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Home and Garden Guide

Or find experts who’ll do that and two dozen more chores and projects for you
     Paper in hand, reading these words, who are you?      Computer at hand, writing them, I’m my business self. To drive to my office in Annapolis, I don’t have to gird myself as staunchly as my husband Bill Lambrecht, Bay Weekly’s editorial analyst, who has to put on his “Washington face” before his harrowing daily commute. (It looks a little like the contortion he wears to show me how he terrified opponents as a high school football player.)
     The famous quotation about the certainties of life that includes death and taxes should also mention weeds. They are sprouting up all over. Even the most meticulously tended landscapes are not immune.   Where to Begin?

Dos and Don’t

     Don’t work your soil too early. Unless both March and February were dry, avoid the temptation to turn over or dig into wet soil. Tilling wet soil can cause it to become cloddy and brick-hard when it dries out. How do you know when your soil can be turned or tilled? One test is to form a clump of soil into a ball. Bounce it up and down in your hand a few times. If it breaks apart easily it’s probably OK to dig.

How to avoid most plant problems with one concept

     Many plant problems in your landscape can be avoided by choosing the right plant for the purpose and the site. Many insects and diseases are opportunists, taking advantage of plants that are stressed and aren’t healthy enough to fight back.

Tips for new and experienced gardeners

      Creating a beautiful landscape takes time and resources. Invest in careful planning and research before you begin to establish or renovate a landscape. It will pay off in the long run.      Here are a few common blunders that occur in landscaping and, more importantly, how to avoid them.   Problem: Planting Without Planning

A home energy audit will identify where energy escapes your home, costing you money

      In any season, a leaky home costs money. How do you stop it? It starts with a comprehensive home energy checkup, a series of tests and inspections to find out where your house could be more efficient.       The end goal is to save energy, save money and make your house more comfortable. Installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances will help. So will creating a sealed barrier around your house, kind of like putting a blanket around the outside, minimizing the leaks.

Expert tips and advice from local businesses on home and garden care

Lay the Groundwork This Spring for a Beautiful Yard What can I do to get my yard looking better after winter?         Fertilizing your lawn this time of year is always helpful. Starter fertilizer should be applied around April, when lilacs and forsythia start blooming, and should be completed prior to the end of their blooming period.          In areas that are mostly in the shade, you can lightly apply lime to help restore the pH balance to the soil.

Building your soil is vital for plant health and growth

     The most important elements in your soil for plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They are the N-P-K you see on fertilizer bags. Plants also require micro­nutrients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and boron.       Building or improving your soil is extremely important for plant health. The foundation of soil is weathered rock. The best way to build up your soil, after determining what it is missing, is to use natural rock powders.

Bay Weekly's annual Home & Garden Guide

Antique and vintage items can be used to enhance the garden and other outdoor spaces, even pools and ponds. Japanese fisherman’s floats, small garden sculptures and metal pieces can become focal points and can add whimsy and flair. –Jane Walter and Paula Tanis, A Vintage Deale  
A Bay Weekly conversation with landscape architect Sheila Brady
      We’re all converts, right? We’ve learned by heart the advantages of native plant gardens.       They’re amenable to the peculiarities of our climate, which nowadays is peculiar indeed.