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Over the Fence

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

Bugs, Diseases and Weeds in the Landscape

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

So many problems this year have been weather related. One grass-like weed that has shown up in the lawn, flower and garden beds is yellow nutsedge. Grass-like because it is actually a sedge. It is yellow-green in color and, if left to mature, produces "nutlets" in the soil to grow from in the future. To clearly identify it, cut even a very young plant in two, and look at the cut ends. You will...

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Gardening Potpourri

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Landscape care strategies have certainly changed since it has gotten dry and hot, and now we have gotten scattered rain events giving water to some and not others. We are seeing the end of the spring bulbs with foliage yellowing and drying down, which is accelerated by the hot dry conditions. The early spring bulbs "went away" some time back, now it is the daffodils. Other perennials, l...

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Dealing with Waterlogged Soils and Plants

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Horticulture Educator Rhonda Ferree recently wrote an article on our over-the-top spring rains and the waterlogged soils that resulted. Her comments apply statewide and I wanted to share some of that article this week. "It's no secret that much of Illinois has received excessive spring rains, which has resulted in waterlogged soils and flooding. It is important to understand what is hap...

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Viburnum Leaf Beetle Returns

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

This column has talked about how different plants, insects and diseases have developed based on our unseasonal temperatures and rainfall. Last year, I reported on the Viburnum Leaf Beetle larvae feeding towards the end of June. Our accumulation of growing-degree days being so far ahead, the larvae have already been feeding for more than 10 days. Throughout Cook and DuPage counties, homeowners h...

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Swarming Insects

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

What do bees, ants and termites have in common? At some point in the year, they all swarm. Our honeybee may be the most obvious example as the queen gathers up thousands of support bees from the existing hive and heads off to find another location to set up shop. Those swarms can be seen hanging in trees or somewhere on the home under the eave. Sometimes they cling to parked cars and tr...

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Weather Injury on our Plants

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Weather Injury on our Plants All of Illinois has seen and experienced some very different, and not so typical, weather the last two months, and we are still waiting to see what is next. March and April seemed like weather from late spring and, on a few days, even early summer. Since we had all that warmer weather early, many plants were well along in early spring deve...

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Flowering Crabapple and Apple Tree Diseases

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Our weather continues to put a lot of disease pressure on our flowering crabapples and apple trees due to the cool and wet conditions. The disease that is easily seen right now is Cedar Apple Rust (CAR). CAR is a two-host rust, and right now, it can be seen on the cedars and junipers as a strange looking gall about the size of a golf ball covered in a bright yellow to orange jelly-like fingers. Th...

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