When starting a new garden you must first determine what climate or hardiness zone you are in. The Maryland USDA Zone is 7 for most of the state with some locations being a 6. It is wise to choose plants that are hardy down to Zone 6 or even 5 to ensure plant survival in even the worst of winters.
The estimated last freeze for Zone 7 is April 15th and the last freeze-free date October 30th, give or take two weeks. This is especially important to know when planting a vegetable garden or annuals that are not hardy and when planting perennials like tulips since they are usually planted right before the first freeze in fall.
Vegetables commonly grown in Maryland are tomatoes, carrots, corn, lettuce, kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, spinach, onions, squash, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers. Often plants are started indoors and planted outdoors after the last frost. Chives can be grown outdoors as a hardy perennial herb.
Growing fruit in Maryland like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, melons, apples, pears, peaches, plums, pomegranates and cherries is also an option.
Selecting a location for a tree should be based on whether the site is sunny or shady and whether you want a specimen tree or a shade tree.
If you have a constant wet spot in one location then you might want to choose something like the native Sweetbay Magnolia (magnolia virigniana) that grows well in Maryland. It likes moist, acidic soil and is a beautiful specimen tree and doesn’t grow too tall. If it is a larger tree you want then you might consider a Willow Oak (quercus phellos). It is fast growing and makes for an excellent shade tree. Oaks are a very common tree in Maryland and the White Oak (quercus alba) is the State Tree. Many evergreen trees and shrubs also grow well and are often used for privacy screens and noise reduction.
Tall trees that grow in Maryland are Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Eastern Hemlock, Beech, Birch, American Elm, Hackberry, Honeylocust, American Linden, Pines, Poplar, Sycamore and Cedars. Small trees are Holly, Eastern Redbud, White Fringetree, Hawthorn, Dogwood and Crabapple.
Perennial Flowers, Blooming Vines and Shrubs
Flowers that grow well in Maryland are Tulips, Daffodils, Hostas, English Lavender, Mums and Roses. Vines like Clematis, Trumpet Creeper, Coral Honeysuckle and Wisteria and flowering shrubs like Azalea, Forsythia and Hydrangea are all sure to add color.
It is always a good idea to go to your local nursery or home-improvement store to speak with a clerk to get advice on how to create a beautiful garden in Maryland!