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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
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Plant Propagation Workshop at Sarah's Garden on July 29

On Saturday, July 29 from 9 A.M. to Noon, the University of Illinois McLean County Master Gardeners will be conducting a Plant Propagation Workshop at the award winning and city treasure, Sarah's Garden at the David Davis Mansion. Many of the plants propagated will be of heirloom origin and a plant that Sarah Davis grew over 100 years ago. Sarah's Garden is an original, restored 144-yea...

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Herb Festival at Unity Community Center on July 27

University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners would like to invite you and your family to a festival of herbs at the Unity Community Center, 632 Orlando Avenue Normal, on Thursday, July 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Bring the kids to participate in garden festivities while tasting delectable dishes made out of the tasty herbs grown in the garden. University of Illinois Extension Hort...

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A message from Extension Pollinator Garden Writer Sally Whaley

Extension Pollinator Gardens By Sally Whaley Hello, all you grateful gardeners! Well, you now have the warmer, dryer weather that you requested to have your garden flourish. In our Extension Pollinator Garden, our plants are starting to make the landscape colorful. This month we will talk about the Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) and Autumn Joy Sedum ( Hylotelephium...

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Confessions of a new homeowner- Landscape Design

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Creating a new landscape or renewing an old can be a daunting task for homeowners. However, if one looks at it as painter's canvas and envisions the design, it can be energizing at the prospect of creating his or her own garden oasis. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator and brand new homeowner, Kelly Allsup, is excited to transform a bland landscape into t...

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Join the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail at Eureka Public Library

Join the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail at Eureka Public Library Eureka, Ill. – Looking for a staycation idea? Please join University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Program Coordinator Reid Young, as he stops at the Eureka Public Library ( 202 S. Main St., Eureka ) to chat all about the McLean County...

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Warm days and thirsty plants: the art of watering

Warm days and thirsty plants: the art of watering   BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – I often tell people that I have a Ph.D. in watering plants, states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. As a young professional, I spent my days deciding if I should water and then checking to see if I made the right decision. Sometimes, I spent my da...

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Suspect herbicide drift? U of I Extension has answers

Suspect herbicide drift? U of I Extension has answers URBANA, Ill. – Every year the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) receives approximately 72 complaints of crop damage due to pesticide drift. When drift occurs, it is important to know the basics of the complaint process as well as the available resources. "Neighborly discussions before pesticides are applied are a good...

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Master Gardeners bloom through training

Master Gardeners bloom through training BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension McLean & Livingston County Master Gardeners is proud to welcome 18 new interns to the program after completing 14 weeks of extensive training by University of Illinois and University of Illinois Extension Educators in all subjects' horticulture. From insects and plant diseas...

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Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale in Eureka

Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale Coming Soon! Eureka, Ill. – It is time again for the Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale at the Eureka Library! The plant sale will be from 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, May 20. "Stock up this spring with garden favorites like perennials, grasses, annuals, some vegetables, herbs, and oddities for the garden" states Univers...

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Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing Conference in Bloomington

Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing Conference BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners and the Community Cancer Center will be presenting the "Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing" conference on Saturday, June 10 at the Community Cancer Center in Normal. This daylong conference will pro...

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Livingston County Master Gardeners ready to answer all your horticulture questions

Livingston County residents, did you know that our Livingston County Master Gardeners helped hundreds of local gardeners with their gardening questions during the 2016 growing season? Let them help you solve your gardening woes by visiting the University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Master Gardeners walk-in Help Desk or Pontiac Farmer's Market booths this season. Master Garde...

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Spring Blooms for the Pollinator Gardener

Hoping to add just a few more spring bloomers to the pollinator garden, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, suggests the following. Pulmonaria saccharata Bethlehem Sage boasts pink flower buds that turn blue, as they get older on top of attractive mottled foliage. Bethlehem sage is sought for its nectar by bumblebees and long tongue be...

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Spring into action with McLean County Master Gardeners

  McLean County residents, did you know McLean County Master Gardeners helped thousands of local gardeners with their gardening questions during the 2016 growing season through services offered throughout the county? Let them help you solve your gardening woes by visiting the University of Illinois Extension Mclean County Master Gardeners walk-in Help Desk, Blo...

