Regulars (All)

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.
...

This year brings prime opportunity to catch a giant fish

      Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter …
      Those words, sung long ago by the Beatles in their popular anthem of hope, Here Comes the Sun, couldn’t be more appropriate than right now. Warmer temperatures have arrived at last, and the trophy rockfish season opens Saturday, April 21. Alleluia!
...

Human acts affect the health of the planet 

      Lichen, the gray-green growths on tree trunks and rocks, are a symbiotic organism of algae and fungi. The algae produces the food through photosynthesis, and the fungi provides the nutrients, water and foundation for growth. Their presence on the shady side of tree trunks and rocks is a sure sign the air is clean.
...

Either poison the root stem now, or wait until summer to spray the leaves

       Is poison ivy getting the best of you? Are you afraid that English ivy, crawling up the trunks of  your trees, is going to kill them?
       Trying to kill them by digging the roots out of the ground is futile. Allowing even a small  piece of root to remain in the ground will result in the sprouting of a new plant.
...

Rockfish regulation clarification

      Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources has withdrawn its proposed emergency rockfish regulation modifications for the 2018 May season, citing confusion caused by the proposed new J-hook requirements. That leaves the current regulations in effect until further notice.
      My understanding is that to avoid that confusion, DNR will do three things:
...