What is the Bay-Wise program?

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2 What is the Bay-Wise program? A program offered by University of Maryland Extension, and Maryland Master Gardeners To explain that what we do in our own yards can affect the health of our local waterways, the Bay and the environment. To promote simple practices for you and your family to help keep our Maryland water healthy.

3 2010 State of the Bay

4 Chesapeake Bay 2011 Report Card The report card score for 2011 was an overall D+, which is the second lowest score that we have recorded since 1986, the furthest back that we have been able to calculate scores. The only worse score was in 2003, another year of extremely high freshwater flows. This is obviously not good news for Chesapeake Bay and it occurs in spite of some very positive efforts in terms of restoration efforts. The 2011 report card grades ranged from three Cs (Upper Bay, Lower Bay and Upper Western Shore to two Fs (Elizabeth and Patuxent Rivers). The 2011 scores dropped compared with 2010 scores in 13 of the 15 reporting regions. The only two regions to show slight improvements were the Patapsco and Back Rivers and the rivers just to the south of here in Anne Arundel County. Bill Dennison - University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, April 17, 2012

5 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Storm drains, streams and rivers in the watershed drain into the Chesapeake Bay. Much of what we put on our yards ends up there too!

6 Dead Zones in the Bay Nutrient pollution: too much nitrogen and phosphorous Algae blooms prevent sunlight from reaching underwater grasses Decaying Algae and grasses rob the Bay of oxygen

7 How the Bay-Wise Program Works Maryland Master Gardeners take additional training to learn how to teach Bay-Wise best practices. We make presentations to interested community groups to encourage participation. We make site visits to evaluate residents yards based on Bay-Wise Yardstick guidelines.

8 Scalped Lawn

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10 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

11 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

12 Control Runoff Keep grass, leaves and yard debris out of storm drains Use rain barrels to collect water Direct downspouts onto lawns, planting beds Use mulch and border plantings along edge of property Create a rain garden Use mulch or porous surfaces for walkways

13 Rain barrel, Rain Garden and Disconnected Downspouts

14 Mulch replaces impervious surfaces

15 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

16 Increase Species Diversity Plant flowers, vines, shrubs and trees that offer cover, nesting areas or food sources for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and other desirable wildlife. Consider adding a shelter such as a bat house or bird house.

17 Wild habitat for Wildlife

18 Discourage Rats! Remove leftover pet food (cats, dogs and birds) and animal waste (feces) every day from your yard. Animal waste contains undigested pet food that rats will eat! Remove old furniture, vehicles and appliances from your property. Don t give rats a home! Mow tall grass and weeds. Don t give them a place to hide! Store lumber, firewood and other materials well off the ground.

19 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

20 Mow Properly Mow 2 ½ -3 ½ high Healthier root system More drought tolerant Shades out weeds Remove no more than one third height Limit fertilizers to slow growth Consider reducing lawn area

21 Scalped Lawn

22 Next Door 3 Mowing

23 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

24 Water Efficiently Water the roots, not the leaves Water in the morning Water deeply, less often Allow lawns to go dormant in summer Choose plants that are drought tolerant Repair leaking hose connections Drip hose for vegetables in a raised bed

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26 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

27 Control of Yard pests Accept that your landscape will not be completely insect or disease-free. Pesticides may be necessary for serious problems but should not be used routinely or indiscriminately. Improper use of pesticides can result in pest resistance and can harm humans, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

28 Best Practices Check plants regularly by walking around your yard and observing plants for signs of problems. Avoid routine application of pesticides. Treat only the affected plants or lawn area. Use environmentally friendly pesticides such as horticultural oils and soaps, Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) and other beneficial organisms as an alternative to harsher pesticides.

29 Beneficial insects and simple remedies usually control the bad bugs so avoid toxic chemicals Hornworms? Hand pick and squish underfoot or drown in jar of soapy water. Or use them as fish bait. Toxic sprays that kill the bad guys generally kill the good guys too.

