University of Illinois Extension
April 10, 2014

Richard Hentschel discusses what to do with soil test results once we have a soil test taken with Russ Higgins, Ag Educator from the Northern Illinois Research Farm. Russ noted that the results give us a basis for recommendations. pH is often the more critical test level because it influences all other nutrient availability. While farmers do not routinely test for organic matter it is a good test for the homeowner. Russ suggests getting a soil test done every four years.

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April 3, 2014

Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, talks with Russ Higgins, Agriculture Educator about a cover crop study going on the Northern Illinois Research Farm. Russ notes that while gardeners and farmers alike are growing annual crops. Part of any year, that soil is not growing anything and there is the opportunity to try cover crops. Russ suggested gardeners could try oats. Richard also suggested fall for cover crops, as we seem to conclude gardening as school begins.

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March 27, 2014

Richard Hentschel discusses how early farmers and gardeners are going to get to plant corn, beans and our vegetables with Russ Higgins, Ag Educator from the Northern Illinois Research Farm. Typically planting is the mid to the third week of April. Richard reminded listeners that those seed packets give us all the information needed to get our plants and seed in the ground, how deep and how far apart for example. Russ reminded us about being patient and making sure plants get off to a good start.

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March 20, 2014

Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, talks with Russ Higgins, Agriculture Educator, about what insects are up to this time of year out there in the Farms of Northern Illinois. Russ discussed how deep the frost was and did it impact overwintering insects. In corn the concern will be the western corn rootworm beetle that overwinters as an egg and will survive quite well. Others will show up with winds during storms. Richard mentioned Japanese larvae that overwinter about 12 inches or so in the soil profile could be impacted by the cold soils and the Japanese Beetle larvae overwintering under the bark will not be impacted much at all.

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March 13, 2014

Extension Educator and Host of Green Side Up talks about differences in cold hardiness between foliage and flower buds on our ornamentals and fruit trees. Peach flower buds are impacted as soon as the temperatures fall below -10 degrees and for every degree below that, we lose another 10% of flower buds. The other area of possible concern this winter is with the many inches of snow on the ground, what kind of rabbit damage we can expect.

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March 6, 2014

Richard Hentschel discusses what is going on with our plants this winter. Winter weather above the snow is quite different from soil below the snow. Plants under the snow are in very good shape. We should let our snow covered evergreens be; let the snow melt this spring normally, and do not try to remove the snow. We can expect some plants to not bloom well on branches above the snow line because of the extreme cold tempertures over many days.

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February 27, 2014

Richard Hentschel discusses what do if Pantry Pests have visited us in the Kitchen cabinets and pantry. Indian Meal Moth and a couple of flower beetles are the most common. Life cycles are similar with a few differences. They all feed on products that contain flour. This can be the left over products from holiday cookie baking or cereal or pasta products, plus a whole lot more. Sanitation is the key for control.

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February 20, 2014

Host Richard Hentschel talks about Overwintering Insects and all the snow and cold weather we have had. Insects are prepared to survive the below zero temperatures we have had this winter. Insects produce their own version of anti-freeze that allows them to survive quite well. They also lower the rate of consuming resources similar to what bears do.

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February 13, 2014

Host Richard Hentschel concludes his 5 part series on home orchards. Annual pruning to balance vegetative growth with reproductive growth along with fruit thinning is the best way to ensure a good yield every year. Foliage pruning keeps the canopy open allowing light into the interior and that allows fruit spurs to form throughout the canopy. Thinning fruits will improve the quality of the fruits left to mature.

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February 6, 2014

Richard Hentschel, Host of Green Side Up talks about why it is so important to prune your fruit trees. It is a balance between managing annual growth and fruit production. Once your tree begins to fruit, then energy is diverted into the apple, lessoning the annual foliage growth. Spur type trees will mean less pruning than a regular tree. Be sure you know if you are buying a dwarf or semi dwarf or even a double dwarf since that influences future pruning a tree size.

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