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Spring brings the need…for a sustainable lawn care plan that is!

  BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Despite my push to grow Illinois native plants to create biodiversity and sustain wildlife, our lawns do benefit the environment in a few ways. Lawns prevent erosion, improve water quality, along with trees and shrubs it can reduce evapotranspiration making the area cooler, helps improve air quality and creates a space for children and pets to play. A sustainable l...

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Letting out one secret from Gardeners' Gathering

  BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Chris Enroth is this year's keynote speaker for Woodford County Master Gardeners spring celebration entitled "Gardeners' Gathering: Sharing a Growing Secret" on Saturday, April 22. Chris will be sharing landscape secrets that are necessary for a successful gardener. Have you r...

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How is your soil?

You do not need a soil test to tell you organic matter is good for your garden. Perhaps the biggest landscape mistake is not addressing the health of the soil. With all the soil tests that I have read in the last five years of being an educator, tests find around 1 to 2 percent organic matter. Experts would prefer this number be at 10 percent. Adding organic matter in the form of compos...

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Coyotes by Jason Haupt

This week we are going to look at the largest member of the dog family found in Illinois. The Coyote has a poor reputation particularly among farmers. But is this reputation truly deserved? Coyotes are relatively easy to recognize. They are about the size of a small German Shepherd, much larger than most people think, and come in a wide variety of colors and markings. They have a long b...

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Beware of these bad carrots

Wild parsnip was in the news a great deal this past summer, despite it being around for many years, because of its negative effects on naïve gardeners and hikers. The sap of wild parsnip poses a great risk to human health because sap in contact with skin in the presence of sunlight causes bad chemical burns. This condition is known as phytophotodermatitis. Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa...

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Impacts of late winter weather and tips from a Horticulturist

Insights from horticulturist during this Illinois late winter/early spring: Do not remove debris or mulch too soon as part of spring cleanup. It is a common practice to mulch in the winter to prevent frost heaving of perennials. When the plants are heaved the plant crowns are then exposed to cold weather. If the temperatures were to drop too low, this would be an issue with wheth...

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Is thaw/freeze affecting plants?

You walk out of your home ready for the day, the sun hits your face, and it is an unusually warm day for February. You rejoice. Spring is here. The next day there is a light fluffy snow hitting you in the eye. For most Illinoisans, we have become used to getting our hopes up, only to realize winter is not done with us. What does this mean for the plants in our garden? Our trees?...

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“A Day in the Garden Patch” is always a day well spent!

"A Day in the Garden Patch" is always a day well spent! PONTIAC, Ill. – Join University of Illinois Extension – Livingston County Master Gardeners on Saturday, April 8 for a morning filled with colorful plants and new gardening insights at an event we like to call "A Day in the Garden Patch." University of Illinois Extension is proud to present Patrick Murphy, horticulturist, and...

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Building Extension by Kim Kidwell, Dean of the College of ACES

Kim Kidwell, Dean of the College of ACES Extension personnel facilitate the translation of many of the fantastic discoveries made at la...

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Keys to Starting a School Garden

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – School gardens have grown more popular throughout the United States. Studies have shown multiple benefits of youth learning from the school gardens. Children learn about nutrition, science, math, find inspiration in art and literature and overall get a sense of accomplishment and responsibility, says University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. "I do no...

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Learn how to plant natives with Chris Benda

Many years ago a homeowner might have said, "I don't want nature in my back yard, let it live somewhere else, out there in the woods or the prairies." However, today it is a different story states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. "In reality, somewhere else does not exist anymore, because most of the woods and prairies are gone. For the natural world...

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A Blooming Partnership at Community Cancer Center

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – McLean County Master Gardeners have worked diligently with the Community Cancer Center these past two years, developing a 5,000 square foot butterfly garden, a 4,875 square foot terrace garden and a labyrinth with the motivation that gardens can be a place of healing. McLean County Master Gardener, Chris Kraft, says, "Cancer is a disease that we have all been touched by," and t...

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