30 Beneficial insects and simple remedies usually control the bad bugs so avoid toxic chemicals Hornworms? Hand pick and squish underfoot or drown in jar of soapy water. Or use them as fish bait. Parasitized by Braconid Wasp larva Toxic sprays that kill the bad guys generally kill the good guys too.

31 Beneficial insects and simple remedies usually control the bad bugs so avoid toxic chemicals Aphids? Predators & parasites, such as lady beetles & small wasps, generally control. Or blast them off with your watering hose. Toxic sprays that kill the bad guys generally kill the good guys too.

32 Beneficial insects and simple remedies usually control the bad bugs so avoid toxic chemicals IPM Integrated Pest Management Managing problems at acceptable levels rather than attempting to eliminate them Toxic sprays that kill the bad guys generally kill the good guys too.

33 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

34 Mulch Appropriately Retains moisture Inhibits weed growth Reduces erosion 2 to 3 maximum Pull back from trunks No volcanoes please!

35 Incorrect Mulching

36 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

37 Recycle Grass-cycle grass clippings by leaving them on the lawn. This practice contributes nitrogen and reduces the need to fertilize. Cut it high and leave them lie! Use leaves and pine needles as mulch under trees or shrubs and flower beds rather than bagging and discarding them. Pine needles are great with acid-loving plants like azaleas and rhododendrons.

38 Compost Basics Greens - Grass clippings, prunings, food scraps Browns - Leaves, straw, newspaper, cornstalks, wood chips, sawdust Water - Decomposition requires a moist environment Avoid - Meat, fish, dairy, oily foods, diseased plants, and invasive weeds DIY Compost Tumbler

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40 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

41 Find out what your soil needs Have your soil tested! Know what you are buying. Understand the label Follow the directions and soil test recommendations Use slow release nitrogen WIN,40% or more Fertilize Wisely

42 Chart of the Effect of Soil ph on Nutrient Availability

43 When to Fertilize Cool season grasses, fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass, in late summer or early fall Warm season grasses, zoysia and bermuda grass, in early summer Shrubs mid-fall after leaves have fallen and early spring before growth occurs Recently planted trees once a year

44 Homeowner Lawn Care Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 Homeowners may not apply fertilizer between November 15 and March 1 or when ground is frozen. Homeowners may not apply fertilizer to impervious surfaces. Phosphorus will not be included in fertilizer products bought from a retail outlet labeled for routine lawn applications. Annual total nitrogen application is limited

45 What is the Bay Wise Yardstick? A Scorecard/Checklist with tips on how to Control Runoff Encourage Wildlife Protect the Waterfront Mow Properly / Water Efficiently Manage Yard Pests Mulch Appropriately / Recycle Yard Waste Fertilize Wisely Plant Wisely

46 Plant Wisely Plant natives Eliminate invasives Group plants with similar water and maintenance needs Reduce lawns with ground covers, trees, shrubs or perennials Use trees to save energy Invasive Lythrum salicaria Native Liatris spicata

47 Remove Invasives Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

48 Canada Thistle, Multiflora Rose and Japanese Honeysuckle

49 How Do I Get My Yard Certified as Bay-Wise? Interested in making your landscape more environmentally sound? Follow these three steps: Download the appropriate MD Yardstick Complete the MD Yardstick self evaluation Contact the Master Gardener program in your county to sign up for a site visit. If your yard receives enough points for certification, you may receive a small sign to display in your landscape and a certificate. Even if you do not have your landscape certified, you can still do plenty to reduce pollutants going into the Chesapeake Bay by following the suggestions in the MD Yardstick.

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51 Where can I get more information? Visit our website at Follow the links to download the Maryland Yardstick appropriate for your yard Check out the many free online publications at Or contact the Home and Garden Information Center to order publications by phone US Fish and Wildlife To have your yard certified Betty -

52 Thank you!

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