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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Blue Dasher adult male dragonflies are territorial, often perching on pond-edge vegetation where they use their huge green eyes to watch for female mates and to chase off male competitors. Immature Blue Dashers have reddish-brown eyes and keep carefulwatch for adults and and other predators whomay decide to make ameal of them before they have a chance to develop their adult green eyes....

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bradford Callery pear

Invasive Callery pears by Rhonda Feree and Sandy Mason

Although ornamental flowering pears are beautiful in the spring, they have several severe problems. Below is a portion of an article written by Sandy Mason, Extension Educator in horticulture based in Champaign, IL. Since this article was published in 2005, ornamental pear problems have escalated out of control with even many more municipalities banning their use. Bradford's have a...

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white pine sawfly larvae phil nixon

Conifer Sawflies by Phil Nixon

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

The most common sawfly that attacks needled evergreens in Illinois is the European pine sawfly, which is present as damaging larvae in the spring. Because this sawfly finishes larval feeding at candle emergence, only second- and third-year needles are consumed. The result is that the emerging needles keep attacked branches alive, even though lower areas of the branch may be stripped of nee...

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european hornet J  Lawrence
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Cicada Killers and European hornets by Phil Nixon and Kelly Allsup

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

We have been receiving reports of large wasps in recent weeks that some people have "identified" by using the Internet as Asian giant hornet. This is confounded by several news stories, including some in Illinois, on supposed sightings of the Asian giant hornet. From what I can tell, there have been no confirmed sightings of Asian giant hornet in the US. There are no US photographs or coll...

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black knot infection by Jim Shuester

Black Knot on Cherry by Travis Cleveland-Diagnosed in McLean County

Black knot is a common fungal disease that affects at least 25 Prunus species, both edible and ornamental. The disease is caused by the pathogen, Dibotryon morbosum , which infects the new twigs, branches, and fruit spurs during the spring. Trunks also can become diseased. Most infections occur between bud break and 2 weeks after bloom when wet conditions are accompanied by...

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Click Beetles

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Top 5 Facts: The Eyed Click Beetle: Good Bug Alaus oculatus Picture taken by Tony Dorley of Normal 1. Picture Taken In suburban Washington DC in May (Range Eastern United States to Texas) 2. White Spots are “false eyes” and considered adaptions to scare off predators 3. When placed on back or attacked...

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Tomato Crack Missouri Botanical Garden

Tomato Cracks

Excessive Moisture can cause Tomato cracking in Blooomington Normal Picture by Missouri Botanical Garden...

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Septoria Leaf Spot of Tomato Missouri Botanical
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Tomato Fungal Diseases Revisted

Fungal Diseases of Tomatoes Pictures Missouri Botanical Garden Septoria Leaf Blight (Leaf Spot) Septoria leaf spot is the most common of all the tomato diseases. The disease symptoms begin mid to late summer and start off as dark leaf spot the same as a pencil tip. The sp...

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aphid lion

Finding the Good Guys

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

If you invite me to your garden for a tour, I probably won't be looking at your flowers, but rather start turning over leaves or inspecting holes, looking for the insects that may reside there. Several clues will prompt me to inspect a plant, like frass (insect poop), holes in the leaves, yellowing, speckling and poor growing tips. The investigation doesn't stop until several leaves and flowers...

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cicada killer with annual cicada

Cicadas and the Wasps that kill them

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Cicada eggs laid 17 years ago are now emerging in northwestern Illinois. University of Illinois Extension entomologist Phil Nixon said this is the Iowa brood that covers portions of western Illinois, northern edge of Missouri and most of the southern two-thirds of Iowa. The Illinois area covered is Henderson, Warren, Knox, Fulton and Schuyler counties, plus northern DeWitt and northwestern...

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Tips for Growing Tomaotes

Fresh sun-ripened tomatoes are an essential ingredient in many garden-inspired recipes: pico de gallo, caprese salad and salsa. In these dishes, a store-purchased tomato simply will not do. These tomatoes have been chilled, thawed, stored, handled and potentially sprayed with chemicals. For this reason, most of you have not only opted to grow tomatoes but make them the star of the garden....

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japanese beetle

Japanese Beetles by Martha Smith

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Yes – this news is a gardener's dream come true – for at least the 2014 growing season! All the winter data is in and the experts now say Japanese beetle numbers in northern Illinois will be much lower this year. Many Japanese beetle larvae did not survive the winter – particularly in the northern half of the state. "Earlier predictions stated that number should be at normal levels due...

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oak leaves oak leaf blister

Oak Leaf Blister By Travis Cleveland

Oak leaf blister has started to appear on oak trees on the Illinois. This disease is caused by the fungal pathogen, Taphrina caerulescens . Members or the red oak group are more commonly affected by the disease. Symptoms are distinctive, and appear as scattered blister-like, puckered, or raised areas on the leaves. Affected areas appear concave or sunken in on the opposite side of...

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