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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

Here We Go Again – The Great Japanese Beetle Return

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

They're baaack!! Japanese Beetles are buzzing and flying again and have already begun to feed on some of their most favorite plants including lindens, grapes and roses. With the emergence of Japanese Beetles, people usually also begin to ask about grub control. First off, in regards to Japanese Beetles – avoid using traps. Unless you really enjoy Japanese Beetles including the ones from...

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Peach leaf curl sample. Courtesy of Morton Arboretum.
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Peach Leaf Curl

The University of Illinois Extension serves as a leader in the state for offering research-based advice on a multitude of topics. My role as a horticulture educator places me in the realm of anything that grows, creeps, crawls, or flies. Tree fruit questions have been the most common among homeowners as of late; chiefly peach trees and more specifically peach leaf curl. As daytime tempe...

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Mulching and Wood Chips

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

There are many times people will call with questions about what they can do to help their trees grow better (cultural practices) or what they can use to help keep weeds out of the garden. One of my suggestions always is mulch. Now it should be stated that mulch is just one component of good cultural practices in landscaping and gardening, especially with trees, but mulching is definitely an imp...

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Snake Prevention and Management

Ophiophobia – the fear of snakes. I am frightened of snakes. Seeing a snake stops me in my tracks, leaves my heart pounding and scarcely breathing while my eyes are fixed on the reptile at hand. Being someone who has made a living working outside much of my life, snakes are a not a rare thing in my day-to-day activities, but I still prefer to avoid them. During this first week of June,...

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Have I Missed a Chance to Prune My Spring Shrubs?

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

Yesterday as I pulled into my driveway, I was looking at the shrubs in my front yard and that sudden realization of just how overgrown they had become. In the back of my mind I knew that they needed to be pruned, but I didn't really want to admit that I had let that happen, but sometimes things do get away from us. So, out I went with a good pair of pruners, loppers and a small handsaw and went...

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Buyer Beware: Inspect Plant Material Closely Before Purchase

Working as a horticulture educator with University of Illinois Extension, one would think visiting a garden center is fun and relaxing. You may be surprised, but for me and certainly horticulturists everywhere, it can be stressful. Where every other shopper sees roses, I see rose rosette virus. Where my wife sees a deal of a tree, I see a tree too deep in the pot and a plague of circling roots....

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