The Baltimore Station Celebrates Opening Of Community Garden In Sandtown-Winchester

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, officials and residents of The Baltimore Station, community partners and benefactors gathered to celebrate the opening a community garden in Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in West Baltimore.

The Baltimore Station is an organization that supports individuals dealing with homelessness and substance abuse issues by providing residential and community-based therapy programs.

Named “Ellie’s Garden,” after Eleanor Allen, mother of Melissa Smith, a longtime supporter of The Baltimore Station, the garden will provide green space for local residents and homeless veterans from The Baltimore Station.

Smith says her mother, Ellie, wanted to leave money to a cause that meant a lot to the family and, even though Ellie Smith wasn’t a gardener, she loved the community and she enjoyed giving back.

“This project has been in the works for years and we couldn’t be more pleased with the final result,” said Christie Walsh-Myers, president of the board of directors for The Baltimore Station. “We envision this green space as a haven not just for our residents, but for the greater community, including our friends at the Senior Center.”

ACell, which donated four benches; Brady Landscaping which provided donated landscaping services and a boulder circle; E2CR, which donated geotechnical and soil testing services; Floura Teeter, which provided the concept and garden design; M&T Bank, which donated flowers for the garden; Parks and People Foundation, which created the first vision of the garden space; P. Flanigan, which installed the pavement walkway; and the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), which provided design consultation and vendor support; all were represented at the opening.

Stanley Black & Decker also has pledged to donate more than $1,000 in equipment that The Baltimore Station will use to maintain the garden including an electric mower, Weed Wacker and leaf blower.

Founded in 1987, The Baltimore Station has transformed over the years from a small group of devoted volunteers who assisted the homeless in South Baltimore to the nationally recognized therapeutic treatment program it is today. With 136 beds, The Baltimore Station provides homeless men— mostly veterans— with an opportunity to turn their lives around, according to the website.

The fee-less programs at The Baltimore Station provide structure, expectations and practical lessons to develop life skills that will transfer to the real world. Resources offered at The Baltimore Station also include health care, education, employment, job training and family reunification.

Officials believe the new garden will serve to help further their purpose. A journaling class and Tai Chi will also be among the activities that will take place in the garden.

“The garden is meant to be a place for peace and serenity for Baltimore residents and homeless veterans,” said Todd Troester, the community outreach manager for The Baltimore Station. “It will also be used for counseling sessions, art classes, meditation and other alternative therapeutic activities that are key to the residents’ recoveries.”

M&T Bank officials say their participation underscored the bank’s mission to live by its tagline, “Understanding what’s important.”

“We volunteer each month at The Baltimore Station and enjoy serving our Veterans. When our communities succeed, everyone’s lives get a little better,” said Natalie Arteen, assistant vice president and community events specialist at M&T Bank. “As such, our employees are dedicated to serving as strong community leaders, and were happy to help with The Baltimore Station’s latest project and enriching Ellie’s garden.”

Annual William Paca Garden Plant Sale Takes Place Mother’s Day Weekend

The William Paca Garden will hold its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 2019. This is the chance to take home a piece of history and watch it bloom in your garden. You can find shrubs and trees from this historic garden and seedlings grown in the greenhouse. Garden staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and recommend just what you need for your growing conditions.

For the shade garden, there are dwarf and full-sized Oakleaf Hydrangeas, a new Astilbe ‘Aphrodite’ in shades of deep pink, a variety of ferns including a new offering, the tall Dixie Wood Fern, and a flowering annual alternative to Impatiens, the Wishbone Flower. There is a selection of hard-to-find native woodland bloomers like Foamflower, Bloodroot and May Apple.

Bring a rainbow of color to sunny spots with a gorgeous new Buddleia ‘Hot Raspberry’ and a new Coneflower called ‘Green Twister,’ that flaunts lime green and purple petals. St. Johnswort, a durable groundcover, now comes in brilliant chartreuse-yellow foliage. Mexican Sunflower, the Polka Dot Plant and the Easter Egg Plant are annuals that will charm children and you as well. Vines have a lot to offer: sweet-smelling Carolina Jasmine is new this year; Snail Vine, with curious spiral flowers, is another fragrant climber. Hyacinth bean, frequently seen spilling over fences in Annapolis, will garland your garden with purple flowers and bean pods. Morning Glories will brighten your morning and Moon Flower will invite you out to the garden at dusk.

