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Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Protect You and Your Family – Understand West Nile Virus

It is time to think about mosquito control and the prevention of West Nile Virus. Since we don't know what this mosquito season will bring, don't let down your guard. Remember to "dump the water" and follow these tips to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair damaged screens. Caulk around loose fitting...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 1:24AM on 7/18/2014
Categories: Pests (Insects, Disease, & Wildlife)

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Callery Pears Becoming Extremely Invasive!

Although ornamental flowering pears are beautiful in the spring, they have several severe problems. Below is a portion of an article written by Sandy Mason, Extension Educator in horticulture based in Champaign, IL. Since this article was published in 2005, ornamental pear problems have escalated out of control with even many more municipalities banning their use. 'Brad...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 1:19AM on 7/11/2014
Categories: Landscapes (Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers)

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Berry News from Extension Educator Mike Roegge

Weekly Crop Update 7-9-14 By Mike Roegge, University of Illinois Extension, Adams/Brown/Hancock/Pike/Schuyler Strawberry harvest was completed several weeks ago, but there is still a little time to renovate the patch if you've not completed that chore yet. You want to do this as soon as harvest is completed, but we still have another week or so. Renovation is done to prepare the...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 8:22AM on 7/10/2014
Categories: Backyard Gardens (fruits, vegetables, & herbs)

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Thousand Cankers Disease Threatens Walnuts

Thousand Cankers Disease was recently confirmed in Indiana, putting the disease threateningly close to Illinois walnut trees. Kelly Estes, Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for Illinois Natural History Survey, reported on this discovery in the June 23, 2014 issue of University of Illinois Extension's Home, Yard, & Garden Pest newsletter. "The Indiana Department o...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 1:31AM on 7/7/2014
Categories: Pests (Insects, Disease, & Wildlife)

Froggie among the iris on 5-18-12

White Adds Simple Elegance to a Garden

July brings us our seventh gardening trend for 2014: Simple Elegance: Think one color flower in an elegant container . Many people think of a mono-chromatic color scheme as boring, but it can be quite impressive The Garden Trend report focuses on white as a way to make your garden beds or containers stand out. In the report Kristine Lonergan from GreenPr...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 1:14AM on 7/6/2014
Categories: Landscapes (Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers)

All About Rose Slugs

Despite making it through a brutally cold winter, knockouts and other rose varieties are being eaten by the larvae of sawfly stated Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. The larvae, not a slug, is yellow- green and velvety looking, 1/2" long, found on the underside of the rose leaves or in flower buds. The leaves are left riddled with feeding holes between veins. They excrete slimy substance all...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 3:29AM on 6/30/2014
Categories: Pests (Insects, Disease, & Wildlife)

2007: C.B. Smith students explore the bounty of blooms.

Gardening with Kids

Gardening is for everyone, but is especially important for children. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of gardening with kids. It encourages personal growth, environmental stewardship, hands-on learning, improved nutrition, community involvement, and family interaction. During my 25 year career with Extension I've attended many programs on how to garden with kids. Each time I come...

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Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree at 1:06AM on 6/27/2014
Categories: Youth Gardens