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Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Queen Annes Lace and Chicory along a roadside

Roadside Flowers

Last week I drove my son Tyler back to college for his fall semester at University of Illinois in Champaign. Along the way, he asked me what the blue flowers were along the roadside. Have you noticed the beautiful flowers blooming along our roadsides right now? Illinois roadsides are quite beautiful in late summer. Tyler was referring to chicory that frequently grows along the compacted...

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seeding lawn with push spreader
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Fall Seeding a New Lawn

The best time to seed a new lawn or overseed an existing lawn is in late summer. In Central Illinois, seeding in late summer (August to September) has a much higher success rate than seeding in spring. "Warm days and cool nights combined with more regular rainfall are ideal conditions for seedling growth," explains Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension. "Also,...

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Paper wasp nest

Paper Wasps

Our family has been battling paper wasps near our gazebo and pool area all summer. Unfortunately my son Derek and my husband Mark have both been stung. It seems a bit ironic that I am battling a pollinator during a year when pollinator protection is such a hot topic. Yes, wasps are considered pollinators because they feed on pollen and nectar from a variety of flowers. They are also ben...

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Black-eyed Susan along the Locke's driveway.
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Frac'd Up Garden Trend

A 2014 garden trend as stated by the 2014 Garden Media Group report was called Frac'd Up: A rejection of the neat and tidy. In other words, a messed up garden is okay and maybe even preferable in some cases. I like this trend because I've always liked a really natural and loose landscape style. The Garden Trend report discusses creating gardens in sliced up spaces using explosions of...

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Planting iris

My iris were especially pretty this year, and I think I need more! My colleague Elizabeth Wahle, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, explains below why late summer through early fall is the best time to divide and plant bearded iris. "Growers need to allow four to six weeks following flowering for rhizomes to fully develop before digging and dividing," Wahle said. "T...

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Emerald Ash Borer News Coverage

Below is news from yesterday's Emerald Ash Borer Open House event in Peoria. Peoria Journal Star Channel 31 news http://www.centralillinoisproud...

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Gardening in August

While walking around our yard last night my husband Mark commented that our gardens look better than ever. We usually spend August enjoying the garden instead of working in it all the time. Still there are several activities that can be done in August. First and foremost, don't let up on mosquito control. Dump the water! Mosquitoes will grow in almost anything that holds water. Take a walk aro...

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