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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Raspberry

Spotted Wing Drosophila Can Ruin Berry Crops

Everyone growing blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries should be monitoring for spotted wing Drosophila, a relatively new invasive pest that infests thin-skinned fruits as they ripen. For the past several years, this invasive insect has severely damaged these crops, making the fruits unusable. If you are seeing gross little white maggots in your garden raspberries right now, this m...

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Slug on hosta

Hosta Slugs

While hiking at Turkey Run State Park with friends recently, we found a lot of snails sitting on stinging nettle leaves along the trails. Many of the snails had their head and antennae out of their shell, inviting us to stop occasionally to say hello. We also noticed a lot of holes in leaves along the trails. There are probably numerous reasons for the damage, but slugs are a likely cul...

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Post Ladybugs

Growing plants to attract insect predators

Not all bugs are bad. Many gardeners are learning to leave good bugs and tolerate a bit of plant feeding. Some of us are also using plants to attract the good guys. My colleague Richard Hentschel, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, explains more below. "There are a number of predator insects that can help us control the destructive ones," said Hentschel. "The common...

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Starred Photos4

Sun or Shade

Putting the right plant in the right place is critical for gardening success. In particular, some plants prefer sun, while others grow best in shady conditions. However, it is not always obvious whether a specific location in the yard is sun or shade. Shade is a lack of light, but that can occur at varying levels depending on the structure or plant providing the shade. Shade also change...

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Post General  1

Four Seasons Gardening Program Offers Summer Series

The summer series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program, which focuses on environmental stewardship, home gardening, and backyard food production, gets underway soon. As always, programs are available live or on YouTube following the live presentation. The first session of the series is titled Beneficial Insects: Garden Warriors . Join extension ho...

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Cherry pie rose is a show-stopper in my garden! on 7-13-12
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The Incredible, Edible Rose

Roses are beautiful, but did you know that they are also edible? Rose flower petals and fruits (hips) add color, texture, scent, and flavor to various dishes and beverages. My go-to edible rose is the rugosa rose ( R. rugosa ). It is native to Asia but rarely escapes cultivation. This small to medium rounded shrub is primarily grown for its showy white, yellow, pink, or purple fl...

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Serviceberry…Beautiful Trees with Tasty Fruit

Serviceberries are beautiful native trees with tasty edible fruit. Recently I picked several fruits to eat with cereal and freeze for smoothies. Usually, the birds beat me to the fruit, but this year my tree has such a large crop that I was able to share. Serviceberry ( Amelanchier sp.), also called Juneberry, are native here. I often see them growing along streams and rivers. T...

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