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Over the Garden Fence

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

What to Know about Evergreen Woes

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Recent weather events have taken a toll on some of our older established evergreen trees. Most recently, our heavy wet snow that collected on the evergreen boughs added many pounds of weight and broke out branches throughout the canopy. The wind played a big part of that damage, creating more pressure on the limbs. Most damaged were evergreens with long limbs like white pine and Norway spruce,...

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Over the Garden Fence - Early Spring FAQs

FAQs for Early Spring Yard Work

We have some real signs spring is going to happen, and the calls, emails and visits to the Illinois Extension Master Gardener Help Desks often start with "What's the best time to…?" Here are a few FAQs for the start of the home gardening and landscape season. Q) What is the best time to apply crabgrass preventer? A) Crabgrass seed will n...

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tree buds canva

Plants and Insects Coming Alive in Northern Illinois

Plants are beginning to get the right signals from Mother Nature that spring has begun. Foliage and flower buds have begun to swell and expand, and will do so more quickly with the more spring-like weather. Buds have been protected all winter with insulating bud scales that will soften with the first good warm spring rain allowing quick emergence of foliage and bloom. Perennials may have alrea...

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OTGF spring veggies

Spring Veggies from A(sparagus) to T(urnips)

Vegetable gardening season is nearly here now, and there are several vegetables that can handle cold or cool temperatures, both above and below ground. In fact, our early spring vegetables really need the cooler temperatures to develop properly. Right now, you can sow or plant those very hardy vegetables in the garden. These vegetables can withstand very cold to freezing temperatures, and typic...

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