Editor’s note – this article was originally posted on Delmarva Farmer and was re-published here with permission. While the content focuses on farms, it is also relevant to anyone growing in Maryland, including homeowners.
The day I drove to Easton, Md. to discuss climate change with the staff of The Delmarva Farmer, it was raining so hard I couldn’t see the car ahead of me on the Bay Bridge.
It’s easy to write off a torrential rain like that as just another case of bad weather.
However, long-term records of rainfall in the Third National Climate Assessment in 2014 show that much more of our rain now falls in downpours rather than in the gentle soaking rains I remember as a kid.
“Bad weather” is becoming more common.
The increasing frequency of downpours in our region is just part of what scientists call “the new normal” under climate change. In Maryland, data released earlier this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the frequency of rains greater than 4 inches has increased since 1950, as have the number of days warmer than 100 degrees F and the number of nights over 70 degrees F.
Seasonal patterns of precipitation have also changed, with more rain typically falling in spring and fall and less rainfall in the summer. Winters are warmer and shorter and spring comes earlier.
These new weather patterns are products of four big climatic changes that began in the mid-1800s: The air is warmer, the ocean is warmer, there is more water vapor in the air, and sea levels are rising.
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. Read More
We received a couple questions this season from curious residents of Montgomery County who found “fruits” that look like small plums. These objects had dropped from oak trees.
While these fruit-like items do look similar to plums, they are not edible at all! These are acorn plum galls, which are caused by a type of wasp in the family Cynipidae.
Garlic is a cool-season crop. Now through November is a great time to plant your cloves of garlic. Take a look and see how easy it is to start a crop of garlic. Purchase certified, disease-free garlic bulbs from a reputable seed source. Never plant garlic from a grocery store. It may be a symptomless disease carrier.
Under the direction of University of Maryland Extension’s Dr. Sara Tangren, local residents, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists cleared invasive plants from a 600 square foot section in Middletown’s Wiles Branch Park. The meadow section runs from Wiles’ Branch Park’s furthermost loop trail down to Catoctin Creek between two footpaths. The volunteers are making space for the abundant native plants in the area to flourish. The designated wildlife and pollinator meadow plans grew from a collaboration between The Monarch Alliance, the Town of Middletown, and the University of Maryland Extension.
The University of Maryland Extension (UME) Master Gardener Program of Baltimore County is providing free workshops for the public to learn about monarch butterflies and take part in ongoing research to help this species survive and thrive. Attend an upcoming workshop this fall and learn how to raise monarch larvae, tag and release monarch butterflies, and collect butterfly migration data.