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Landscapes That Help the Chesapeake Bay

Landscapes That Help the Chesapeake Bay

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Landscapes That Help the Chesapeake Bay
Landscapes That Help the Chesapeake Bay

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Published by: Maryland Native Plant Resources on Oct 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Water flowing from the landscape after rainor during irrigation can pick up sedimentsan nutrients tat poute streams, rivers, anthe Chesapeake Bay. When you prevent pol-lutants from washing off your property youprotect your local streams, rivers, and theChesapeake Bay. The yard care practices thatfollow can lead to a healthier landscape andenvironment by preventing or minimizingpollutants from entering our waterways.
Keep Paved Areas to a Minimum
Hard surfaces don’t allow water to soaknto the ground. Water that drains off quickly takes pollutants with it and leads tostream channel erosion. If you are planningto install a walk or patio, consider usingthese materials:GravelWood chipsStepping stonesBricks or pavers on sand (without mortar)
Control the Flow of Water from Your Ya
Maintain dense, healthy plant coverover your whole yard.Make the downspouts on your housedischarge to grassy areas or plantingbeds where the water can soak in. Usesplash blocks to soften the impact.oect rainwater runo rom roo, inrain barrels, to water landscape plants.Take advantage of low-lying areas inyour yard by planting plants that cantolerate “wet feet.” Examles includeswamp milkweed, New England aster,boneset, joe-pye weed, cardinal flower,and New York ironweed.
Use Panting Bes
Group plants in mulched beds instead of placing them individually around the yard.This technique gives a more natural look to thelandscape and makes watering and weed con-trol much easier.Mulched planting bedsprovide an area to recycle yard wastes,protect plants from lawn equipment,moerate soi temperatures,conserve waer,help control weeds, andadd organic matter to soil.Note: Do not pile mulch more than 2 inchesdeep. Also, avoid using shredded hardwoodbark mulch on azaleas; instead use pine barkmulch. Over time, manganese builds up inthe decomposed hardwood mulch. Azaleas aresusceptible to manganese toxicity. If symptomslook similar to iron chlorosis but when testedand the soil pH is in the optimal rane for aza-eas su anane
andscapes That Help the Chesapeake Bay
Fact heet 701
Mulched planting beds create a more natural lookan provie eneficia areas for pants.
Retin Your Lawn
Healthy turf does an excellent job of pro-tecting soil, slowing runoff, and trapping pol-lutants, but the basic upkeep takes energy,time, and money. You can conserve all threen the following ways:Reassess your need for lawn area. Weighthe benefits of scenery, sitting areas,and play areas against the cost of main-tenance. If you have more lawn thanyou need, consider making it smaller.Your needs will change as your lifestylecanges.Create planting beds. Fill them withflowers, ground covers, trees and shrubs;then mulch them. Use as many nativeplants as you can. They require less over-all maintenance, and if planned well, thebeds can provide four seasons of inter-est. Publication HG #120, “Native Plantso Maryan: Wat, Wen, an Were($5.00), offers many choices of nativeplants and is available from the Home &Garden Information Center.Consider ground covers. In some parts of the yard, grass can be difficult or impos-sible to grow or to mow. An area may betoo shady, too rocky, or too hilly. Oftenyou can improve the conditions, but itmay be easier to plant something moresuitable for the site. Many ground cov-ers are less demanding than turf. Table1 has some good choices.Avoid the possibility of damaging under-ground utility lines. One week before youplan to dig a hole to plantlandscape, call Miss Uomeone will comeoff all undergroun
Conserve Water 
ater-saving landscape practices reducerunoff and help keep pollutants out of stormdrains that empty into waterways feeding theBay. Here are some ieas:Use plants adapted to this region. Theycan better withstand periodic drought.I a proem pant ies in your an-scape, replace it with a native.Try xeriscaping, using plants that areextremey rougt toerant. ontact teHome and Garden Information Center forHG 25, the fact sheet on xeriscaping or abrochure on drought-tolerant annuals.