For the conservation-minded, plants such as Eastern Redbud, Summersweet and Virginia Sweetspire contribute to a native habitat. The native Honeysuckle ‘Magnifica’ attracts hummingbirds. Perennial Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, Calamintha and Cardinal Lobelia attract a variety of pollinators and butterflies. The Plant Sale catalog notes special properties of all the plants.

Vegetable starts and herbs will make for delicious salads and side dishes this summer. Eleven varieties of tomatoes, half of them heirloom and one selected especially for patio pots; hot and sweet peppers; three types of eggplant. Your favorite herbs will bring fresh flavor to favorite dishes: dill, chives, Italian basil, lemon balm, Thai basil, lemon grass, and of course parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

All plants are grown by volunteers, and the Plant Sale benefits the Historic Annapolis’s William Paca Garden. Plant Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Historic Annapolis members may enter at 9:30 a.m. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m. No early entry on Sunday. Enter at #1 Martin Street in Annapolis. Catalog is available for sale and online at www.annapolis.org.

If Your Central Baltimore Community Needs Sprucing Up, CBP Is Willing To Give Helping Hand

Grant applications will be accepted until May 3, 2019

Does your neighborhood need some sprucing up? Perhaps there is a building you believe could use a fresh, inviting façade or a coat of paint? Maybe, a vacant lot across the way could use a community garden. Whatever that sprucing up might entail, the Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) Community Spruce-Up program could be just the ‘helping hand’ you need to beautify your community.

CPB is launching another applicant round of its successful Community Spruce-Up program. Since 2012, CBP has supported neighborhood-driven, capital improvement projects in public spaces in Central Baltimore through this program. The application deadline for the grant is May 3, 2019.

CBP is a ten-year-old nonprofit with over 100 partners who together achieve a comprehensive strategy for community revival in 11 Central Baltimore neighborhoods. CBP helps neighborhood leaders and other partners identify opportunities for community enhancement, assess project feasibility, and mobilize collaboration between public and private partners.

With funding from Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development, CBP awards grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to groups, individuals, and associations in Central Baltimore.

These areas include Abell, Barclay; Charles North; Charles Village; Greenmount West; Harwood; Oakenshawe; Old Goucher; Remington; Wyman Park; the Waverly Main Street commercial district; the Jones Falls area; and most recently the East Baltimore Midway community. Conceived in 2014 in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, the program was launched with the support of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

“We have raised the funding pool, have done community outreach and have hosted Spruce-Up workshops,” said Aaron Kaufman, Community Projects Manager for CBP. “We invite people to come in with their idea and questions. We want to make sure we are getting the word out about this grant, are receiving eligible projects, and receive feedback.

“We also want people to be well-supported with their projects to bring them into existence. It’s been interesting and rewarding to see the evolution.”

One example of this evolution is the Greenmount Recreation Center Facade Project. Through a $24,299 Spruce-Up Grant, this community-led project came to fruition. The once drab exterior of the Greenmount Recreation Center located at 2304 Greenmount Avenue was transformed into an inviting building that seemingly lights up the entire neighborhood.

“The Greenmount Rec Center came with partner organizations and residents,” said Kaufman. “They all wanted to create a more welcoming space. The great work of this center was being done on the inside, but it was not being shown on the outside. Artist Andy Dahl did the primary installation, but the community worked to paint the lower level. There was a lot of community engagement. The Center is an example of what can happen when agencies, neighborhood leaders, and others all come together for public benefit. It’s all about partnership.”

Spruce-Up Grants are intended to provide matching resources to stimulate improvements, leverage community assets, and provide auxiliary support for projects.

As a compliment to the program, six other organizations in Baltimore City are now replicating the Community Spruce-Up Program with their guidance, including Southeast CDC, Belair Edison, and the Greater Baybrook Alliance.

