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Fall lawn care for weeds and repair

We certainly have had some unique weather this summer, but we still have more than two months of growing weather. While the lawns – and our water bills – have benefited from the rains, so have the weeds. Annual grassy and broadleaved weeds have shown up in both thin and thick lawns this summer. The good news is that being an annual they will die yet this fall. By mowing them, we have eliminate...

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Repairing water logged lawns

For those homes having suffered greatly from all the storm water, getting the lawn back can take some time. Grasses have a very limited period to come back once under water, just a few days, and yards in many areas were covered a lot longer. If the water came and went but left the lawn covered with silt and mud, rinse off the grass blades so the grass plant can begin to produce energy again. A...

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Cranky about Crabgrass

Do you have crabgrass where you always do? Do you have crabgrass where you have never seen it before? You are not alone this year. You can chalk this up to our weather patterns this season, as you likely have foliage fungal disease and mushrooms in the lawn too. Crabgrass is a warm season annual grassy weed that waits for the soil to warm up before the seeds germinate and seedlings emerge. It...

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Tree foliage diseases and galls

Now that nearly every shade tree and ornamental are in full leaf, gardeners have been spotting some "spots" out there. Those spots can range in color from light green on a very green leaf (oak leaf blister) to black dots coming together to give a much larger blotch of black (tar leaf spot on maples). In general, leaf spot diseases are rarely fatal to a tree so that is good news. What is often...

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Mulch Madness

Calls to the Master Gardener Help Desks about using bark mulches in the home landscape and gardens has prompted a Q&A column this week. Organic mulches are used on new plants to help them establish and lessen transplant shock. Mulches conserve soil moisture; keep weeds and grass from encroaching and moderates soil temperatures, making it easier on the limited root system. On older established...

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Poison Ivy

Poison ivy has been around forever and may have behaved itself by staying out of our yards and groundcover beds…until now. Every time there is a situation that affects our landscapes, likely a corresponding condition is favoring nature. For example, if you don't mow the lawn for a season, you get an interesting mix of weeds germinating and growing to outcompete the lawn grasses. The same can be sa...

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Already July

Vegetable crops are mostly doing what they should be doing right now, given our sporadic plantings working around the weather. U of I Extension Master Gardeners have mainly been getting tree, shrub, evergreen and flower questions, and are not hearing about problems in the vegetable garden. Leafy greens, including Swiss chard, have been doing very well. Harvesting and eating those greens should...

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