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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Vegetables and Fruits
tomatoes
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It's tomato time at the Eureka Library on May 23rd

Time to Learn how to produce Tip Top Tasty Tomatoes 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 opte...

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All-America Selections names award winners to consider planting this spring by Bruce Black

Leaves have finished displaying their autumn color and have fallen, and gardens have been cleaned up to begin their winter rest. Gardeners can finally enjoy a well-deserved break, but it may not be long before the anticipation of spring creeps in. "There is no quicker way to beat those winter blues than starting your garden planning early," says University of Illinois Extension educator...

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Small Farm Educator, Bill Davison's Gardening Schedule

Garden Schedule Average last spring frost May 10 th . January-February Order seeds and garden supplies. Prepare lights and tools for starting seeds. Clean and maintain garden tools. March Frost seed white dutch clover in yard and garden paths where weeds...

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Final Chestnuts

Chestnuts by Elizabeth Whale

URBANA, Ill. – Many Americans only know chestnuts from the famous line, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," from the 1945 song, "Merry Christmas to You," by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé. Prior to its demise in the first half of the 20th century, the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was one of the largest and most important timber- and nut-producing trees in the eastern United States. I...

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Sweet Potato crop

Sweet Potato Crop Soars

It was the second week in September, and he saw the robust sweet potatoes sticking their spuds out of the soil. He had planned on harvesting the sweet potatoes later just before the first frost. However, like many vegetable growers, Reid Young, changed his harvest plan and freed the sweet potatoes from the soil early. Reid Young is a program coordinator in Local Foods for the University of I...

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swiss chard
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Ken Johnson wants you to plant a vegetable garden this fall

Planting a fall vegetable garden URBANA, Ill. - Planting a vegetable garden doesn't just happen in the spring. "Many of the vegetables that we grow in the spring can be planted in late summer or early fall," says University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Ken Johnson."By the time summer rolls around many of our cool-season plants that were planted in the spring are pa...

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Fire in the Garden by Chuck Voigt

Capsicum: Herb of the Year 2016 Charles E. Voigt Fire University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Department of Crop Sciences W-503 Turner Hall, Urbana IL 61801 (217) 333-1969 - Fax (217) 244-3469 When the author was a young 4-H vegetable gardener, hot peppers were something exotic, not somet...

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Eat broccoli every three days: Latest research from University of Illinois researcher Dr. Jack Juvik

URBANA, Ill. – Love it or hate it, broccoli is touted as a superfood, offering an array of health benefits. And it's about to get even more super. University of Illinois researchers have identified candidate genes controlling the accumulation of phenolic compounds in broccoli. Consumption of phenolic compounds, including certain flavonoids, is associated with a lower risk...

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Celebrate Herbs at Westview Park in Gridley

CELEBRATE HERBS AT WESTVIEW PARK GRIDLEY, Ill. – Interested in getting an herb garden started or expanding your knowledge on how to use the herbs you grow? Join the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners at 6:30 p.m. on June 14 at Westview Park for their free program, "A Dozen Culinary Herbs and How to Grow Them." Westview Park is locate...

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Strawberries Revisited

Spring Sweetness: Strawberries Strawberry Facts 1. It takes 15-60 visits from pollinators for one plump strawberries. Adding pollinators to the garden can increase yield by over 500%. 2. Strawberry plants decline in quality and production after a few years so are typically replanted. 3. Strawberries are picked with part of the s...

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Zack Grant U of I Student Substainable farm Romanesco
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Try these Exotic Vegetables in the Garden This year

Would you like to try growing something new in your vegetable garden this year? "These unusual but elegant vegetables are sure to give you restaurant-quality meals throughout the summertime," claims University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Haricot verts are long, graceful and lean beans that grow between 4 to 6 inches long. One plant of these...

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square foot university of florida

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening Have you ever attempted to grow vegetables with grand visons of fresh produce that would litter your kitchen counter? Instead your broccoli went to the worms, your tomatoes were riddled with disease, or your garden was overrun with weeds. Then square foot gardening is the answer for you! "Even though there is snow on the...

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The Beauty of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts "Brussels sprouts were the high point of numerous meals over my holiday season. I must admit I have never grown this delectable vegetable because it is known to be a slow-growing vegetable, but now have aspirations to make it part of my fall harvest this year," states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kell...

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apples

Eureka College Apple Program

Learn to Grow Apples Organically Join us for an enlightening, educational class describing how to grow apples organically in your own backyard. Richard Hentschel, Horticulture Extension Educator, will share his 30 years of knowledge on apple production in Illinois to provide insight on what it takes to grow your own, organic apples. We will gather in the Cerf Center, North Terri...

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Septoria Leaf Spot of Tomato2241
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Wet summer could be problematic for tomatoes

Gardeners are wondering if they are going to get a crop of red, ripe tomatoes because of rains across the state states University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. If you suspect disease, here are few signs to look for and what you can do about it: Septoria leaf spot is the most common of all the tomato diseases. The disease symptoms begin mid to late summer and start off...

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BlueSchoolhouse Photos 525

Spring Sweetness: Strawberrries

Spring Sweetness: Strawberries University of Illinois Horticulture educator, Kelly Allsup says, "plant strawberry plants this spring for next year's harvest of plump juicy berries." Strawberries can be greatly rewarding and only require a few simple, timed garden tasks. Before planting bare root bundles, amend the soil with organic matter. Organic matter consist...

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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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potato
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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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lavender

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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University of Missouri Extension Tiny Greens

Growing Tiny Greens at Unity Community Center

With the promise of tasty nutrition and a guaranteed quick return on my gardening efforts, I decided to grow microgreens (tiny greens) inside at the Unity Community program using seeds and soil left over from summer programming. Two 4-foot-long watertight growing pockets (pots) were placed in front of the west window and a fluorescent light was added. The pockets were filled with moist...

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University of Missouri Extension Tiny Greens

Growing Tiny Greens

Keeping with the spirit of inside gardening, growing microgreens can be just as tasty as herbs but can be even easier to grow, with added benefits. Microgreens (micro-vegetables or micro-herbs or tiny greens) refers to the stage of growth between baby greens and sprouts. These tiny greens are normally harvested 10-14 days after planting and have fully spread leaves ready to add color, crun...

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Tips on Growing Herbs Inside for the Winter

For most gardeners, growing does not cease during the cold months of winter, but it causes them to move their growing operation indoors. Many choose to grow herbs indoors, keeping the house alive with greenery and ensuring a supply of fresh garden herbs in their home-cooked meals. Here are a few tips for creating an indoor herb project: First, provide enough sunlight and humidity....

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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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Drinks from the Herb Garden

If you added herb plants into the matrix of your vegetable gardens this year, you may, like most zucchini and tomato growers, have more harvest than you can handle. Your basil may have started flowering because it wasn't pinched, parsley leaves may be yellowing because it needs some fertilizer and the mint has spread beyond its bounds and is now feeding all the bees in the neighborhood. E...

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