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Chicago Urban Gardening

The day to day experiences of a University of Illinois Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in Chicago, Illinois
Mulching established tree

The Pros and Cons of Mulch

Posted by Ron Wolford -

You may not find the phrase "mulch volcanoes" in the dictionary, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, but the concept has been gaining ground and can create problems. "To landscapers, arborists and gardeners, this is a phenomenon that wasn't so prevalent years ago," said Martha Smith. "In recent years, people have begun mounding mulch around the base of trees c...

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Ann Kauth, Chicago Master Gardener Intern
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New Composting System at Chicago International Charter School

Posted by Ron Wolford -

I traveled to the north side of Chicago today. It is always an adventure for a southsider like me to travel to thenorth side with its densely populated neighborhoods, angled streets and resident parking areas. Finding a parking space can be like a quest for gold. I went north to attend the Chicago International Charter School-Irving Park Elementary School's unveiling of their new Solar...

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Soil

Spring is Good Time to Modify Garden Soils

Posted by Ron Wolford -

As gardening season begins, many homeowners are again faced with soil conditions that are difficult to work in and may cause problems for plant growth. Some of the most common garden soil problems in northern Illinois relate to compaction. Especially soils in newer subdivisions can often be more compacted and in a less desirable condition since many such areas have been mass graded with much of...

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AG School Demo Gardens-23

10 Steps to Make Gardening Easier

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Gardening is an adventure, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture specialist, but not one without challenges. "I have been gardening for over 50 years," said Ron Wolford. "It all started with growing a bean plant in Mrs. Pratt's fourth grade class at Tyng School in Peoria, Illinois. Later I spent many hours with my four brothers growing vegetables on our family's two acre...

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