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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

Don’t Seed A Cool Season Lawn in the Summer

A scenario: Sometime between the end of May to the end of July you've noticed your lawn is in bad shape. You go to the garden center and see shelves full of grass seed. If the store is carrying seed that must mean it is okay to sow your new lawn at this time, so you purchase a bag or two. But what type of grass did you get? Cool season or warm season? In my neck of the woods (Central Il...

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Plants and Pets

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

I was working on a PowerPoint the other day for an upcoming program on houseplants. As I sat there thinking about what information I wanted to include and being a dog person (I have an English Bulldog who thankfully leaves my plants alone) got me to thinking about plant toxicity and animals. I have a number of houseplants as well as the plants in my yard and decided to do some research into wha...

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Gardening for Therapy

During recent years, research on the benefits of gardening has been capturing more attention. Professor of landscape architecture William Sullivan, along with his colleagues, have published several papers surrounding how exposure to nature reduces stress and improves the health and well-being of people. Published articles that seem to make the rounds on social media reveal that the bacteria fou...

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Japanese Beetles....Again

Posted by Kari Houle - Articles

I think this week I have talked more about Japanese Beetles either on the phone, email, social media, or in person than anything else. Everyone seems to be fighting these coppery colored monstrosities that seem to be more prevalent this year than anyone would hope. The last two winters have been mellow and it's led to their overwintering survivability. I know some may not like this – but we nee...

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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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