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Down the Garden Path

Good gardening questions

As our gardening season is winding down, questions to the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteers have been mixed, and they have been really good questions to share with others: Q: My white pine is losing many needles on the inside, is that normal? A: White pines, like all needled evergreens, naturally let go of one set of needles a...

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Birdseed and firewood

Birdseed and firewood are two common topics that come up this time of year. Both take some planning to be successful. Feeding the birds means starting earlier than later. Birds need to know early on that there will be something to eat on a regular basis if you want them to hang around in your yard. Rather than buying seed that has a little bit of everything for every bird out there, consider s...

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Houseguests Even Before the Holidays

Just about a month ago, I wrote about getting those houseplants back inside after vacationing in the backyard or on the patio. Now, there are other parts of nature that are trying to follow suit, but are really uninvited houseguests. This includes any kind of insect critter that has begun to look for a place to overwinter and wants to stay warm as long as possible. One that you can count on ev...

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Where has all the water gone?

This column has frequently addressed the need to water new plantings, transplanted trees, shrubs and evergreens added to the landscape. Little has been written regarding water management on what we would all call our "well-established" landscape plants in the yard. Most of us give little thought that those big oaks, maples, pines and spruce could use our help. The last time the hot, dr...

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