University of Illinois Extension
May 26, 2016

Mowing and lawn care can be a real challenge with our cooler, wetter weather. Lawns are growing very strong right now. Mowing more frequently is easy to say than do when we are having lots of rain. Mowing and removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is the goal. Mowing more often also lets us leave the clippings on the lawn. Moving the mower deck a notch or two can help us maintain the 1/3 rule if the lawn gets away from us. Sharp blades is just another easy why to keep the lawn look a lot better

 
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May 19, 2016

How your trees are bought at the retail nurseries and Garden Centers can make a difference on how they are planted and cared for. Smaller trees can often be found as a potted plant where the plants entire root system is in that pot. Larger trees are often hand dug or machine dug and called balled and burlaped. The last two have a portion of their root system is left behind when dug. The planting hole can be as important as the condition of the tree itself. Planting holes should be not deeper the soil in a pot or the fair roots of a balled and burlaped tree.

 
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May 12, 2016

May is a great month to be planting trees. Replacing trees lost from the Emerald Ash borer or from the drought of 2012. Placement in the home landscape is a good place to begin, soil types, soil drainage and the sun shade pattern provided by the tree itself as well as the sun shade pattern from the sun and buildings should be taken into account. Tree canopy shape is another consideration for both summer and winter interest.

 
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May 5, 2016

Lawn mowing is a real struggle this time of year. Changing the height of the cut is one way to help catch up. Longer grass is often wetter as well, making it difficult for the mower to function and cut the grass up fine enough not to leave any clumps. Timing on fruit tree sprays are critical for good fruit quality and to protect leaves from disease and insect feeding. Weeds in the landscape beds are out there quickly growing. Winter annuals like chickweed is a prolific seed producing weed that can be found growing quite happily right now. Some are shallow rooted and come out easily, others will have a tap root. Weed control also includes mulching. Continue to plant vegetable transplants that can be planted, they may need to be protected if we get frosty weather.

 
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April 14, 2016

Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, discusses those very early and early vegetables that can be planted in early April thru late April. To get the most from our gardens, we need to start early and continue to garden late into the fall season. Lots of vegetables can be harvest once school starts through our hard frost and freezes. Richard provides lots of examples of those early vegetables and encourages successive planting to take advantage of any open garden space throughout the season.

 
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April 7, 2016

Host Richard Hentschel talks about early gardening and what that means for our 4 groups of temperature sensitive vegetables. Our typical average frost free date for our area is about May 5th. Gardeners then base those plantings for the very hardy and Frost tolerant vegetable plants. Those vegetables considered tender and warm loving are planted after the average frost free dates. Tender vegetables will need to be protected from frosts and light freezes. Warm loving vegetable cannot tolerate any kind of cold weather.

 
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March 31, 2016

Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up discusses early spring lawn care. Hand raking to remove left over winter debris and dead grass. It is good time to see what kind of perennial weeds are in the lawn and decide what kind of treatment might be needed. A light lawn rolling might be in order if you find the lawn uneven to press the crowns back down into the soil. Getting the lawn mower ready is also a good thing to do. Sharpen the blade if that did not happen last fall as you put the mower away. Consider a new spark plug and fill the mower with fresh gas. Mow the lawn a few times before applying any lawn fertilizers.

 
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March 24, 2016

Host Richard Hentschel talks about dormant pruning . Dormant pruning can be down anytime now before spring growth begins. This is good for most trees and shrubs, hard maples being an exception. It is much easier to plant structure for proper pruning. You can always remove dead wood at any time of the year, spring being one of them. Hentschel talked about the three common methods of pruning, rejuvenation, renewal and heading back cuts. Rejuvenation is great for the smaller fine textured plants. Renewal pruning gives us a new plant over a 3-4 year period and gets rid of established insects and diseases.

 
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March 17, 2016

Gardening season will be with us soon enough. Getting those vegetable seeds sown for growing your own transplants. Other considerations as you plan the garden include when to harden of your transplants for the garden and when you can begin to plant outdoors, whether from seed or your transplants. Seed packets will tell you all you need to know.

 
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March 10, 2016

Host Richard Hentschel talks about the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study with Laura Barr, Nutrition and Wellness Educator. Studies are showing that if children become involved a variety of aspects of growing vegetables, the interest in eating fruits and vegetables increases and becomes part of their good eating practices. Extension, through a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, will be involved with better eating habits and choices in the school lunch programs.

 
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