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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.

Aeration and compost beat fertilizer this time of year

       If you cut your grass with a riding lawnmower or your lawn is a frequently used playground, most likely the soil is compacted and the turf would benefit from a good aeration. The purpose of aeration is to loosen the soil to improve both drainage and air flow. Grass roots breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This is entirely opposite of what leaves do.

We have to be ready to fish hard when the rockfish finally bite

      Big rockfish are still a no-show. Discouraged by the absence, the number of anglers has dwindled as well. Low water temperatures are the culprit blamed for this unusual paucity of big fish cruising the Bay proper. DNR fishing reports say most of the rockfish in the area are still high up in the tributaries awaiting the proper conditions to spawn.

That’s another job for compost

      Compost is well known as an amendment for formulating potting blends and improving the productivity of soils. Less well known is its efficiency as a filter. 

Trophy rockfish big but few as ­season opens

      Slim Pickens was a noted Hollywood western character actor of the 1980s. Unfortunately, his name defines the results of the opening day of trophy rockfish season in Maryland. Hundreds of boats, thousands of anglers, a beautiful, sunny day, light winds, calm seas. Very few fish.