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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

The First Thanksgiving

During the fourth week of November, families across the United States will be celebrating the festival of Thanksgiving. Did you ever wonder why and how this celebration was begun? According to Bob Frazee, retired University of Illinois Natural Resources Educator, the roots of Thanksgiving are directly related to agriculture and go back to the fall of 1620, with the landing of t...

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Gift ideas for the indoor gardener
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Gifts for the Gardener

Every year I try to provide ideas those of you who are searching for the "perfect" gift for a gardener in your family. Here are some ideas that might prove helpful this year. Gardeners always love gift plants and flowers. Since gardeners tend to be choosy about the type of plants they grow, get them a gift certificate to their favorite nursery or garden center. We are always loo...

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Force Bulbs Indoors for Seasonal Display

This is the time of year when various types of gift plant kits become available. The ones that I see most are herb kits and flower bulbs. Bulbs such as amaryllis and paperwhites are commonly found for forcing indoors. These bulbs are easy to grown indoors for seasonal display and beauty. The boxed bulb kit includes a pre-cooled bulb that is all ready to bloom indoors. Simply pot up and...

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Water Needed to Help Prevent Winter Burn to Evergreen Trees and Shrubs

Do your rhododendrons or boxwoods have trouble making it through the winter without leaf browning? "Winter burn injury commonly affects broadleaved evergreens such as rhododendrons and boxwoods," says University of Illinois Extension Specialist Travis Cleveland. "This type of injury can also affect narrow leaved evergreens such as yew, arborvitae and hemlock." It is more severe on drought stre...

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Resources for Small Farms producing local foods

Do you produce fruits and vegetables to sell at farmers markets or from roadside stands? If so, these resources might help you get started or expand your business. University of I...

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Fun Youth Gardening Websites

University of Illinois Extension has fun, interactive, and educational websites all about plants and gardening that are meant just for kids. Check these out. The Great Plant Escape - Help Detective Leplant and his partners Bud and Sprout unlock the amazing mysteries of plant life!...

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