“We make sure the other six are set up for success,” said Kaufman. “That is where we are now.

“The creativity that comes from these groups is astounding. The grants also emphasize leadership development and capacity building. We see projects where someone thought of an idea, and because they were supported, the project happened. From there, that individual took on other broader, leadership roles beyond their block.

“Forty-nine projects have been funded from 2014 to 2018. Spruce-Up grants help to show people they can make a difference in their communities, and we are here to help support them.”

The criteria for being awarded a Spruce-Up grant includes being a non-profit, being a small business or being a fiscally-sponsored organization, and that the idea be a capital improvement project, according to Kaufman.

For additional information or to apply for a Spruce-Up grant, call Aaron Kaufman at 443-681-7098 or email: akaufman@centralbaltimore.org, or visit their website: www.centralbaltimore.org/spruce-up2019.

Spring is in the Air: Join the Arbor Day Foundation in March and Receive 10 Free Trees

— The Arbor Day Foundation is making it easy for everyone to celebrate the arrival of spring by planting trees.

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in March 2018 and receive 10 free white pine trees or 10 white flowering dogwood trees.

“White pine trees or white flowering dogwoods will add beauty to your home throughout the year,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Dogwoods are known for their showy spring flowers and red berries that attract songbirds during winter. White pine trees are fast-growing landscape trees that will break heavy winds, making them an ideal addition to any yard.”

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

With planting instructions included, the trees will be shipped at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, 2018. The six to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

Arbor Day Foundation members also receive a subscription to Arbor Day, the Foundation’s bimonthly publication, and The Tree Book, which contains information about tree planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE WHITE PINE or 10 FREE DOGWOOD TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by March 31, 2018, or join online at arborday.org/march.

The key to better mosquito control? Take control of your backyard

— Warmer weather is a cue from Mother Nature to start thinking about mosquitoes. Their bites can potentially leave more than an annoying itch; and this year many Americans are taking notice.

In fact, nearly seven out of ten (68 percent) want to go a step beyond “just spraying their body,” including treating their deck areas or back yards, in order to combat mosquitoes, according to a recent survey by Westham Co., a global mosquito control product manufacturer.

To fully protect your family from mosquito bites this season, combine backyard smarts with scientifically-based mosquito control options. This one-two punch can eliminate breeding grounds and halt mosquitoes’ ability to bite, breed and annoy.

Start Early

Before mosquitoes settle in, make your backyard inhospitable to them. Clear standing water. Some mosquitoes need as little as an inch of water to breed and survive. Look for hidden water traps such as tires, candles and dog bowls left in the yard.

“Get ahead of pesky mosquitoes this summer,” says Tom Kraeutler, home improvement expert and host of syndicated radio show “The Money Pit.”

Try Something New

More than half of Americans (55 percent) say current solutions, such as tiki torches, yard sprays and foggers don’t work. Most DIY options either repel mosquitoes or kill on contact. Mosquitoes can adapt to commonly used chemicals and some of these can destroy “good” yard bugs.

After a decade of research, science has broken the mold with a bait-and-kill approach. Mosquitoes need sugar from plants to fly, mate and bite. Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait (ATSB) is the first edible control to lure mosquitoes with a sugary bait and then kill them with a gut toxin they cannot detect – garlic. Multiple studies support that once exposed to ATSB, backyard mosquito populations reduce by 90 percent within a few weeks.

Consider getting ahead of mosquitoes with a non-toxic control that feeds them something they’ll die for, such as Terminix AllClear Mosquito BAIT & KILL, which is the only ready-to-use, DIY spray to employ ATSB technology. And while deadly for mosquitoes, its natural active ingredient is non-toxic, safe around people and pets, and is environmentally friendly.

“I like the idea of a long lasting bait-and-kill approach that finally gives homeowners the power to kill mosquitoes before they can kill outdoor fun,” says Kraeutler. To learn more about the ATSB method of mosquito control, visit baitandkill.com.

Community Watch

Each year municipalities nationwide undertake efforts to control mosquitoes, but citizens can contribute by doing their part protecting their backyard and family. Clean up trash quickly and promptly. Patch screens or close doors to keep mosquitoes from flying indoors, and report areas of infestations. With a few extra steps you can take back your backyard and make it a fun haven all summer long.

