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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Home, Yard, & Garden Newsletter article from 6-22-15

Home, Yard, & Garden Newsletter article from 6-22-15 Japanese beetle adults are present throughout Illinois. Robert Bellm, Extension Educator, reported their presence in southern Illinois, and Martha Smith, Extension Educator, reported them in northwestern Illinois. Extended deep soil freezing in northern Illinois...

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Japanese beetles
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Japanese Beetle Myth-information

Japanese beetle adults are above ground eating leaves for about 6 weeks from mid-June into August. After mating and feeding females lay eggs in moist, actively growing lawns. Eggs hatch into large "C" shaped grubs that feed on plant roots. In fall grubs burrow into soil. Next year they form adults and start the vicious cycle again. Horticulture educator Sandy Mason shares frequent myths...

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Edible Flowers

Do you want to "spice" up your meals? Sometimes I'll add flowers to a dull looking salad to add color. Or, sometimes I just eat flowers right out in the garden. But one very important thing that you need to remember is that not every flower is edible. In fact, sampling some flowers can make you very, very sick. Make sure you know for sure the identity of the flower before eating it. You...

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front lawn on 6-11-12
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To Water Lawns or Not

Whether or not to water the lawn is a perennial question for homeowners. Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, offers the following advice to help you decide whether to water your lawn this year or not. "When the hot, dry weather arrives, each homeowner needs to decide if they want a green lawn, or if they are willing to let it go dormant," said Rho...

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Poison Ivy has leaflets of three while Virginia Creeper has leaflets of 5 or more.

Leaves of Three, Let It Be

A re your summer outings followed by days of itching discomfort? Knowing more about poison ivy and how it grows might help you avoid rash problems later. Remember the old adage, Leaves of Three, Let It Be! Poison ivy grows in various locations and many different environmental conditions. It is in fencerows, under trees, and in ornamental shrub and perennial plantings, probably...

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Don't Raise Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Summertime brings family cookouts, swim parities, little league baseball, and the ever dreaded mosquito. Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, reminds us that the first step to fighting mosquitoes MUST begin in our OWN backyard. According to Rhonda, the West Nile Virus is most frequently transmitted through the house mosquito. Since it can only fly...

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I Love Peas!

While driving around Mason County recently I saw acres of acres of peas. Peas are one of my favorite vegetables so this really excited me! Mason County's irrigated sandy soil grows many different types of specialty crops. In addition to peas, farmers there also grow popcorn, watermelon, cantaloupe, green beans, horseradish, cabbage, sweet corn, pumpkins and potatoes. In fact, Mason Cou...

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Sprinkler irrigation
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Vacation Checklist for Your Garden

If you haven't been on summer vacation yet, the following tips by Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, might be useful as you plan. Most gardens can withstand neglect for a long weekend, but extended vacations usually mean lots of lost work and harvest and can mean lots of catch-up jobs upon return. Vacationing gardeners with lots of produce can ha...

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Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
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Aronia Berry

I recently planted several black aronia along a new fence in my backyard. Also called chokeberry, aronia are becoming more and more popular, especially among small fruit growers. There are several reasons why I selected the black aronia for my site. I wanted to use a sun loving, native plant with seasonal interest that only grows three to five feet tall and wide. As a native shrub this one sho...

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ICC Master Gardener Demonstration Garden
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ICC Master Gardener Demo Garden Provides Educational Seminars

The ICC Summer Gardening Educational Series provides gardening information to the general public. The educational series is part of the ICC Tri-County Extension Master Gardener Demo Garden located at Illinois Central College's Land Laboratory in East Peoria. Master Gardeners from Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford also plan and maintain a Demonstration Garden for the public at this location....

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