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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Mulching - from Dave Robson

Posted by John Fulton -

Mulching is a sure-fire way to eliminate many summer gardening chores, states David Robson, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Springfield Center. The primary benefit of mulching is to reduce soil water loss or evaporation. This means more water is available to the plants, which means...

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Master Gardener Plant Sale

Posted by John Fulton -

The annual Master Gardener Plant Sale will be this coming Saturday, May 2. The sale will be in the Special Events Building at the Logan County Fairgrounds between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon or sellout. They will have perennials, annuals, houseplants, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and ornamental grasses....

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Broadleaf Weed Control

Posted by John Fulton -

Everyone seems to have been waiting for warmer temperatures, and the appointed date, to begin broadleaf weed control programs. Well that time will come, believe it or not. We have also been waiting for a period of drier conditions with lighter winds. For most of the broadleaf products to work, the temperature has to be over 55 degrees. These chemicals do work better when it is warmer and the we...

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extension week 2009

Extension Week

Posted by John Fulton -

The West Central Region has designated April 19-25 as Extension Week. Logan County has had Extension since February of 1918. It began with a Farm Advisor named Elmer Ebersol who began selling the county memberships in the combined Extension and Farm Bureau system that remained in place until the 1950's. Early projects included establishment of the county Pure Bred Live Stock Breeders' A...

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Early Spring Pests

Posted by John Fulton -

Early in the spring, there are many pest that become active. Many of these are timed by the saucer magnolia blooms, according to Orton's "Coincide" book. The past week or so, when the magnolia blooms were in the pink-bud stage, spruce spider mites became active. These mites are one of the major downfalls of spruce in our area. To determine if you have spruce spi...

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Reminders

Posted by John Fulton -

Mow the grass as it is needed. Try to remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade to do away with catching or raking grass. Broadleaf control is just around the corner for many weeds. Look at early May for control. Grub control is largely unsuccessful in the spring because of large grub size and a short life cycle. Look to August and September for grub control....

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Pruning Flowering Trees and Shrubs - from Dave Robson

Posted by John Fulton -

Now that most of our spring flowering shrubs and trees are finished blooming, it is time to prune them so they will flower on schedule next spring. These plants bloom best and can be kept in bounds with annual pruning. Since early flowering plants bloom from buds set the previous summer, prune now so plants have plenty of time to set buds for next spring. Begin by removing all dead or b...

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Dividing Perennials

Posted by John Fulton -

A common maintenance chore in a perennial garden is that of dividing. There is no set rule as to when to divide perennials. Some may need division every 3-5 years, some 8-10 years and some would rather you not bother them at all. Perennials will send signals to let you know that they would like to be divided. The signals to watch out for include: flowering is reduced with th...

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Mowing Time

Posted by John Fulton -

The spring mowing season has begun for some, and will shortly for the rest of the people. We are running a couple of weeks behind normal as for the starting time, but soil temperatures retreated about 10 degrees in the last 10 days. There is certainly enough moisture, so add a little bit of heat and we'll be hard pressed to keep up this spring. There are a few very simple rules for mowi...

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Master Gardener Plant Sale

Posted by John Fulton -

Many people have been asking about the Master Gardener Plant Sale for this year. It is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon (or sellout) in the Logan County Fair Special Events Building on the south end of the fairgrounds. The Master Gardener Group is looking like it has a crystal ball, since the sale is a week later than normal! They will have annuals, perennials, hou...

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Nuisance Pests

Posted by John Fulton -

With alternating warm and cool (or cold) weather, we see many nuisance pests when we get the warm days. We've been through the second round at least, and I'll guarantee at least one more round this spring. Add to that the fact we are active on the warm days, and we are doing things like destroying their resting places by cleaning off flower beds and raking up piles of leaves....

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Frost and Freeze Damage - from Martha Smith

Posted by John Fulton -

Spring is barely two weeks old, and we are about to experience how fickle Mother Nature can be. If the forecasters are correct, very cold air will move through Illinois. "Just last weekend I was commenting on how many buds my tree peony had, anticipating the large, beautiful fragrant blooms that will cover...

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Moss in Lawns - from David Robson

Posted by John Fulton -

If your lawn is overly shaded and has poor drainage, moss may be a problem. Moss is a fast-growing, shallow-rooted plant that covers the ground, smothers grass and exhausts food reserves from the soil. When moss appears in a lawn, it is usually because growing conditions for grasses are adverse, such as...

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Effects of Snow

Posted by John Fulton -

We are now on the books with the first snow of spring. Two to four inches of the white stuff, but at least it didn't last long. We really won't have any ill effects to plants from the snow, quite the contrary, as it provided an insulating blanket for everything. Grass and early garden plants look better after the snow than two days ago. Of course we can do without any more for this...

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Winter Annual Weeds

Posted by John Fulton -

Each year, the winter annual weeds chickweed and henbit run number one and two in the early spring. This year is seems like henbit is running slightly ahead. Winter annual weeds can actually germinate in the fall, carry t hrough the winter, then get going very early in the spring. They also are done by the heat of t...

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Nuisance Fruit Prevention

Posted by John Fulton -

One of the main things to discuss today is the removal of nuisance fruit. You may be thinking about those apples or peaches, but really the nuisance fruit category includes things that are much more a nuisance like sweet gum balls, maple seeds, and crabapples. There are several products available to eliminate nuisance fruit. The most common is ethephon, and it is used as...

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