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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit! Elmer Fudd from The Looney Tunes said it right, "Bugs Bunny?! You're a pesky wabbit!" I have replanted my tomato plants three times this spring. The first two times the plants were gone by the next morning, and I think the "cute" little rabbit I saw hop down my walk is the culprit! My first line of defense was to learn more about rabbits...

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White Grubs by Dr. Phil Nixon on 8-15-17

Originally published in Home, Yard, and Garden Newsletter on 8-15-17 Japanese beetles and masked chafer adults are attracted to moist soils and, apparently, to green grass to lay their eggs. In years when rainfall is abundant, nonirrigated (as well as irrigated) turf stays green and attractive to egg-laying female beetles. As...

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Roadside Flowers

Posted by Rhonda J. Ferree -

Recently I had a friend ask 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. She was referring to chicory that frequently grows along the compacted edges of roadsides. Chicory has a bright blue, 1 ½ inch wide flower and grows one to four...

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Purple Vegetables are Beautiful and Delicious

I have several purple vegetables and herbs growing in my garden this summer. Botanically, purple plants are fascinating to me. We all learn in science class that plants get their green color from the chlorophyll in their leaves, which is used in photosynthesis to make food. Actually, plants have three color pigments: chlorophyll (green) carotenoid (red), and anthocyanin (blue). Various...

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The goldenrod is making a fantastic display this fall in my prairie and other unmown areas. I love watching the waves of gold sway on a sunny fall day. Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) thrives in sun to part sun and is a deer-resistant perennial. There are thirty different types of goldenrod that grow in Illinois. They range from the three foot to seven foot tall. Each has a cl...

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Lime Basil Adds Zest to Food and Drink

I grow several different types of basil, and try new ones each year. Usually, I end up preferring the basic sweet basil to other kinds, but not this year. A new favorite this year is lime basil. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has many different cultivars. They are generally divided into four groups: sweet green, dwarf green, purple-leaf, and scented leaf. Lime Basil is a scented leaf...

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Huge Hibiscus Flowers are a Garden Standout

Have you noticed the huge hibiscus blooms this summer? Hibiscus has magnificent flowers that make quite an impressive display each summer. There are many different types of hibiscus. The rose-of –Sharon ( Hybiscus syriacus ) is a popular shrub hibiscus. Herbaceous perennial hibiscuses are available in tropical and hardy forms. Tropical hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinens...

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