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Raise, Grow, Harvest, Eat, Repeat

A blog for growers, consumers, and backyard gardeners to grow, eat, and connect in the local food system.
Tomato Hornworm
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Monthly Report- July 2017

Pest Update As you know, July was extremely wet for us in Northern Illinois. This caused a lot of serious problems for some growers due to the amount of rainwater that we got in fits and spurts. Typically in the growing season, we need 1-1.5 inches of water a week. If your plants received too much, they may have shown wilting symptoms, a physical response to too much ra...

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Haskeep Berry 6 22
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Monthly Report-June 2017

  Pest Update With rains and seasonal weather, disease has begun to creep in. In the last week, I've seen apple scab and in a new twist, scab on stone fruit. For apple scab, it's too late for sprays to be effective in controlling the disease and you are better off removing fruit that has fallen around the trees. Removal of fallen leaves is also recommended. I've...

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Summer Vegetable Garden: Top 10 for Beginners

Many backyard growers tend to know how to grow vegetables and what they need to do. Others may be intimidated by getting started. I had a question last week if it was too late to start summer vegetables. Starting a vegetable garden and container gardening is quite easy and if all goes according to plan with warm weather and necessary rain, you'll be on a path toward success in your first gard...

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Sweet Potatoes: Right on Time

Commonly the question I get asked is if it's too late to plant sweet potatoes. Most of this comes from the fact that in Northern Illinois, we are planting potatoes around Easter, March-April. So gardeners tend to think that sweet potatoes should be planted with regular potatoes. That isn't the case of course. Sweet potatoes need to be planted after our frost free date which for us in Norther...

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Potatoes Compost
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On the Deck: Potatoes in Compost Bag

Like some of you, I don't have access to land to grow fruits and vegetables. My space is confined to a 10 x 10 ft deck that gets about 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. While some might find this limiting, I've risen to the challenge to see how much produce I can actually get off this deck this summer. Because I don't have land, this means I can't grow the vining crops like cucumbers, squash...

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SeaberryFruit Comp northDakota
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Berries and Brambles: Unusual and Uncommon Berries

Posted by Grant McCarty -

Unlike the berries and brambles I've written about in our berry and bramble series, I occasionally receive calls and emails asking about growing alternative berries. These are berries you've probably heard about in the last couple of years due to their increasing popularity based on the fruits having high antioxidants and large concentration of beneficial vitamins. For instance, Aronia is a tar...

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Primacane drawing

Berries and Brambles: Raspberry Management and Pruning

Posted by Grant McCarty -

Now that you've decided on the type of raspberry you are going to grow, you'll need to address the plant's needs through management. Raspberry plants benefit from mulching around the plants. This should be no thicker than 2 inches to avoid rodents. The mulch can help with weed control and keeping water in the soil. Raspberry plants should have frequent, shallow irrigation of 1-1/2 inches every...

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