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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Pansies by Rhonda Feree

Pansies brighten up spring garden URBANA, Ill. - Pansies are making a comeback in the garden world, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "According to the Garden Media Group, pansy and violet sales were up 6.4 percent in 2011," said Rhonda Ferree. "Since then, pansies have been in high demand for both spring and fall sales."...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:09PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Horticulture News

Dandelions by Rhonda Feree

Take a new look at dandelions URBANA, Ill. - Earth Day falls every year on April 22. Rhonda Ferree, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, recommends using the day to reflect about our world around us. "You might even try to look at a small piece of our world from a completely different viewpoint," she said. "Take dandelions, for example. To many people the da...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:08PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Horticulture News

2014 AAS Winners by Ron Wolford

URBANA, Ill. – All-America Selections is an independent, non-profit organization that tests new varieties then introduces only the best garden performers as AAS Winners., said a University of Illinois. "The AAS Winners offer gardeners reliable new varieties that have proven their superior garden performance in trial grounds across North America," said Ron Wolford, a University of Illino...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:06PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Horticulture News

Dividing Perennials in the Spring by Nancy Pollard

Divide and conquer: Preparing spring plants URBANA, Ill. - Spring is here and we are starting to get the gardening itch, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Warm days tease us and blooming crocus encourages us," said Martha Smith. "But we know Mother Nature is still in charge and she can release her fury at any time. Now is the time to start thinking...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:05PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Horticulture News

Raised Bed Check off List by Candice Miller

URBANA, Ill.- The idea of putting in a raised-bed vegetable garden can be confusing if you're not sure where to start, said a University of Illinois horticulture educator. It can be especially difficult for schools and communities that have never put in gardens before. Spring is a great time to start planning for this year's garden, said Candice Miller. "A checklist can be helpf...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:03PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Horticulture News

Will pool water hurt Bees?

Nobody in our lab is aware of any study that has looked at the possible toxicity of swimming pool water to bees. However, bees certainly seem to like drinking from pools. It could just be that a pool is an easy water source to find, but we also know that bees generally like a tiny amount of salt in their water. Perhaps swimming pools have the right amount of salt to please the bees thanks to so...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 1:00PM on 4/14/2014
Categories: Bugs

What Gardeners Can do about the Monarch Population?

The recent news of the declining monarch colonies in Mexico has many Illinois gardeners and schoolchildren worrying about the impact here in Illinois. The butterflies, which spend the winter hibernating in the forests of Mexico, occupied only 1.65 acres in December 2013 –a 44 percent drop from 2012, according to a survey done by Mexico's Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Omar V...

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Posted by Kelly Allsup at 11:45AM on 3/24/2014
Categories: Bugs