May 10, 2018
Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, covers several smaller, but important topics this week. Managing spring flowering bulbs can be done as the bloom show fades. Dead-heading and leaving the foliage up until the leaves naturally die down is the best way to ensure good bloom for 2019. Vegetable gardens and perennial flower beds may need to be fenced to protect them from rabbit feeding. While chicken wire works, a better alternative is rabbit fencing. Find out why edging your landscape beds now makes that project easier and learn best practices for using spent container soils too.
May 3, 2018
Host Richard Hentschel talks about three of the grassy weeds in the lawn that can cause confusion this time of year. Quackgrass and tall fescue are both perennial cool season grasses while Nimblewill is a warm season perennial grass that is appearing in lawns as a tan or straw-colored stringy grass. Some of these grasses could be confused with crabgrass, which is an annual grassy weed that is yet to germinate. Management is different depending on what is in the lawn. Crabgrass you can prevent, quackgrass and tall fescue require a different control strategy. Nimblewill is a perennial and as a warm season grass, management will have to wait until it is actively growing. Tune in to learn more.
April 26, 2018
Richard Hentschel discusses when we plant the vegetable garden based on the long-standing average frost free date. Soil and air temperatures are additional indicators of when we should be planting those very hardy to warm-loving vegetable transplants and seeds. Soils warm at different rates. Sandy soils warm slower than dark soils. Microclimates in the home landscape also should factor in. We can use season extenders on both ends of the season to increase the days we get to garden.
April 19, 2018
Host Richard Hentschel does a phone interview with Dennis Bowman, a Commercial Agriculture Educator for U of I Extension located on campus. Dennis and Richard discussed the differences and similarities of agriculture and horticulture this time of year. They discuss soil temperatures and planting crops like corn and soybeans, as well as many vegetables.
April 12, 2018
Host Richard Hentschel discusses coping with our ever-changing spring weather in 2018. Average soil temperature this past week have only been in the mid-30s here in northern Illinois, while the past 5-year average has been hitting 50 degrees. Richard talks about the impact on early vegetable gardening and the needed delay in applying crabgrass preventer too. A bright spot is that there is ample soil moisture for all our plants.
April 5, 2018
Richard talks about how the weather is going to change when we can get outside and plant or sow vegetables in the garden. Spring bulbs are going to be ok as they are used to having some bad weather before the better temperatures. While we wait for spring to show up, forcing blooms indoors can give us a taste right now.
March 29, 2018
Richard Hentschel, host of Green Side Up, talks about common questions coming into the Extension office - including early spring care of shade trees, pruning, dormant oils in our home orchards and the timing for crabgrass preventer. We are still in the window for dormant pruning of our maples, elms and oaks, but for different reasons. Spraying dormant oil on our fruit trees needs to happen when we begin to have nights above 32 degrees for at least 24 to 48 hours. Crabgrass control will need to wait until soils warm and remain consistent.
March 22, 2018
U of I Extension's Richard Hentschel discusses many of the early yard clean-up projects that can be done while we wait for the real spring weather. Early lawn clean-up with a leaf rake can take a while if you have a large yard. Uncovering spring bulbs and tender perennials is another activity that can be done, just do it slowly over a couple of weekends to allow plants to adjust. Also, don't forget about repairing any rabbit damaged shrubs while the landscape plants are dormant.
March 15, 2018
Host Richard Hentschel discusses late spring bird feeding for migrating and local birds. Homeowners should make sure there is some water available now that we have no snow, as it is really appreciated by our feathered friends. In addition, keeping the feeder clean and feeder openings clear of seed debris makes it easier for birds to find their seed of choice. Also, you may want to use up seed so you do not have to store any through the summer.
March 8, 2018
Did you know many of us likely use a "pesticide" almost every day, if not every day? The word pesticide, when broken down and back to its origin, means killing a pest. This could be in the garden or home, from fungicides and insecticides to kitchen sanitizers. Host Richard Hentschel breaks down pesticide options and reminds folks to be safe, and always read and folllow label instructions.