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The Garden Scoop

Featuring weekly articles by Ryan Pankau, University of Illinois Horticulture Educator.
tomato

Protecting Tomato Plants

Nothing beats a homegrown tomato! Even when in season, the store bought varieties just cannot compare to a fully ripe tomato harvested at its peak from your own garden. So many gardeners across American choose tomato plants for their garden each year for this reason, making it the most planted garden crop in the US. I receive a lot of questions about tomato care each growing season, wit...

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Boxwood Blight

Posted by Ryan Pankau -

Boxwood shrubs are perhaps one of the most planted evergreen shrubs in landscapes around the Midwest. Although they are typically fairly hardy in our area, many suffer from winter injury. In addition, there are a number of other ailments for this shrub that gardeners should be aware of including a new and very serious threat called boxwood blight. From the standpoint of functionality in...

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Many native Illinois plants  such as wild columbine  Aquilegia canadensis  and Virginia bluebells  Mertensia virginica   do well in cultivation  adding beauty and diversity to our home gardens

Native Plants and Biodiversity

A startling report on global biodiversity was release by the United Nations last week noting an alarming trend in worldwide species extinction. We, humans were pegged as the primary cause of an increase in extinction rates to the highest levels in human history. Specifically, around 25% of the species assessed are threatened, suggesting that one million of the eight million known species of pla...

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Winter Injury to Fruit Trees

Posted by Ryan Pankau -

Winer injury is a common problem among fruit trees grown in our area and this year's up and down spring temperatures resulted in damage to flower buds across central Illinois. Cold weather in some years can bring damage to many ornamental tree species as well, impacting much anticipated spring blooms. In fact, injury from cold weather is likely the most important limiting factor in plant specie...

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Photo credit  Amanda Pankau
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Spring Beauties: A True Sign of Spring

Last week the spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) in Lodge Park, near Monticello, were absolutely stunning. These tiny, ornate wildflowers adorn the forested trails at Lodge and other woodlands throughout central Illinois providing us with a sure sign that spring has arrived each year. Spring beauties are perennial wildflowers that emerge early in the year and produce tiny (1/3") flow...

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Eliana Brown Photo Credit  Native prairie plants provide both beauty and functionality to rain gardens
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A Closer Look at Rain Gardens

Posted by Ryan Pankau -

Rain gardens are one way for homeowners to use garden design as means to mitigate storm runoff by capturing and detaining water before it leaves our properties. Although these carefully designed gardens function as tiny rainwater detection areas, you wouldn't know it unless they were inundated with storm water. When it's not raining, they are attractive gardens filled with pollinator habitat an...

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MG Pat Sollars makes wreath
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Create a Holiday Wreath- Sign up for VCMG Dec 4, 2018 'Make and Take' Class

Posted by Jenney Hanrahan -

'Creating a Holiday Wreath' featuring Master Gardener Mary Stonecipher DANVILLE – The holidays are right around the corner and finding time to shop, bake, decorate and enjoy time with loved ones can be challenging. How about spending quality time with friends and family while you make a fresh, fragrant evergreen wreath! Do you...

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