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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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

The Secret of Great Gardening Soil

A recent popular Facebook post shows a gardener starting to prepare her soil, despite being surrounded by mounds of snow. "Once spring is here gardeners start to get excited about planting; almost too excited," states University of Illinois Horticulture Extension educator, Kelly Allsup. Experienced gardeners know that working in wet soil is the worst thing that you can do and you should always...

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Harvesting Kale is so easy the Kids can do it
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Kale is Cooler than Broccoli

Cool Kale Our Local Foods and Small Farms Educator, Bill Davison, says "kale is at least 30-40 percent cooler than broccoli. The reasoning behind this prevailing statement is the ease in which it is grown and how ornamental it can be", explains University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Kale is a cool-weather crop in the sa...

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asparagus spears

Growing Perennial Vegetables to Save Garden Dollars

Growing Perennial Vegetables to save the Garden Dollars The National Gardening Association has said a $70 investment can yield more than $650 worth of produce. "Most of this investment is needed to buy seeds and transplants of annual food crops like beans, tomatoes, peppers and squash that cannot be planted until after the frost-free date of May 10," states University...

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Growing America's Favorite Tuber-The Potato

America's Favorite Tuber Early April through middle of April is the ideal time to plant America's favorite tuber, the potato. "Growing potatoes can be an easy gardening activity while producing delicious dishes that cannot be recreated with a store bought potato," says Kelly Allsup, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Potatoes like loose soils to fo...

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Lovely Lavender

Lavender has long been a much-loved blooming herb in the garden and should be planted more for its aromatic and culinary properties states University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Lavender has been used for perfumes and essential oils in aromatherapy, cooking and disinfectant, and can even deter some insects. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean. Most prefer sunny,...

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Rose Rosette1308 missouri Botanical

Rose Rosette or Witch's Broom by Sonja Lallemand

As spring marches on, rose lovers and rose enthusiasts alike begin the annual ritual of uncovering the rose garden to assess winter damage, clean the beds, and start the tedious task of pruning as the plants come out of dormancy."The keys to effective cultural control when growing great roses with very few diseases are early detection of diseases and the use of resistant cultivars," said Uni...

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Spring Gardening Tips by Ron Wolford

Gray, cold winter days may seem endless, but soon the weather will be warm, tulips and daffodils will bloom, and grass will be green: sure signs of spring. "Grab your trowel and get ready for spring with the following tips," said Ron Wolford, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Don't rush the growing season ­ - Be prepared for late-spring frosts. Co...

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