How to repot a plant

— Gardening time is here, with people enjoying plants both inside and outside of their homes. Container gardening, which is a planting method in which flowers and other plants are grown in pots and other containers, is quite popular because of design versatility. Containers can be moved from location to location if plants are not thriving in a particular spot. They also make gardening possible when there isn’t any available land space, which might be the case for apartment-dwellers.

Flower pots enable plant enthusiasts to enjoy foliage inside of the home as well. Houseplants can add beauty to interior spaces and help filter indoor air. In the late 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America actually studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants are particularly good at filtering out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Having plants around can create inviting spaces and improve healthy conditions inside and out.

Part of caring for plants in containers involves knowing when a potted plant might need a little tender loving care. As plants grow larger, they may outgrow their containers and require more roomy quarters. Without ample space, plants may not be able to adequately draw up water and nutrients to support top growth. Repotting may seem like it is easy, but it actually takes a little finesse so not to damage the plants.

Gardening experts like those from Fine Gardening, HGTV and Today’s Homeowner suggest these repotting tips.

· Be sure the plant is well watered for a few days prior to the repotting process. Watering also will help loosen the root ball from inside of the smaller pot.

· A plant ready for repotting should slide out with most of the soil in one piece. If the soil is free-falling, it may not need to be repotted at this point because there’s still room for the roots to expand. Other signs that plants may need repotting include roots poking out of the soil or plants that are straggly and pale.

· Consider repotting outside because the process can be messy. Have all of your materials, which include a trowel, gloves, scissors, and potting soil, handy so that you can tackle the process smoothly.

· Remove your plant from the pot carefully. Place the plant on its side, then support the main stem in one hand and use the other hand to gently pull the pot away. Be careful not to pull on the main stem or break the stem. Tread gently.

· Cut away any rotten or dead roots, and trim really long ends. Make three or four vertical cuts about a third of the way up the remaining root ball. This also will help with water and nutrient absorption once the plant is in its new pot.

· Gently untangle any remaining roots and prepare to place the plant in a new pot.

· Choose a new pot that is slightly larger than the root ball. Fill the pot with soil so that the root ball sits about an inch below the rim of the pot. Add more soil around the roots to fill the pot. Be sure to leave enough room so that with each watering the pot can hold water.

· Thoroughly water the plant after repotting to moisten the soil.

Watch your plant afterwards to be sure that it’s taking to its new potted home. It can take around three to four weeks for the plant to recover from repotting. Water regularly, avoid fertilizing and keep the plant out of direct sunlight. EL166119

Back to basics: Low maintenance flower garden care

Grow a beautiful flower garden with minimal care by investing a bit of time at the start of the season to reduce on-going care.

Always match flowers to the growing conditions and the care you are willing to provide. Low maintenance plants need minimal or no deadheading and staking. This means you’ll be growing good-looking plants with little effort on your part. And if the plants are suited to the growing conditions and resistant to common pests you’ll be doing less work managing insect and disease problems.

Further reduce your workload by selecting self cleaning or free flowering annuals and perennials and those bred for long bloom and compact growth. You’ll enjoy more colorful flowers with less pruning and grooming.

Ageratum, angelonia, calibrochoa and many of the newer petunia cultivars are just a few of the annuals that do not need regular deadheading for continual bloom. Include perennials like willow amsonia, bugbane, Solomon seal, turtlehead and sedum autumn joy for lower maintenance and big results.

Prepare the soil and provide proper fertilization before planting. Work several inches of compost or other organic matter into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil to improve drainage and water holding ability. Incorporate a low nitrogen organic fertilizer like Milorganite (milorganite.com) at the same time.

The slow release formulation provides needed nutrients throughout most if not all of the season. Plus, it promotes slow steady growth that won’t interfere with flowering, is less susceptible to pests and is more drought-tolerant.

Properly space the plants, making sure they have sufficient room to reach their full size. Overcrowding means you will be thinning or dividing plants more often or battling disease problems instead of enjoying the full beauty the plants provide.

