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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Gardeners By Jenifer Fishburn

- Looking for a gift for the gardener on your list? A short list of items most gardeners will appreciate might come in handy this holiday season, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "There are hundreds of gift ideas for the gardener, and this list will focus on items that are kind to our bodies," said Jennifer Fishburn. "Many gardeners find that they s...

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Designing with Greens by Candice Miller

Evergreens are always a nice addition to the landscape. They provide a pop of green foliage in the winter when everything else in the landscape is without leaves or winter interest, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "But these evergreens are more than just for landscape use," said Candice Miller. "Evergreens can be easily cut and harvested for use indoors or...

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Trends continue to focus on local foods

Strengthening local food systems has become a great source of hope for farmers, food buyers and educators, with the unifying push to foster collaboration. Recently, at the 2014 Local and Regional Food Summit hosted by Illinois Farm Bureau and Heartland Community College, stakeholders and activists were brought together to explore possibilities to work together toward a more sustainable fo...

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scoliid wasp adult on goldenrod

Scoliid wasp by Phil Nixon

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs
Scoliid wasps, family Scoliidae, feed as parasitoids on the larvae of green June beetles. Where there were high numbers of these beetles, this is followed by large numbers of scoliid wasps. These are one inch long black wasps with the posterior portion of the abdomen being orange with a couple of yellow spots. These wasps cruise over turf areas in figure 8 patterns searching for locations to la...

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Propagating Houseplants

  "Propagation may be a foreign word if you are not a horticulturist or gardener, but it can be easy by following a few simple steps." states University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Trained horticulturists grow new plants called clones by taking simple leaf cuttings or tip cuttings. Many gardeners use propagation techniques this time of year...

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Butterflies Enjoy Nature's Camoflauge

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs
Illinois butterfly identification programs have been popular among prairie walkers and flower gardeners. It is these delightful visitors of flowers or tree sap or —in some cases, dung and mud puddles —that capture our interests and cause us to ask, "What kind of butterfly is that?" and "Where did it come from? In my ventures to understand and identify butterflies, I have come to one ver...

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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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