Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Dandelion with pollinator next to white clover

Take a new look at dandelions

Earth Day falls every year on April 22. As you use this day to reflect about our world around us, you might  try to look at a small piece of our world from a completely different viewpoint. Take dandelions, for example. To many people the dandelion is a weedy pest that invades our lawns, but other people find many positive attributes in the plant. Kids l...

Read More >

Rhonda Havana tree planting 2015 e

Celebrate Arbor and Earth Days

Arbor Day and Earth Day happen each April. This year Arbor day is April 28 and Earth Day is April 22. Both offer an opportunity for us to step back and enjoy our natural world. Arbor Day was founded about 145 years ago in Nebraska, on April 10, 1872, after much urging from Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist and member of the Nebraska Board of Agriculture. Morton got the board to appro...

Read More >



I love rhubarb! Also known as the pie plant, rhubarb is a very hardy perennial garden vegetable that grows extremely well here. Although considered a vegetable, rhubarb is used as a fruit in pies, tarts, cakes, and sauces. Rhubarb is available in either red or green stalk varieties. A popular green stalk one is Victoria. More is available in red including Canada Red with long, thick, extra swe...

Read More >

Discover Extension-02

Vegetable Planting Dates

Our abnormal spring temperatures have many folks antsy to begin gardening, but remember that we could still get freezing temperatures. How early you can plant depends upon the hardiness of the vegetables and the date of our last spring frost. Our average frost-free date is April 22 with the actual frost-free date varies 2 weeks or more in either direction. Vegetables are classified as v...

Read More >

Community Garden Resources

Community Garden Internet Resources American Community Gardening Association, Information about starting a community garden, publications, e-newsletter, and conferences, Community Gardening Toolkit , University of Missouri Extension, Publication MP 906 available as a downloada...

Read More >

Discover Extension-01

Free Spring Gardening Webinars Announced

The spring series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program focuses on environmental stewardship, home gardening, and backyard food production. The first session of the series is titled, Growing Vegetables for Beginners . The program is offered twice – on April 18 at 1:30 p.m. and again on April 20 at 6:30 p.m. Produce always taste better when you are...

Read More >

Ornamental Pear


Each year I am more distressed by the number of volunteer ornamental pear trees I see growing in fields, roadsides, and other places where they shouldn't be. This is yet another example of a plant that has escaped cultivation and become invasive. Below is an article written by my colleague Jason Haupt, Extension Educator in Energy and Environmental Stewardship. In recent years, one of t...

Read More >