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Rhonda J. Ferree

Rhonda J. Ferree
Former Extension Educator, Horticulture

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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Gardening Tips on YouTube

When you need advice from a gardening expert but a trip to the gardening store isn't convenient, check out the University of Illinois Extension channel on YouTube. Visit for practical advice on a wide variety of gardening topics and more. "Everything from pruning to mulching to specific varieties of plants, tr...

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Last weekend my husband and I went camping in Southern Illinois with a group of friends. We hiked in Shawnee National Forest and visited some wineries. It was great fun! While hiking at the Illinois Audubon Society's War Bluff Sanctuary, we passed several large groves of pawpaw trees. This beautiful native tree is usually found as an understory plant in cool, moist areas along streams....

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Grow Food Indoors This Winter

Many of us have vegetable gardens that provide us with delicious, fresh produce all summer long, but do you also grow food indoors in the winter? I'm teaching an Indoor Gardening Series every Wednesday in October for Bradley University's OLLI program. The last session is on the edible indoor garden. As I researched and prepared for this program, I was amazed by how many...

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Sassafras leaves

Leaves and Needles Everywhere

View my YouTube video on this topic at Fall colors are peaking on trees in our area. As the leaves fall homeowners start raking them, while children jump into the piles. It can be a fun time of year, but deciding what to do with all those leaves is often a challenge. Since July 1, 1990, leaves a...

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Compost indoors this winter with worms

Wonder what to do with your kitchen scraps besides run them through the garbage disposal? For a different twist on composting, try vermiculture. Also called worm composting, vermiculture uses small red worms to compost kitchen waste. According to Extension Educator Jason Haupt, vermicomposting offers an alternative to composting that is less labor intensive and can be done anywhere. I k...

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Demystifying indoor grow lights

I'm teaching an Indoor Gardening Series every Wednesday in October for Bradley University's OLLI program. I cover the indoor growing environment and how to properly care for plants grown inside. The most limiting factor for growing plants indoors is proper light. My colleague Candice Miller, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, provides the following simple concepts to demystify...

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