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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

Soybean Aphids

Posted by John Fulton -

We had a tremendous buildup in the populations of soybean aphids just before the soybeans started maturing. What does this have to do with horticulture? When the population builds to a large level, or the food source runs out, the aphids grow wings to look for another location. In our case, both of these events occurred at about the same time. This might explain some of the clouds of "gnats" pe...

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Selecting and Keeping Pumpkins

Posted by John Fulton -

This week really makes it seem like fall, and one of the favorite fall decorations is the pumpkin. It's been a challenging year with many of the diseases common in a wet season, and having a cool year also. Following are some of the cardinal rules for selecting and keeping pumpkins: Choose a pumpkin with a stem and never carry it by the stem. Pumpkins without a stem will not last...

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Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Posted by John Fulton -

Spring bulbs may be planted through October. When purchasing bulbs, the bigger the bulb the more expense, but the greater the flower bloom size. Daffodil bulbs sometimes have two bulbs together. Double bulbs may be pulled apart before planting. Spring flowering bulbs generally need well drained soil, and do best under deciduous trees. They will be rather short-lived under evergreens. Large bulb...

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Tree Decline

Posted by John Fulton -

When the entire tree looks like it is dying, the injury, disease, or insect logically must be affecting the trunk or the roots. These areas would cut off the water supply to the entire tree. Look at the entire tree and compare it to nearby trees. Also consider when the problem started and what changed on the site about that same time. Healthy trees don't suddenly die because they are old. Many...

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Fall Items

Posted by John Fulton -

With fall seeming to arrive early, there are several things that could occupy your time. Let's start with grass seedings. A week ago would have probably been better for seeding new grass, but what difference does a few days make? Maybe no difference, and maybe a big one. If you are still interested in trying to get some new grass seed put down, don't delay too long. You will need up to four wee...

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Harvesting Black Walnuts

Posted by John Fulton -

Now is a good time to begin harvesting black walnuts, according to Bob Frazee, natural resources educator for University of Illinois Extension. In general, the light colored black walnut kernels will have a milder flavor than the dark ones. If you prefer light colored kernels, Frazee recommends you hull the nuts as soon as they drop from the tree. Allowing the hulls to partially decompose befor...

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Yellowjacket

Yellowjackets

Posted by John Fulton -

With the fall festival season comes the onslaught of yellowjackets, and the calls have been rolling in to the office. Yellowjackets are beneficial insects in the sense that they pollinate plants and feed other insects and carrion (dead meat) to their larvae. Many times they will prey on insects that we identify as pests. Unfortunately, their ability to sting makes them a considerable health con...

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Fall Chores

Posted by John Fulton -

With the wonderful fall weather we've been having, even in August, the urge to get out and do something is overwhelming. There are plenty of things to be done, if the body and soul are willing. Let's start with the lawn. As mentioned before, the ideal seeding time is until September 10. Bare soil rates are about four pounds of seed per 1000 square feet and overseeding existi...

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