Buffers protect the water supply and providehabitats for wildlife.
Tae 1. roun overs.
Plant Height Light ConditionsBearberry*
 Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
6-12” , psh
Bearberry Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster dammeri
2-18” sBlack Huckleberry**
Gaylussacia baccata
18” psh, sh
Blue Fescue*
 Festuca ovina v. glauca 
6-8” sBugleweed
 Ajuga repans
6-9” sh
Warning: This plant is a rapid spreader. Keep it in bounds and avoid planting it close to natural forest areas where it can easily displace native ground covers. 
 Iberis sempervirons
6-12” shCheckerberry or Creeping Wintergreen**
Gaultheria procumbens
6shChristmas Fern**
 Polystichum acrostichoides
-24” psh
Creeping Juniper*
 Juniperus horizontalis
-24” sFoamflower**
iarella cordifolia
12” , sh
Lilyturf, Mondo Grass
Ophiopogon japonicus
3-15” , sh
 Lrope muscar 
, s
Maienair Fern**
antum peatum
-2” ps
Mountain tonecrop**
eum ternatum
-ps, s
 Mitchella repens
1-2” , sh
Wild Ginger**
 Asarum canadense
12” psh, sh
Alleghany Pachysandra*
  Pachsandra rocumbens
6-12” shs = sun, sh = shade, psh = part shade* native to the U.S.** native to Maryland
pest,use isease an insect-resistant pants,andmonitor your landscape to catch prob-lems early.If your plants have problems, first considertheir basic needs like proper pH, soil fertility,an rainage. Many potentia pests ont neeto be controlled. Learn to distinguish betweenminor damage and significant attacks. Trymechanical controls of pests and diseases suchas handpicking, trapping, or pruning. If youecie to use a pesticie, coose te east toxicone with the shortest residual that will beeffective. Learn to identify and appreciate ben-eficial insects. Contact the Home and GardenInformation Center to request FS 62, “IPM: Aommon-ense pproac.
Conserve Energy
Emissions from burned fossil fuels depositpollutants directly on Maryland waters of theChesapeake Bay, and on the land where theycan be washed into our waters. Actions takenat home to reduce energy usage and demandcan help reduce pollution. Use a non-pollut-ing reel mower to mow small areas. If a gas-powered mower is necessary, use an energy-efficient one with a cleaner burning engine.On air quality code-red days, avoid filling thegas tank and mowing during the hottest partof the day.Homeowners can use trees to reduce energyconsume y eating an air conitioningunits. Plant evergreen trees on the northwestside of the house to protect it from winterwinds. Deciduous trees planted on the southand southwest sides block the sun during thesummer an aow te sun to penetrate anwarm the house during the winter.
If you want certain plants in your land-scape that require regular watering,group them so that you can water all of them at once and minimize waste.Use soaker hoses or drip-irrigation,instead of a sprinkler. The initial costmight be higher, but these devices do thejob with much less water, and send thewater right where it’s needed.If you water your lawn, do so only whenthe grass shows signs that it needs water.The lawn will develop a blue-gray colorand will leave footprints when you walkon it. Water to a depth of at least 4-6inches.
Light, frequent watering canactually damage your lawn.
A newlyseeded or newly sodded lawn must bewatered regularly until it is established.Unless you have bluegrass, allow amature lawn to go dormant during dryspells. Dormancy during dry weather isa survival mechanism and the lawn willusually recover when rainfall returns.
Leave Buffer Strips
If you live next to a stream, lake, or otherbody of water, consider leaving a 25-foot orwider strip of unmowed grass or woodlandalong the water. This willslow water runoff and soil erosion,filter water pollutants, andprovide food and shelter for wildlife.
Dea wit Pests Sensiy
Learn about Integrated Pest ManagementIPM). You can reuce or eiminate te use otraditional pesticides in your home landscapeand still have a desirable lawn or garden. Thebasics of IPM are:plant a variety of species to avoid wide- sread damae b a sinle disease or
ae our ar a BayScape
The ultimate “Bay-friendly” landscape is a BayScape. Developed by the Alliance for theChesapeake Bay and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the BayScapes Program presentsa gradual plan for transforming a residential yard into an environmentally sound land-scape that benefits people, wildlife, and the Bay.

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