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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

Dealing with Squash Vine Borer

After years of hiding, I poke my head out, making sure it is all clear. For the past few years, there has been no sign of the intruders. As I gather my courage, I kneel down to plant…summer squash! My hesitation over the past few years to plant any summer or winter type squash can be summed up in three words- squash vine borer . In 2014, I planted several zucchini plants, a kind...

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June and July Gardening To-Do's

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

We are already through the half-way mark of June and July is right around the corner, granted the temperatures we are currently experiencing is more reminiscent of July then June. I was trying to figure out what to write on this week, so on my drive back from a program, I figured what better time than now to think about what we should be doing in June and July in our yards. Make sure to...

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Embracing the Common Blue Violet

So far this year I have professed my reverie of dandelions, shrugged off creeping Charlie, and now it has come time to confess my favorite 'weed' - the common blue violet ( Viola soraria ). Yes, it is that violet, which so many homeowners battle year after year, often in their lawns. Search the internet, and you will find scores of articles on how to control this aggressive weed...

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Sometimes We Need to Say Good Bye to a Tree

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

Last year my next door neighbors approached me about the pear tree that was located in my yard but overhung into their yard. Now this was not an ornamental pear tree, but a fruiting pear tree, one that would shed partially ripened pears in droves and trying to keep up with them was nearly impossible. It would result in the dropped pears becoming "lovely" bee and wasp magnets and both my neighbo...

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What to do When Trees are Damaged in a Wind Storm

Following a series of windy days and storms with high winds in Central Illinois, several homeowners have contacted the Extension office with storm-damaged trees. We have received reports on large sections of trees lost, gashes left in the trunks of trees, and large splits in tree trunks. What do you do when a severe windstorm damages your landscape trees? Obviously, during an outbreak o...

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Be a Plant Detective

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

During the gardening season I always get calls or emails asking what's wrong with a plant and what can be sprayed to help make it better. If you're like me, we love our plants and we want to make sure that they continue to grow healthy and happy in our landscape. It's always sad seeing a plant that is slowly fading away for one reason or another and we sit and try to figure out what is going wr...

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A Bad Year for Ticks? Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Earlier this week during my lunch break, I sat in my home dining room eating with my three-year-old. As our conversation strayed from preschool to Star Wars, a slight tickle on my side encouraged a scratch. Reaching over, I felt through my shirt the slightest bump. Immediately, it was clear this was no ordinary itch to scratch. I had a tick crawling up my side. Going to the bathroom, I...

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