmelvin1@umd.edu; or visit Queen Anne’s County Extension, 505 Railroad Avenue, Suite 4,Centreville, MD 21617; our booth at the Queen Anne’s County Fair at the 4H Park, August 4-11; or  http://queenannes.umd.edu/QACMG/index.cfm

University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

Ask a Master Gardener Plant Clinics

By Rachel Melvin, Master Gardener Coordinator Queen Anne’s County

I wonder what is wrong with my Maple tree?  I can’t figure out how to get rid of Japanese Beetles.  I wonder who can help?  If you have a sick house plant, unthrifty tree, or a floundering vegetable garden, you can bring a sample or pictures to one of the many Ask a Master Gardener Plant Clinics held in Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties.  Ask a Master Gardener – Plant    Clinics are programs where University of Maryland Extension-Master Gardeners Volunteers provide information to home gardeners. Master Gardeners look at samples of ailing plants to make diagnoses, give recommendations, answer questions, and provide printed   information on a variety of gardening subjects.    Master Gardeners will be present at the Centreville Farmers Market located on Lawyers Row in Centreville on Wednesday, August 4th, Wednesday, August 18th, Wednesday, September 1st, and Wednesday, September 15th from 9am to 12pm.  Additionally, Master Gardeners will be present at the Chestertown Farmers Market located at Fountain Park in Chestertown on Saturday, July 24th, Saturday, August 14th, Saturday, August 24th, Saturday, September 11th, and Saturday, September 25th from 8am to 12pm.

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners are trained by the University of Maryland Extension on a variety of subjects including: ecology, botany, soils, propagation, diseases, insect pests and control measures, among others. The Maryland Master Gardener vision is a healthier world through environmental stewardship.  In keeping with this vision, Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners work on a variety of projects in cooperation with local schools such as Kennard Elementary in Centreville; help maintain various public gardens such as the rain garden at the county library, volunteer at Adkins Arboretum and Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, host an annual community Garden Affair on the grounds of the library in Centreville and Wright’s Chance, teach free classes at our local libraries, visit home gardens as part of our Bay Wise certification program…and more.  QAC Master Gardeners provide more than 5,000 hours annually in services that help save taxpayer dollars.

For information contact: Rachel Melvin, (410) 758-0166 or rmelvin1@umd.edu; or visit Queen Anne’s County Extension, 505 Railroad Avenue, Suite 4,Centreville, MD 21617; our booth at the Queen Anne’s County Fair at the 4H Park, August 4-11; or  http://queenannes.umd.edu/QACMG/index.cfm

University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners Volunteer Training

September 9 thru November 18, 2010.  Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners is taking registrations for the Fall 2010 volunteer training program to be held at Wye Research and Education Center in Queenstown from 9-3 on Thursdays.  The training is a 40+ hour course that is designed to provide basic information in preparation for volunteering as a Master Gardener representative of theUniversity of Maryland Extension and is not limited to Queen Anne’s County residents.    Topics   include: ecology, botany, soils, propagation, diseases, insect pests and control measures, among others. This program emphasizes community involvement and outreach as well as environmental stewardship.  A $225.00 fee is charged to cover all costs including the Maryland Master Gardener Handbook.  Deadline for registration is July 17, 2010.  For information Contact: Rachel Melvin, (410) 758-0166 orrmelvin1@umd.edu,  visit the Queen Anne’s County Extension Office,  505 Railroad Avenue, Suite 4, Centreville, MD 21617 or visit http://queenannes.umd.edu/QACMG/index.cfm