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Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Oak tatters on white oak on 7-13-12

Oak Tatters

I have an oak tree in my yard that gets oak tatters every year. I have had a couple oak samples brought into the office with the condition this year, so know it is more widespread than my backyard. If your oak tree looks like something ate up the leaves back to the veins, read on. Oak tatters has been happening for the past few years in Illinois. Nancy Pataky, Director of the Univer...

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Communicate Your Garden

Anyone who knows me knows that I love journaling and photography. In recent years I've used those skills as a way to communicate my garden in a different way. By communicating my garden I am able to document its history and share it with others using a variety of methods. Many people keep records of their gardens. My dad has kept garden and weather records on paper calendars for many years. Fo...

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Emerald Ash Borer
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Emerald Ash Borer Open House be Held in Peoria

Homeowners, tree care professionals and municipality officials are invited to an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) open house event in Peoria to learn more about this destructive pest. The EAB Open House Event will take place on Monday, August 10 at Grandview Park in Peoria where an infested tree was recently discovered. During the event you will see an infested tree and learn more about the pest. The o...

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MM Tomato
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Tomato Woes

Although typically very easy to grow, tomatoes are prone to some problems. According to Rhonda Ferree, extension educator in horticulture, University of Illinois Extension offices are receiving many questions right now concerning the most popular homegrown vegetable - tomatoes. This year's cool, wet conditions have results in increased tomato disease. Many tomato growers are experiencin...

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Midsummer Vegetable Gardens

A re you enjoying the "fruits of your labor" from your vegetable garden this summer? With proper care, vegetable gardens provide fresh produce well into the fall. Although we had record rainfall amounts in June, July might be different. It is essential to keep plants watered consistently during the heat of summer. On average, plants need one inch of water per week and this may...

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rain garden-friend

Rain Gardens

Rain barrels and rain gardens are becoming more and more popular by those wanting to recycle and conserve natural resources. According to U of I Extension Educator Duane Friend, when we receive rain, a lot of it falls on surfaces that cannot soak up water. Roofs and driveways create large amounts of runoff—much of which ends up in storm drains. It is estimated that water from these areas can i...

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Sunflowers are popular. It seems one can find a sunflower on almost anything, from throw pillows to towels to floor mats and rugs. I've also noticed more and more gardeners growing sunflowers for their beauty, their tasty seeds, or for wild bird feed. My son Tyler has several sunflowers growing in his vegetable garden this year. True sunflowers are in the plant genus Helianthus...

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