Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy), also known as creeping Charlie and gill-over-the-ground, is listed as invasive in both Arlington County and the City of Alexandria and has been reported in national parks in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D. C., West Virginia, and Tennessee. A European native plant, this herbaceous perennial was brought to North America by early settlers as a medicinal plant for skin and internal ailments.
Ground ivy is member of the mint family with square stems, two-lipped bluish-purple flowers, and pairs of leaves at each node. Its leaves are rounded to kidney-shaped with scalloped margins and have a distinct minty odor when crushed. The plant creeps over the soil surface by means of stolons, forming a thick mat and crowding out native plants when it invades roadsides, pastures, orchards, and open woods. It is considered especially troublesome as a weed in lawns. Continue reading →
2020 Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
This native tree of northeastern and north central North America can be very long-lived; along the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment in Canada, specimens could be over 1,000 years old. The common name, which means “tree of life,” refers to the medicinal properties of the bark and foliage, which cured scurvy.
As we go into the colder temperatures of the year, a very important concern continues to be soil moisture content. Our recent rains notwithstanding, this area has received very little rain in the last 6 months. This fall, all of our plants are a bit ‘thirsty’ as they enter their dormant season.
Young or newly planted trees that have not spread their feeder roots into the surrounding soils will require more attention and regular irrigation because of limited abilities in obtaining water in their growing environment. All newly planted trees should have 1 inches of water per week- even in the winter- for two years. Continue reading →
How to Build Inexpensive and Effective Grow Lights
Give your plants a healthy start with grow lights to ensure your seedlings get great light indoors, even when it’s freezing outside. Grow unusual and hard-to-find varieties of vegetables not offered at local garden centers, or farm nutritious microgreens indoors. Learn the pros and cons of light systems and options for creating your own. Instructions and material lists provided are to help you jumpstart your garden. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.