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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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

Start the Holiday season off with Nature inspired crafts in Eureka

Universityof Illinois Extension and Heartline and Heart House are teaming up to celebrate the holiday season by offering a free make and take Holiday Nature Ornament Program. Not only are these type of ornaments trending this holiday season but also they can be very affordable, easy to make and a fun family affair. These small ornaments can adorn any tree small or large to fulfill that great...

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Ntive pr sundrops1
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Putting the Pollinator Garden to bed by Karl Hedding

Regardless if you have a pollinator garden or not, that is, for any type of garden, waiting until the spring to cut back plants and cleanup dead plant material provides a hotel for insects to overwinter in and can be a source of seeds for the birds. However, always remove diseased plant material in the fall. Don't compost the diseased material. For example, Bee Balm may have powdery mildew by t...

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Nature  final holes in the tree
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Fall Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids

We read in the news all the time that we are a generation of phones and internet. Any question is answered with a quick tapping of fingertips, amounting to instant gratification. I personally am grateful that I can look up anything anytime because my job requires me to answer a barrage of gardening questions that has been backed up by research. However, my childhood was spent in the pin...

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bmsb needle mouth
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Have you found these fall insect invaders near your home?

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Typically on the top of our home invader list in Illinois are the Asian lady beetles," states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. It seems this season, there may be another to explore.Asian lady beetles originally released to help farmers with the pecan aphid, commonly like to overwinter in our homes. If there is a crack or crevice leading its way to the insi...

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Karlton Allsup

Turning of seasons, in nature and life

The yellow leaves of the sugar maple, the reddish purple leaves of the ash and the multi-colored leaves of the sweet gum have begun to litter the ground, foreshadowing the end of a season and the celebration of the natural cycle. These fallen leaves will insulate the trees and plants while providing hiding places for insects, providing shelter materials for wildlife and building up the soil....

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Chrysanthemums: A flourish of fall colors : Tips and Tricks for the Illinois Gardener

Chrysanthemums: A flourish of fall colors BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –Chrysanthemums come in a myriad of colors and flower forms, just in time to spruce up a tired flower garden or create a festive fall display. The garden centers are overflowing with these must-have bursts of color. Some gardeners have tried and failed to overwinter these mature mums bought from the garden centers....

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Saffron Crocus University of Florida

Should we grow saffron crocus in Illinois?

Just yesterday, I began thinking about the fall bulb-planting season. I already have designs to plant early flowering spring bulbs for the bees like crocus, snow drops, siberian squill, winter aconite, hyacinths and grape hyacinth. However, I keep coming back to fall crocus. Wouldn't it be nice to have a fall blooming bulb in my garden and harvest saffron? Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus...

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