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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Homestead seeds
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Saving Pumpkin Seeds?

In radio interview with WJBC's Susan Sanders, I was asked "How do you save seed from pumpkins?" "You know the ones that you have gutted for the purpose of making jack-o-lanterns!" Then I thought about all the pumpkins that take their place on the tops of hay bales and placed in pots of flowering annuals and what does become of the valuable seeds inside. My knowledge of pumpkins was limi...

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Hedge Apple Pest Control by Iowa State University

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs
"Hedge apple" trees (also called Osage orange, Maclura pomifera ) are not related to apples or oranges and their fruit is inedible. The large, grapefruit-sized, brain-like green fruit are better-known that the trees and show up in the fall of the year in stores and farmers markets where they are sold for their purported ability to repel insects. The hedge apple tree has a lon...

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eab emergence holes
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Emerald Ash Borer attacking White Fringe Tree -OH NO! Phil Nixon

Emerald ash borer has been found in white fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus , in the Dayton and Springfield areas of western Ohio. Part of a dead adult found in one of the trees has been positively identified by USDA personnel along with larvae from the same tree whose anatomical characters are consistent with emerald ash borer. Live larvae were found in single trees in each of four si...

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University of Illinois

Picking Trees that Provide Rich Fall Color

Scientists believe brilliant fall colors may be a sign of healthy trees in the expanse of the North American forests. The presence of brilliant reds of the black tupelo, orange and purples of sassafrass and the luminescent yellows of birch may actually contribute to deterring leaf-eating pests and aid in storing energy and the function of dropping leaves. Fall colors seem to have...

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Holton Homes 2

Revolution in Food Boost Garden Projects

Gardening trends have an underlying theme of bettering the community, improving health and developing an appreciation for the environment and can be seen in statistics for the country as well as our backyards in Central Illinois. According to the National Gardening Association, about 35 million households in the United States are growing food in their gardens, up 17 percent in th...

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dead and dying tree

Dead and Dying Trees from Rhonda Feree

The droughts of 2011 and 2012 continue to take a toll on tree health. Rhonda Ferree, Extension Educator in horticulture, says that trees can take three to five years to show symptoms from a severe event such as drought. Unfortunately trees under stress are less able to fight off insect and disease problems. Plant diagnosticians at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic describe the...

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Saving Milkweed for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs
University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup encourages gardeners to collect seeds from milkweeds to add this much needed plant to the landscape for Illinois monarchs. Kelly warns that you may see butterfly enthusiasts along roadsides collecting seeds from coveted weeds and prairie plants known as the milkweeds this fall. The milkweed species in Illinois is required for mo...

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