Test your knowledge answers:

1. Fertilizer should never be used on sidewalks. Fertilizers are a major source of water pollution in Maryland. From your sidewalk, it is quickly flushed to surface and groundwater sources.

2. Under most circumstances, fertilizer should be applied in the fall.

3. Pet wastes should not be composted in the backyard compost pile. Temperatures in compost piles do not get high enough to ensure that disease-carrying bacteria and viruses are killed.

4. No. Lime should only be added if a soil test recommends raising the pH, and then only at the recommended rate.

5. Yes. These seemingly harmless products can be extremely corrosive or caustic, and proper care must be taken during handling. They can be a major source of water pollution. Be sure to follow the instructions for use and disposal.

6. Use plants that are native to this region. They require less fertilizer and pesticides, and may be able to withstand drought better.

7. Plant ground covers on slopes where mowing is difficult. Build retaining walls to hold soil in place on steep slopes.

8. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a decision-making process that evaluates all viable options for pest control, favoring options with the least impact on human health and the environment.

9. No. Many insects, such as ladybug beetles and fireflies, benefit the landscape by eating other "pest" insects that damage plants.


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