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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Mushrooms and Toadstools

Posted by John Fulton -

A common complaint this year has been the large amount of mus hrooms and toadstools coming up in lawns. To begin with, these are in the decay fungi group. They are decaying old tree roots or lumber under the surface. This means there is no ready control for them, other than removing the material to be decayed....

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Syrphid Fly

Syrphid Flies

Posted by John Fulton -

Many people are commenting about the yellow and black "sweat bees" flying around everywhere the last week. The yellow and black insects that are commonly called sweat bees are actually syrphid flies. Syrphid fly is a generic name given to an entire group of flies. There are some differences in appearance and color, but the yellow and black color is the major one in our area. The other n...

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Minute Pirate Bug

Biting Insects

Posted by John Fulton -

During the late summer small insects, known as insidious flower bugs and minute pirate bugs, become real pests by producing painful bites on people. They are about 1/5 of an inch long with black and white markings on the back. They are beneficial insects most of the time while feeding on small insects and their eggs. They are present all summer in area fields, flower beds, and other lan...

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Fall Items

Posted by John Fulton -

To begin with, you may have noticed a very large number of brown needles on evergreens this fall. That may even have translated to large piles of needles under your evergreens in the past few weeks, especially white pines. Not to worry. Evergreens usually only keep one to four years of needles (one to two years growth for white pines) on the ends of branches. Depending on weather,...

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The Fall To-Do List

Posted by John Fulton -

It seems like fall has snuck up on us. Of course the weather has been anything but predictable this year. It is very easy to notice the evenings are much shorter, and we have less time to do the things we need to do in the fall. Following is a list of things to get into your schedule over the next few weeks, and in some cases not to do. Do a good job of raking up old fruit...

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Master Gardener Training

Posted by John Fulton -

Many of you are interested in becoming Master Gardeners in Logan County. It's a great group of people, offers many volunteer opportunities, promotes community service, and nurtures your love of horticulture. We were scheduled to have training this fall in Logan County, since we have the opportunity to o...

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Fall Defoliators

Posted by John Fulton -

Much damage has already been done to trees by diseases and insects. Fall traditionally brings more insects intent on devouring the leaves remaining. Let's begin by listing some of the culprits. Fall webworms, Eastern tent caterpillars, Tussock moth larvae, Walnut caterpillars, Cecropia moth larvae, and a host of others are all considered fall defoliators. What is defoliation? It is simply remov...

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Larva and tunneling of the emerald ash borer
click image to view 3 more

Emerald Ash Borer

Posted by John Fulton -

There have been many findings of the emerald ash borer in central Illinois over the past month, including Bloomington, Chenoa, LaSalle County, and Bureau County. What does this mean for us? It means the borers have been active and undetected in areas for a long period of time. That is part of the proble...

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