The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society
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  • Gardening Workshop: Death by Soil: Killing Plants S-L-O-W-L-Y

Gardening Workshop: Death by Soil: Killing Plants S-L-O-W-L-Y

  • 01/25/2011
  • 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Research Greenhouse Conference Room, University of Maryland College Park

Sponsoring Organization: Chesapeake Natives, Inc.

Repeats Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ever wonder why your plants die in the dirt? Plant Doctors to the rescue. Join us for a one-day gardening intensive led by our team of gardening Doctors Andrew Ristvey, Sara Tangren and Christopher Puttock, and ably assisted by our cadre of Chesapeake Natives volunteers. The Chesapeake Natives team has extensive experience designing, installing, and maintaining native gardens in Maryland. They will share what they have learned over years of working at university gardens and herbaria. Using a breakout workshop format the team will help you to understand your native soils, how your native plants will thrive or suffer a slowly lingering demise, and how to alleviate problems that may seem intractable. Each introductory session is followed by a breakout in which participants will work with their own soil samples.

Target Audience: Anyone who helps maintain a public or private native garden.

Bring: To participate fully in the breakout sessions you will need to bring a cup of soil from your garden collected just below the topsoil. Also bring as much information as you have about your soil, sun, moisture and development history. Bring soil test results if you have them. If you do not have a garden soil sample, you will be assigned one.


  • Session 1: Soil Physics. The appearance and feel of soil contain much information for the gardener. Topics include: texture, structure, color, compaction and soil surveys.
  • Session 2: Soil Chemistry. Do-it-yourself and lab soil tests can help you determine what to plant in your native garden and how to maintain it. Topics include: soil pH, macronutrients, micronutrients, and soil-test interpretation.
  • Session 3: Soil Biology. Healthy gardens support life above and below ground. Learn about native plants and their relationships with soil macrofauna and microorganisms. Topics include: roots, mycorrhizae, bacteria, worms and other organisms, and organic amendments.

Participants: Maximum 30 per day.

Cost: $40 (covers food, parking, and printed materials).

Registration and Deadline: e-mail to register by January 15, 2011.

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