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Gardening Potpourri

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, like col...

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Dealing with waterlogged soils and plants

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 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 happening to...

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viburnum leaf beetle larvae damage

Viburnum Leaf Beetle Returns

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

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 trucks be...

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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 development when the cold weather and even some frosts hit yet...

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Flowering Crabapple and Apple Tree Diseases

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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Be Patient and Flexible this Spring

The impact of all our rains is clear while commuting to work, shopping and traveling through the county. Farm fields to backyard gardens will be drying for some time to come. Farmers will be waiting to return to the fields until the soils can be worked again without damage to soil structure and creating compaction. Farmers will be watching any planted fields closely to see the damage caused by all...

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