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Regulars (All)

Mother Nature takes care of her own

      I am frequently asked what kind of fertilizers should I use for hollies? … yews? … roses? … azaleas and rhododendrons? Fertilizer manufacturers have brainwashed the public into believing each species of plant requires a special fertilizer. 

Live-lining can beat chumming — without the stink

      Placing the hook just in front of the dorsal of a small perch, I lowered it into the water off the side of my skiff, drifting not far north of the Baltimore Light. My live bait jetted down, seeking the bottom 20 feet below. It never reached its destination. It was intercepted by a hungry 10-pound rockfish that was about to make my day.

It takes practice and adjustment, but they’re good for Bay rockfish

      My experience with circle hooks began some 20 years ago, when I took part in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources project studying mortality in rockfish caught with J versus circle hooks. All the fishers were chumming. In the control group using J hooks, we established that half of deep-hooked fish that were released died within two hours.

Cut it tall and let it fall to limit ­fertiziler and weed-killer needs

       Greenish brown water stained by algae flows into the Bay from a tributary surrounded by lush green lawns. Seeing that, as I did in a recent photo, tells me the algae bloom is the result of excess nitrogen running off or leaching into the water from the applications of lawn fertilizers.

There’s more to this field than just lawns and gardens

       Landscape architects do more than design outdoor space for homes and businesses. 

Doubtful at first, I’m a confirmed member of the circle-hook club

      Opening day of the second rockfish season, May 16, looked to be a pretty one. It was warm with calm wind, the sky nicely overcast and a fine mist as we motored out of Sandy Point Marina in my 17-foot skiff. It did turn out pretty — pretty wet, then very wet and pretty cold.
      The bite made up for it all.

There’s a future in horticulture

       Horticulture is the second largest income-producing agricultural industry in the state of Maryland and the third in the nation. There’s way more to this field than digging holes or filling pots. Horticulture is an evolving science. The efficient production of fruits and vegetables, 60 percent of our daily diet, requires a thorough knowledge of plant and soil sciences as well as tons of experience.

Good, but not quite good enough

      I had spent some five days on the water over the last couple of weeks, 30-plus long listless hours, waiting for this. My rod tip finally twitched, then twitched again. I eased my outfit from the rod holder just as the fish began to run. Perfect. Giving it a brief five count I put the reel in gear and, as the line came tight, I lifted my rod firmly. Big fish on.

Over-fertilizing with this element will cut your crop yield and worse

      Horticulture is a science. It is not based on intuition, feelings, grandpa or great grandma. When I started college and my career, horticulture professors often would say that 25 percent of what we know is based on science, 25 on hearsay and 50 percent on experience,
You’ve got a hot date with a hungry trophy rockfish
      Calling the 2018 trophy rockfish season disappointing is understating the situation. At two weeks in, the four-week season has set a record low for keeper-sized fish boated.
      By the time you read this column, all this bad news will be old news. We will be in the midst of a big-fish blitz unlike anything we’ve seen before. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it.