Consider removing flowers on annuals at planting. This allows plants to focus energy on establishing roots instead of flowers. Can’t bear to do this? Then remove the flowers on every other plant or every other row. Then a week or two later remove the flowers on the remaining plants. You will soon be rewarded with full compact plants that will produce more flowers throughout the season.

Pinch back long and leggy transplants. Use a hard pinch to remove the tip and several inches of stem. Use your pruners or fingers to remove stems just above a set of leaves. The remaining plant will still look good while you wait for new leaves and stems to grow and produce new blooms.

Encourage branching on single stemmed plants with a soft pinch.

Remove just the uppermost portion of the stem where the leaves and tip are starting to develop. Soon you will have a well-branched plant and more blossoms.

Improve plant posture and reduce the need for staking with early season pruning. Keep mums and asters compact by pinching them back to six inches throughout June to encourage compact growth. Eliminate floppy growth and the need for staking on late bloomers like Boltonia, Autumn Joy sedum, Russian sage and Heliopsis

Revive catmint and perennial salvia that flop open in the center with pruning. Cut flopping plants back halfway once or twice a season as needed.

And don’t forget to mulch. Covering the soil surface with an inch or two of shredded leaves, evergreen needles/pine straw or other organic material will conserve moisture, suppress weeds and improve the soil as they decompose.

Always water new plantings often enough to keep the top few inches of soil moist. Once established water thoroughly and only as needed. This encourages drought tolerant roots, so you’ll need to do less watering in the future.

With proper planning, plant selection and soil preparation you can keep your ongoing care to a minimum. That means more time to relax and enjoy your beautiful garden.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books. For gardening videos and tips, visit her website: www.melindamyers.com.

BGE offering free trees for spring landscaping

This Arbor Day, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is helping customers with their landscaping by providing free trees to customers through the Energy Saving Trees Program. Through a joint effort with the Arbor Day Foundation, BGE is providing free trees to customers to help them save energy and money.

When planted in the right place, trees can help reduce energy use through summer shading and slowing cold winter winds. Once trees are fully grown, they can lower energy costs by up to 20 percent, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. In addition, trees can increase property value, reduce your carbon footprint, improve air quality and more effectively catch storm water runoff.

Customers can reserve one tree on a first-come, first-served basis through the Arbor Day Foundation’s interactive tool at www.arborday.org/bge. This tool helps customers identify the best tree for their property and also determine where to plant the tree to save energy and money. Once customers confirm their reservation, a 3-foot tall, lightly branched potted tree seedling will be shipped to their home within two to four weeks.

To ensure that these trees do not impact the safety and reliability of overhead and underground energy systems and the customers they serve, BGE provides these “Right Tree, Right Place” guidelines:

*Do not plant trees on electric transmission or natural gas rights-of-way.

*Do not plant trees near natural gas pipelines (marked by yellow markers), underground electric lines (marked by white or red markers) or their rights-of-way.

*The Right Tree Right Place Guide lists acceptable trees for planting near utility equipment not located on rights-of-way or near pipelines and underground electric lines.

*If you wish to plant a tree not listed, make sure it is also suitable for planting near utility equipment.

*We do not recommend planting trees and shrubs directly below power lines. However, if you choose to do so, select trees and shrubs that will grow to a maximum height of 25 feet.

*Call Miss Utility at 811 at least three days before digging to ensure that the area is safe for planting.

For more information, visit www.BGE.com/TreeCare/RightTree.

Through BGE’s involvement with the Arbor Day Foundation, close to 25,000 free trees have been provided to customers since 2013. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, these trees have helped: avoid nearly 55,000 tons of carbon dioxide; filter 611 million gallons of storm water; save more than 41,000 megawatt hours of electricity; and save more than 1.8 million gas therms.

For more information on BGE’s Energy Saving Trees Program, visit www.arborday.org/BGE, or for more on the Right Tree, Right Place program, visit: www.bge.com/safetyreliability/reliability/treetrimming/Pages/Planting-in-the-Right-Place.aspx.

