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Learning More about the Impacts of Invasives

I just attended an Illinois First Detector workshop that addressed several invasive pests, insects and diseases, and even certain kinds of wildlife. Some made their way into Illinois, some just over the state line, and others are in other states that grow food crops we eventually eat. The First Detector Program trains participants to look for the early signs of these invasive plants and pests, and...

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Dormant Pruning in the Home Landscape

Punxsutawney Phil recently announced another six weeks of winter. That is going to be plenty of time for any late winter or very early spring dormant pruning of our shrubs in the home landscape. Keep in mind, dormant pruning needs to be happen before any spring growth resumes. There are several good reasons for dormant pruning. Without the leaves present, we can see the entire plant, looking f...

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Taking care of winter pantry pests

Back in December, this column talked about doing our best to prevent an outbreak of any one of several kinds of pantry pests in the home. Some of what was shared included sealing bulk amounts of dry pet foods, including the birdseed used all winter for outdoor feathered friends, and limiting, whenever possible, the amount of flour for baking during the holidays. Even with the best attempts, oc...

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Bugs are making themselves known

Warmer temperatures this past week have brought out a variety of insects that would have otherwise stayed hidden. Visits to our Extension offices, photos sent by email, and phone calls have been constant. At the top of the list are stink bugs, also known as squash bugs if you are a gardener. There are several dozen versions around the area, nearly all of them sap feeding. Nearly all are native...

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