University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: My son saw a snake in our basement, but when I went down, it was gone. Now I am completely creeped out not knowing where it is! What do we do?
A: Put a wet towel on the basement floor. Overnight, it should crawl underneath seeking a moist environment. Then place a tall flat-sided trash can on its side and quickly, using a rake or broom, shove the towel with the snake into the trash can. Take the snake to a natural area and release. Snakes are beneficial. They do not want to be in your house, because they cannot survive when confined there for any length of time. They accidentally find their way inside. Check your home’s foundation for cracks, including around windows and utilities, and fill cracks with caulk or weatherstripping. Keep the foundation clear of leaves, firewood, or other objects that might provide cover for critters.
Q: What cover crop should I put on my vegetable garden this fall? Where can I get the seed?
A: Our Grow It Eat It website has a fact sheet on cover crops with planting steps and a chart at http://www.growit.umd.edu/Improve%20Garden/GE006_CoverCrops.pdf . What cover crop you choose will be determined by the results you want. Some cover crops are not winter hardy and die by spring, creating a mat of debris. You can use this mat as a natural mulch through which you plant, or you can till it under to enrich the soil. Other cover crops will still be green in the spring. Look for seed at farm stores, garden centers or on-line seed companies such as http://www.johnnyseeds.com/,and http://www.meyerseedco.com/.