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Over the Fence

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

Managing Crabgrass Now for Next Year

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Relying on chemical crabgrass preventer is just one strategy homeowners can employ to reduce the potential of crabgrass in the home lawn. Crabgrass preventers also will prevent other annual grassy weeds, like the foxtails, and a few broadleaved weeds, like annual chickweed. These products are reliable and will do the job as advertised, as long as the products are applied in a timely manner....

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Finally Time to Garden!

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

That magical average frost-free date of May 5 for our area is quickly approaching. Given the weather patterns we have been having, sticking to the May 5 date may not be a bad idea this year. We read about that average frost-free date where there is still a 50/50 chance of a frost and then that "absolute" frost-free date that is about two weeks later. Longtime gardeners have learned just how muc...

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Spring is Coming

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

There are signs, despite the weather pattern, that spring will indeed arrive this year. More and more spring bulbs are showing up with flower stalks well above the soil line waiting for a bit better weather to bloom. There is even an up-side to our temperatures. If it remains cooler, those spring blooms will last longer in the home landscape once they open. Red and silver maples...

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Weather, what can you say?

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Our weather has very likely already messed up any plans for getting those early plants in and seeds sown. No one has a clear crystal ball right for when consistent spring weather will happen. If you have sown seeds for later planting as transplants, keep them from getting any taller until they can go outside. Give them strong light and cooler nighttime temperatures than they have had, to keep t...

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Early Spring Garden Questions

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Time to address several good questions that Master Gardeners have gotten already this early spring. We are right on schedule for some; others will have to wait, being weather dependent. Q: I need to trim my oaks and maples. Do I do it now or wait? A: We have about two weeks (by mid-April) to do our dormant pruning while there is no sap flow. If you have elm in t...

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Garden Bed Cleanup Has Begun

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

You know it is finally spring, not by the calendar, but by the first landscape maintenance trucks hitting the road without snowplow attachments. Mother Nature is struggling a bit; we are having warmer days, but the nights are still crisp. Those warmer temperatures are needed by many blooming plants to trigger the soon-to-be flowers. Winter bud scales will be softening with rains to later allow...

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Needle Evergreens Not at Their Best

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

University of Illinois Extension offices are already getting calls about needle evergreens that are not looking healthy, and spring has yet to arrive! If you drive your neighborhood right now, you can spot those evergreens that died late last fall. Arborvitaes are standing dead in many locations in the Fox Valley, as are Austrian pine and spruce. Spruce are not well adapted to our area,...

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