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Over the Garden Fence

Where gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.
tree buds canva

Cold Weather Challenges Flowering Buds

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

When talking about flower buds on our fruit trees and flowering ornamental plants, a couple of plants come to mind. The first is the peach tree. Like other fruit trees, peaches produce flower buds every year. It is just a gamble whether or not we have severe winter temperatures during the winter. Cold weather has already given peach trees in the home orchard a knock-down punch for 2019....

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Apples 2019 canva1

Fruit Tree Pollination and the Polar Vortex

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

About this time of year, Extension starts getting calls and emails asking about the right pollinators for the home orchard since it is time to order from the fruit tree catalogs. You may recall that we touched on this a few weeks back, but let's really dive in this time. Catalogs provide a great amount of information like flowering, harvest times, mature size based on rootstocks, if the tree y...

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Taking Care of Winter Pantry Pests

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Back in December, this column talked about doing our best to prevent an outbreak of any one of several kinds of pantry pests in the home. Some of what was shared included sealing bulk amounts of dry pet foods, including the birdseed used all winter for outdoor feathered friends, and limiting, whenever possible, the amount of flour for baking during the holidays. Even with the best attempts, oc...

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Over the Garden Fence2

Cold Temps, Snow Cover and Dormancy

When we have very cold weather, it is great to see snow come along with it, for our garden plants at least. Snow cover provides insulation from the drying winter sun and the extreme air temperatures. A good snow cover protects above ground plant parts and helps them survive the winter. In parts of the country that do not experience our kind of cold weather, plants do not have to go dormant. Ma...

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Winter Work for the Home Orchard

January is not too early to start to plan for a new home orchard or to consider replacements for aging fruit trees in an existing orchard. There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider – apple, cherry, peach, pear, and plum. As we live in the northern portion of Illinois, apple is likely the main fruit tree grown in back yards and commercial orchards. At the local orchard...

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What's in your Garden Catalog?

Garden catalogs began to show up in early January and will continue for the few weeks. Each picture looks better than the next and promises to be bigger, better, than last year. There may be plenty of phrases or words that are unfamiliar or perhaps you have seen them before and never went far enough to find out what they mean. Vegetable descriptions will often include a number of initials at th...

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mailbox full

Gardening Catalogs Filling your Mailbox?

The end-of-year sales and holiday greetings have barely ceased and already the gardening catalogs have begun to arrive in your mailbox and inbox. Some catalogs are still pretty specific, vegetables or flowers, but not both. More and more catalogs today are now offering a bit of everything like the impulse aisle at the checkout. Since new flower and vegetable varieties are offered every...

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