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Over the Fence

Where gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

The Summer of Lawn Diseases

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Our weather up until these past few days has remained primed for lawn diseases. Homeowners who have taken great care of their lawns may actually see more turf diseases than the neighborhood courtyard or cul-de-sac where only mowing gets done. The ever popular textbook disease triangle image has been ringing loud and clear; if you have a pathogen present with a susceptible host...

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Of All the Gall

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

This season gardeners have been seeing lots of lumps, bumps and blobs on different kinds of leaves throughout the landscape, in parks and the forest preserves. It is not uncommon as this occurs annually, what is uncommon is the generous number of these growths we are seeing. These are generally known as plant galls. The Master Gardener Help Desks are seeing quite a few branches with galls on t...

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Poison Ivy is out There

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Experienced gardeners know where poison ivy is likely to be and what it looks like in its various forms and stages of growth. That may not be the case for newer gardeners just getting into their yards or having moved from an area relatively free from poison ivy to a wooded area or neighborhood. Without knowing it is in the yard, it is all too easy to get the oils on your hands and clothing while c...

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Gardening with Tomatoes in 2015

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

The recent issue of the University of Illinois Extension Home Yard and Garden newsletter states that the growing degree days for our area (recorded at St. Charles) have recorded more days than our 11 year average of 865, at 1056. Gardeners then would have expected better plant growth of our vegetables. Clearly the vegetables have not been reading the reports! Home gardeners should take heart i...

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Natural Enemies of Destructive Insects

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

There are a great many beneficial insects in the home landscape that can help gardeners manage destructive insect populations without ever opening the pesticide cabinet. Common to the yard are insect predators, parasitic wasps and natural pathogens that all work to our advantage. Some insects provide immediate control like lady bugs that feed on aphids. There are others like the parasitic wasp tha...

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