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Prune hard, now!

A Bay Weekly reader lamented over how tall her azaleas had grown. She could no longer see out of the living room windows and would have to pay to have them replaced. I told her that all she had to do was cut them back to at least two inches below the ledge of the window. The plants would rejuvenate. The expression on her face clearly indicated that she thought me a complete idiot.
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Cut before month’s end so you have plenty of fruit to pick later

If you want your high-bush blueberry plants to produce the giant fruit photographed and described in nursery catalogs, then you have to prune them severely. If the plants are not pruned yearly, before April, you’ll get clusters of small berries that are a chore to pick.
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You can still catch this comet
 

Comet PanSTARRS is still with us for 30 to 45 minutes immediately following sunset. Look for it due west 20 degrees below the crescent moon Thursday, March 14. Shining around second magnitude, PanSTARRS at first appears as a modest star. Binoculars — and with ideal viewing conditions, even the unaided eye — will reveal a wispy tail pointing almost straight up....

Rites of Spring

Irish loaves and burning socks

This Sunday is the day to celebrate your Irish roots or embrace the Irish heritage and culture through food, drink and jigs. Some find their Irish thru green beer and shots of Jameson’s whiskey (which often helps with the jigs). A traditional favorite is slow-roasted corned beef and cabbage.
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Scan the west after sunset

After last month’s near-passing asteroid and the exploding meteorite over Siberia, we have another interloper passing through: Comet Pan-STARRS. Given clear skies and an unobstructed view of the west horizon at dusk, you can spot this comet over the coming week.
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Read this before you start cutting

What should I prune when? is one of the most common questions I am asked.
    I answer that we prune for quality — with exceptions.
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Changing conditions bring new characters to Chesapeake waters

Perhaps it’s global warming. Maybe it was a super-successful spawn. Or it could be another one of those things that can’t be explained. Whatever the cause, young redfish are pushing up the Bay in search of new sources of food.
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New owners for Happy Harbor in Deale; La Bella Italia spices up Friendship

Restaurants come and go, reinvent themselves and get make-overs. Change is ongoing, which keeps us on our toes and piques our foodie interest.
    The end of February saw the changing of the guard at the classic Deale roadhouse The Happy Harbor. Recent owner Shelley Daniels sold the business to Rochester, NY, native Tony Hite.
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Snatch branches from pussy willows and flowering shrubs

Pussy willows are busting out all over. Forsythia buds are starting to swell as are flowering quince, cherries, almond, weigela and crab apples.
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We pay our way; commercial fishermen should, too

Recreational fishing license fees have been increased twice in recent years to meet shortfalls in the Department of Natural Resource’s operating budget for the administration of recreational programs. As a result, DNR brings in enough money to fund its sport-fishing management, including police enforcement.
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