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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Horticulture News
Harvesting Kale is so easy the Kids can do it

Master Gardener Training Coming to Livingston County

The University of Illinois Extension and the Livingston County Master Gardeners invite those eager to learn about growing vegetables, landscaping, trees, insects, or community and school gardening to join their volunteer program this fall, for a mind blowing garden learning experience. The Master Gardener training program meets every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., starting August...

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2018 Gardeners  Gathering FB Post  1

Sharing a growing secret at Gardeners' Gathering this April

  Join the Woodford County Master Gardeners on Saturday, April 21 for a morning filled with lots of fun as we unlock secret gardening tips in a celebration entitled "Gardeners' Gathering: Sharing a Growing Secret," in Germantown Hills. Universityof Illinois Extension is proud to present Patrick Murphy, horticulturist, and curator of Fell Arboretum on the campus of Illinois State...

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2018 Gardeners  Gathering

Sharing a growing secret at Gardeners' Gathering this April

Join the Woodford County Master Gardeners on Saturday, April 21 for a morning filled with lots of fun as we unlock secret gardening tips in a celebration entitled "Gardeners' Gathering: Sharing a Growing Secret," in Germantown Hills. Universityof Illinois Extension is proud to present Patrick Murphy, horticulturist, and curator of Fell Arboretum on the campus of Illinois State Uni...

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A Day in the Garden Patch
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A Day in the Garden Patch

Gardening is celebrated at this year's A Day in the Garden Patch celebration with a focus on native Illinois plants and edible ornamentals. Join Livingston County Master Gardeners on Saturday, April 7 for a morning filled with colorful plants and new gardening ideas just in time for spring.The University of Illinois Extension is proud to present Wild One's President and esteemed Master Natur...

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Four Seasons Winter 2018

FOUR SEASONS GARDENING PROGRAM OFFERS 2018 WINTER SERIES

The Winter series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program, which focuses on environmental stewardship, home gardening, and backyard food production, gets underway this month. The first session of the series is titled, The Green Pathway to Invasion: Ornamental Invasive Plants. The program is offered twice – on February 27 at 1:30 p.m. and again on March 1 at 6:30 p.m...

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Suan Martin
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2018 Home, Lawn & Garden Day welcomes Gold Standard Perennials

2018 Home, Lawn & Garden Day welcomes Gold Standard Perennials BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – McLean County Master Gardeners welcome Susan Martin, as their keynote speaker for their 2018 Home, Lawn, and Garden Day. Susan receives accolades as a freelance writer, with features in Garden Gate Magazine, Michigan Gardening, Wisconsin Gardening, Minnesota Gardener and Iowa Gardener magazines...

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The winter view of Trees by Rhonda Feree

Each season brings a different look to the garden, and some plants are uniquely beautiful in winter. Rhonda Ferree, horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension says that winter is a great time to see a plant's texture and form—each unique and mystical. "Look for the differences between these trees this winter: oak, maple, and redbud," says Ferree. Oaks are the kings of th...

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Winter tree protection by Candice Hart

URBANA, Ill. – Winter can be a tough time for trees—especially evergreen trees and shrubs, says University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Candice Hart. When the ground freezes, evergreens are left to survive on the moisture they have stored up in their leaves, as well as any moisture they are able to take up from the ground when it's not frozen.Since these leaves are still livin...

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Tillandsia Kelly Allsup
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Tags for Holiday Plants

Are you like me and wish for a holiday plant as a gift this year? Gifting holiday plants are nostalgic, unique and very affordable. Some of the most popular are poinsettia, Christmas cactus, cyclamen and mistletoe. However, air plants and succulents can make excellent and trendy holiday gift plants, too. If you are kind enough to give your favorite plant lover one of these holiday treats, print...

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A winter experiment for youth: Forcing paperwhites by Brittnay Haag

A winter experiment for youth: Forcing paperwhites URBANA, Ill. – Even though it is cold outside and snow may be covering our gardens, we can still exercise our little ones' green thumbs. Bring the garden inside this winter with fun activities and experiments! Winter is the perfect time for kids to learn basic plant concepts and develop an interest in the garden."A great family-friendly acti...

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The Legend Mistletoe with Chris Enroth

URBANA, Ill. – Decorating with mistletoe has been a holiday tradition for many centuries in North America and Europe. It begs the question: Why do we have this strange tradition that prompts friends, family, and even enemies to kiss when they meet underneath mistletoe? "Perhaps you have been one of the lucky—or unlucky—few that have found yourself under the mistletoe for a kiss," says U...

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Climate change may confuse plant dormancy cycles

Perennial plants in the Midwest are well attuned to their surroundings. They hunker down all winter in a dormant state, just waiting for a sign that it's safe to unfurl their first tender leaves or flower buds. For many plants, the cue is a sustained warming trend, but day length also factors into the dormancy equation. Day length is governed by our trip around the sun each year – that...

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allium walterns garden
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Perennial Plant of the Year is Allium 'Millenium'

Allium 'Millenium' has been awarded the 2018 perennial plant of the year. I actually just heard about this plant at a pollinator conference in October from Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, calling it a must have plant for the pollinator garden. The zoo has placed it on their Zoo's Best Perennials for Pollinators list where they promote plants thr...

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Rabbits and Richard

Colder weather, frozen soil, fallen and windblown leaves, and later any accumulated snow, all will force rabbits to take shelter and begin to look for food anywhere they can. Once the ground is frozen, rabbits will have fewer places to take shelter or hide. Foraging for food will mean staying a lot closer to the protection of their winter home. While the weather remains favorable, rabbi...

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bird cover crops

Cover crops provide bed and breakfast layover for migrating birds by Cassandra Wilcoxen

After harvesting a corn or soybean crop, farmers may plant a cover crop for a variety of reasons—to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff, increase organic matter in the soil, and improve water quality. Now there's another reason. University of Illinois research shows that migratory birds prefer to rest and refuel in fields with cover crops. "Here in the Midwest, we're in one of the m...

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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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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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mum

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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tudy
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McLean master gardeners are awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate McLean County Master Gardeners, Tracy Burr, Carolyn Erwin, Tudy Schmied, Pat Warren, Bob Williams, and Rose Yahnig for being recognized with the 2017 Outstanding State Master Gardener award. The Outstanding State Award was established to honor the best of Illinois Master Gardeners. Only the top 2% of Illinois State Master Gardeners...

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Sandy Knight and Dee
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Livingston Master Gardeners Awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate Livingston County Master Gardeners, Sandy Knight for being recognized as a 2017 Outstanding Illinois Master Gardener, and Dee Woodburn for being recognized as s 2017 Sustained Excellence Award Winner. In her six years as a Master Gardener, Sandy's volunteer services and contributions to the Master Gardener program have more...

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Jack
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Woodford Master Gardeners awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate Woodford County Master Gardeners, Nancy Carls for being recognized as a 2017 Outstanding Illinois Master Gardener, and Jack Pfaffmann for being recognized as s 2017 Sustained Excellence Award Winner. In her four years as a Master Gardener, Nancy's volunteer services and contributions to the Master Gardener program have more...

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Facebook Banner-06 Butterfly Four Seasons

Identifying Butterflies with Kelly

Four Seasons Gardening Program Offers Fall Series The fall series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program is about ready to get underway on a computer near you. Four Seasons Webinars focus on environmental stewardship, home gardening, backyard food production and more. The first session of the series is What's That Butterfly in my Gard...

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