Garden Wisely - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Garden Wisely

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Salisbury, MD. The Chesapeake Bay, our water ways and aquifers are our treasures. Without pure, clean water, our communities cannot remain healthy. There are hundreds of studies out there blaming the contamination of our waters on misuse and over-use of pesticides and fertilizers, animal waste run-off, manufacturing pollutants carried in by the winds, improper disposal of contaminants and on and on and on.

The purpose of this blog is not to decide blame, but to encourage personal responsibility at a grass roots level. The simple fact is, we all need to be involved in the preservation of the Bay and we all can do better. Tuesday evening, the Master Gardeners met at the Extension Service in Wicomico County to learn more about how each of us can be better stewards of the land. The standard used was one called "Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick" and you can obtain your personal copy by Googling "Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick" and printing out the five page questionnaire. The "Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick" helps gardeners evaluate landscapes with a series of easy-to-answer questions in a variety of categories which include:

Controlling storm water runoff

Encouraging wildlife

Protecting the waterfront

Mowing and watering efficiently

Managing pests

Mulching and recycling

Fertilizing wisely (and)

Planting wisely

The quiz assigns "inches" based on the value of each of the activities and each "Bay-Wise" answer rewards you with a certain number of inches. The goal is to reach or exceed 36". It's a fun quiz and a terrific learning experience for adults and kids alike. So! Off your rockers and google "Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick" to find out how savvy your gardening techniques really are.

The Gardening Grannies are a group of avid and Master Gardeners who live, love and garden on the Delmarva Peninsula. You can reach them at

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