Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Categories

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner
garden-1214148 1920

Dealing with Fruit Trees in this Weather

Our timetable to get dormant oils on and pruning done has been thrown out the proverbial window this year so far. The weather pattern has not given us even a couple days where it is safe to get on the dormant oil sprays. We will need, depending on the product used, at least one 24-hour period where temperatures remain above freezing. More commonly, we want 2 to 3 days of moderate temperatures to a...

Read More >

forsythia-3229147 1920

Weather, what can you say?

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 them...

Read More >

dirt-1867123 1920

Early Spring Garden Questions

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 the home...

Read More >

work-in-the-garden-2432111 1920

Garden Bed Cleanup has Begun

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 the...

Read More >

IMG 1797

Needle evergreens not at their best

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, and al...

Read More >

lesser-redpoll-1251020 1920

Bird feeders in the yard

Bird feeders will bring in a variety of migrating birds during the early spring on their journey to summer digs. This is before there is much for them to eat elsewhere, in nature or in home landscapes. Our winter resident birds that have hung out with us all winter still need that seed too. Be sure to continue your feeding efforts well into spring until they can find food on their own. Plan to use...

Read More >

orchard-2938653 1920

Things to do for the home orchard

A couple of weeks ago, my column covered getting ready for the vegetable gardening season. This time it is about the home orchard. While dormant pruning has been and will continue to be done, getting ready for the management of fruit tree diseases and insects can be done inside, dry and warm. In the early spring, the first spray should be applied while the ground and air temperatures are still...

Read More >