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Over the Garden Fence

Where gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.
fall 03

Why do we Celebrate OAKtober?

Oak trees are proving to be more important to ecological balance than previously thought. Of the 60-plus native oaks in the United States, 22 of them are right here in Illinois. Homeowners know them for their majestic size and shape, and this time of year, for their colors of red, yellow and gold. Oaks, like all other trees, contribute to our health by removing air pollution, taking in carbon...

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fall winter tree

A Fall Potpourri of Yard Work

There are still lots of things going on in the home landscape as fall settles in. Woody plants are well on the way to dormancy; leaves are turning fall colors and coming down slowly right now. Most of our flowering perennials have lost that luster that we have enjoyed all summer. In fact, by now, perennials have succumbed to the many foliage diseases common this time of year. Powdery mildew can...

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bulbs 02

Sorting out Spring and Summer Bulbs

Let's start with a few confusing sentences this week. You plant spring flowering bulbs in the fall and summer flowering bulbs in the spring. You dig up summer bulbs in the fall. You divide spring bulbs in late summer. Your favorite spring bulbs are winter hardy and for them to bloom in the spring they need to have the cold soil temperatures to trigger them to sprout and bloom in the spring. Th...

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Tree plant measure

Time to Plant Trees

Late summer and fall are great times to plant ornamental and shade trees in the home landscape. The weather is comfortable for us and the trees can begin to establish themselves in yard before the cold weather sets in for the winter. If you are planting a flowering ornamental like a crabapple or serviceberry or another favorite bloomer, you can expect bloom next spring as the flower bud...

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mums store

Picking and Caring for Fall Decor

Mums and pumpkins have become a staple for fall holiday home decorations, along with straw bales, Indian corn and an array of hard rind fall gourds. Mums and pumpkins already are available at local garden centers, farmers markets and the big box stores. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your fall decorations looking good for the long run. For the longest bloom show, purchas...

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crabgrass from Richard

Rainy Weather FAQ

Now that we have gotten a lot of rain, plants are responding and that has been driving questions to Master Gardener Help Desks in all the counties I get to work in. Q: My lawn finally has begun to green up after the drought, what should I be doing to get it back in shape? A: It normally takes about two weeks for a lawn to start to green up after...

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Is Powdery Mildew a Problem?

Powdery mildew can be seen every year on perennials, lawns or landscape plants at some point in the growing season. As a fungal disease, it is not limited to just ornamental plants. Vegetables like pumpkins, squash, melons and grain crops, and even houseplants, can be added to the list too. The white-colored spore growth on the surface of plant tissue gives powdery mildew its name. Some...

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