Green-up your living space with indoor plants

When shopping for a new house plant, remember to select a plant that can best withstand the particular conditions inside your home. You’ll have better success if the plant you choose can adapt to your indoor conditions rather than to try and alter the environment to suit the plants.

A plant that merely tolerates its surroundings may do reasonably well, but probably will never thrive. Pay particular attention to the plant’s light requirement especially for flowering houseplants (usually bright light).

Find more tips and specific plant suggestions: Selecting indoor plants
Get a jump on cool-season crops indoors

Starting seeds indoors is about as much fun as a food gardener can have in late winter! The idea is to grow baby plants (a.k.a. transplants or starts) for 2-8 weeks (depending on the vegetable and rate of plant growth) and then plant outdoors where the crops will mature and be harvested. With a small investment and bit of space, you can grow hundreds of healthy transplants. All of the supplies you need can be found at home or purchased locally from hardware stores, garden centers, and big box stores.

Find out how to start seeds indoors this season and what to grow: Starting seeds indoors
Spring crops for your consideration
As the seed catalogs slide into your mailbox and you begin to think about next year’s garden, here are a few vegetables to keep in mind. These are fairly common crops that for various reasons may not be the first ones chosen by beginning gardeners, or that more experienced gardeners might have tried and given up on.

Pictured left: Kohlrabi

Hot cocoa, bugs, and forests
Today’s post is about chocolate. Find out how cacao comes to be, and how partnering with nature helps its (re)production. Males and females of a group of midges (genus Forcipomyia) act as the main pollinators of the small cacao flowers. Isn’t it impressive what we can accomplish when we work with nature?

By Anahí Espíndola, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park.

Watch Now: Introduction to Herb Gardening
Spring is the perfect time to start an herb garden! Take this short class to learn some tips and tricks for getting started with herbs and some really easy herbs to try if you are looking for a new gardening adventure!

From Ashley Bodkins, Senior Agent Associate, AGNR & Natural Resources, University of Maryland Extension - Garret County.

Upcoming Webinars
Landscaping a Septic System (free)

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Whether it be a sand mound drain field or the maintenance access ports to a septic tank or BAT unit, homeowners often wish they could camouflage these to make their yards more aesthetically pleasing. This webinar will cover considerations, options, and specific plants and practices to use. Join Andrew Lazur, Water Quality Specialist, as he dives into water topics that affect us all. Part of the Wednesday Water Webinars series.

Back to Our Roots: Leveraging Native Plants to Restore the Environment - GreenScapes Symposium

Friday, February 19, 2021
Explore the latest strategies to combat pollinator population collapse, considering key factors like pollination syndromes, specialist pollinators, plant genetics, and floral balance. Speakers will demonstrate the latest tools to assess the sustainability of sites, including best practices for evidence-based designs that maximize the ecological, social, and economic benefits of native landscapes.

Q: I want to add some curb appeal in the form of colorful, flowering bushes to line along the front of my house. My front yard gets full sun. I like azaleas, hydrangeas, and rose bushes, but I am open to others. What would you suggest?

A: Find the answer on Ask Extensiona

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