Help Your Home and Business Become Bay-Wise

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bay-Wise is a Master Gardener program, part of the University of Maryland Extension, designed to assist homeowners and institutions in adopting practices that contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers leading into it.  The Bay-Wise Yardstick is a list of practices against which you can evaluate yourself to see where you stand.

If you want to be Bay-Wise, you  can download a copy of the Bay-Wise Yardstick at http://www.baywise.umd.edu/BWProgram.cfm, and compare what  you are doing with the best practices.  You might be surprised!  Many Bay-Wise practices involve doing less, not more.  For instance, putting  extra fertilizer on your lawn doesn’t help it.  All it does is give you expensive runoff that pollutes the Bay.  In the process it may promote soft, lush growth that can’t withstand our hot and humid summers.

Watering a little every day is the worst thing you can do to your plantings, whether grass or ornamentals.  You need to water deeply and less often, so that roots will dive down to reach water supplies rather than staying at the surface where they are more subject to drought.

The Master Gardeners are available to help you with the Bay-Wise challenge.  You can contact the Charles County Extension office at mwakefie@umd.edu, to make arrangements for a site visit from a team of Bay-Wise qualified Master Gardeners to visit and advise you.

Remember:  Less is more, and you can readily do your part to help save the Bay – and quite possibly save yourself some money in the process. 

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