6 steps to creating fairy gardens for kids

Gardening can be an enjoyable activity for adults and children alike. Gardening encourages creative thinking and can make for an eco-friendly activity as well.

Adding a touch of whimsy to gardening can make it that much more attractive to children. Perhaps that is why fairy gardens have become so popular among youngsters. Fairy gardens can be designed in outdoor gardens or in containers that children can nurse and enjoy indoors. Here are six steps to get your fairy garden up and running.

  1. Choose your container or location. Decide where to place the fairy garden. Hollowed-out tree stumps are both contained and outdoors, and kids may feel like the fairies inhabited this neglected area of the yard and made it their own. Otherwise, use containers you already have, such as old pots, hanging baskets, picnic baskets or cookie tins. Wooden birdhouses with their roofs removed also can make for clever places to house the gardens.
  2. Choose a theme. Fairy houses can take on any theme their creators prefer. Themes help children decide what to include in their gardens. For example, a seaside retreat may work well with little reclining chairs, sea grasses and succulents. You can then complete the theme by adding some seashells and colored stones.
  3. Draw up your design. Before securing anything in the container or digging into your garden bed, sketch out a garden design. This gives you an idea of how the finished product will look. Even before planting, gently place plants and other components in their spots and move them around accordingly until you find the desired look.
  4. Include similar-needs plants. Mixing plants that have different requirements can make it challenging to care for the fairy garden, so select plants that require similar levels of sunlight, prefer similar soil conditions and require roughly the same amount of watering. Herbs are a smart choice because they stay small and are easily maintained.
  5. Don’t forget a fairy dwelling. You will need to add a house for the fairies to inhabit. Small bird houses can work, but you also can consider old teapots, bird-nesting boxes or even homemade houses assembled out of bark and twigs. Use your imagination and the garden will take on a life of its own.
  6. Invite the fairies. Children can invite fairies to take up residence (fairies often show up at night and tend to remain unseen), or children can create their own fairies using craft materials.

Fairy gardens are a fun way to introduce children to gardeing. Once families get started, they may want to create entire fairy villages. GT164994

Protec local waterways by following lawn fertilizer law

— Now that spring is here, the Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds homeowners that they can get their lawns and the Chesapeake Bay off to a healthy start by following Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law and these best management practices:

Skip the spring fertilizer, especially if your lawn is healthy. Fertilizing lawns in spring promotes excessive top growth at the expense of roots.

Sharpen lawnmower blades. A dull blade tears and weakens the grass, opening it up to disease. Removing the blade takes minutes and many local hardware stores or garden shops can sharpen your blade for you.

Raise the cutting height of the mower. Taller grass shades out weeds and needs less water. A three inch cut length is ideal for most lawns.

Leave grass clippings on the lawn. They provide free fertilizer all season long.

If you fertilize:

  • Follow the directions on the fertilizer bag.
  • Learn about soil testing. Click here for seasonal and yearly fertilizer recommendations.
  • Do not apply phosphorus to lawns unless a soil test indicates that it is needed.
  • Clean up fertilizer that lands on sidewalks or other impervious surfaces.
  • Keep fertilizer applications 10 to 15 feet from waterways.
  • Do not apply fertilizer if heavy rain is predicted.

“Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from nutrient runoff is everyone’s responsibility…it’s not just for farmers anymore,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder. “The way we care for our lawns, like any crop, makes a difference for the Bay. Everyone must do their part to protect and restore our Bay.”

Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. When it rains, fertilizer that has been applied to lawns can wash into nearby storm drains and streams that empty into the Chesapeake Bay. Once in our waterways, fertilizer contributes to the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching Bay grasses, rob the water of oxygen, and threaten underwater life. Maryland’s lawn fertilizer law helps protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients entering its waters from urban sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, businesses and hundreds of thousands of lawns.

Under Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law, lawn care professionals must be licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to apply fertilizer to the lawns that they manage. This helps ensure that professionals understand the science behind turf management and the environmental practices they need to follow to protect waterways from excess fertilizer. The department encourages homeowners to verify that their lawn care provider is certified by checking the department’s List of Certified Lawn Care Professionals.