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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

The Spring Garden

Posted by John Fulton -

While 60-70 degree temperatures get us used to spring/summer, we may be jumping the gun on planting warm season garden items. Many annual flowers, tomato plants, and other warm season plants should not be set out until after May 10. When we look at our average frost free date, we see that it is April 25. About half the time in the last 30 years, the average last spring killing frost has occurre...

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Spring Lawn Seedings

Posted by John Fulton -

Warmer temperatures have us thinking spring. Lawns will be greening up very soon, and areas protected under leaves or other types of loose mulch are already there. Spring seeding lawns is usually our second best choice, because of the warm weather soon to follow. Fall has been the preferred time for many years, but temperature and moisture have a great effect on success. Spr...

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Ladybugs and other nuisance pests

Posted by John Fulton -

Pest Season Comes Again With some warmer days, come some of the many nuisance pests. Over the years, we have battled many nuisance pests such as boxelder bugs, elm leaf beetles, and crickets. None of them compare to the multi-colored Asian lady beetle. These ladybugs are everywhere, and they'll fin...

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Fruit Tree Spray Schedule

Posted by John Fulton -

When it comes to spray programs for apple and pear trees, the two rules are to be consistent and be persistent. Quality fruit these days takes these two things, and time. It seems like quality fruit must be sprayed at the recommended intervals. Starting with dormant oils, these need to be applied before buds swell. Dormant oils are usually needed only every two or three years to provide cont...

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Control of Adult Japanese Beetles

Posted by John Fulton -

Application of imidacloprid (Merit and other brand names) and other systemic insecticides is effective in controlling Japanese beetle adults. Although the imidacloprid occasionally doesn't work in a tree to control this pest, it does over 80 percent of the time. However, a soil application of imidacloprid typically takes 6-8 weeks to move completely up to the leaves of large trees. With Japanes...

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Your input would be appreciated!

Posted by John Fulton -

University of Illinois Extension is gathering input to help us plan programs. If you are over 18 and would like to participate, the link is in the upper right corner of the home page (Tell Us) or try the direct link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=drykQ5whZ9oGTjqOzNFkng_3d_3d The total time o...

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Clematis - from Greg Stack

Posted by John Fulton -

What has often been termed the Queen of the Vines, clematis, can offer rich, striking beauty as does royalty, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture specialist. "At the same time, it can be very temperamental just as some royalty can be," said Greg Stack. "But once you have decided to inc...

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placement of pruning cuts

Pruning

Posted by John Fulton -

We are rapidly approaching the end of the pruning season for most fruit trees and deciduous ornamentals. There are a few rules that are recommended for pruning, and there are several other items that are up to "pruner discretion." One of the beginning items to discuss is the equipment. Most pruning can be done with three pieces of equipment. The most used piece is a pair of bypass pruni...

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