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Consider your space as you plan your vegetable garden

For the best harvest, plan before you plant. Crowded plants that have to compete for light do not produce a good crop and often have disease and insect problems. Here’s how I plant my garden to give each plant the best chance.
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Mercury joins Mars in its last hurrah

For more than a month now, Mars has been clinging to the southwest horizon in evening twilight. The next couple weeks are your last chance to spot our red neighbor, which has been a fixture in the night sky for more than a year and a half. But he goes out in style, joined this week by much brighter Mercury in a spectacluar conjunction.
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Tuesday, February 12 is Fat Tuesday, better known by its French equivalent Mardi Gras, the gluttonous celebration before the lean days of lent begin on Ash Wednesday.
    New Orleans has cornered the market on Mardi Gras with parades, revelry and delicious Cajun comfort food. But Chesapeake Country won’t be left out of the party.

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And it will be good to you

A Bay Weekly reader asked how to care for a potted cyclamen she received from a friend.
    Cyclamen make excellent potted plants, as they come in a large selection of colors and flower for a long time with minimal care. However, the cyclamen has a dormancy requirement, and it will tell you when it is ready to take a rest.

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But without ready money, plans are just plans

In a bold, all-encompassing and optimistic plan, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally brought together all of the players that enjoy the waters creating our great Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New York and the District of Columbia. No prior federal planning efforts for the Chesapeake have attempted anything of this geographical scope.

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Here’s how to tell

If you want to be sure your seeds will sprout, buy fresh ones this season. Fresh seeds have a higher percentage of germination and germinate faster than old seeds.
     

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Let this bright moon lead you through the sky

Saturday marks the year’s first full moon, called the Wolf Moon by Native Americans and Europeans alike, as with January’s frigid cold and deep snows, the hungry animals came their closest to human settlements.
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Use the off-season to get your gear ready for the fish

If you’re like me, you tried to fish all the way to the end of the season. So your tackle was never put up properly.
    Now that there’s little angling left, outside of possibly a little pickerel action, it’s time to care for your tackle. The chore is necessary if you expect to hit the ground running in the spring.
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While Americans bask in the afterglow of a diverted dive off the fiscal cliff, the restaurant business faces its toughest quarter of the year from January through March. It’s always a challenge to lure diners out in the cold winter months....

My six favorite catalogs for dreaming and ordering

Seed catalogs begin arriving in my mailbox with the new year. Is there a benefit in ordering from catalogs? Or is it just as good to buy seeds locally?
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