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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

Cold Frames Extend the Garden Season

Do you plan to grow your own food this summer? Would you like to extend that growing season a bit more in the spring and fall? If so, there are several options you might consider, including cold frames, hot beds, hoop houses, cloches, and floating row covers. I remember my dad using a cold frame that he made of old windows to harden off plants in the spring before planting them in the g...

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Free! Four Seasons Gardening Winter Series Webinars Announced

The winter series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program focuses on seeds, houseplants, and orchids. The first session of the series is titled Seed Starting and is offered twice – on January 31 at 1:30 p.m. and again on February 2 at 6:30 p.m. Horticulture Educator Kim Ellson discusses how growing plants from seed is both rewarding and cost effecti...

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Seedlings ready for planting on May 7, 2012

Starting Seeds Indoors

Are you "itching" to start your vegetable garden? One way to jump-start the growing season is to start seedlings indoors. There are many advantages to starting your seeds indoors in addition to allowing anxious gardeners to "get their fingers dirty." In theory, plants started indoors will be bigger and produce faster than seed planted directly into the garden. Many of us wait until the cell pac...

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Horticulture Educator Team Wins Excellence Award

A team of nine University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educators was awarded an Interdisciplinary State Team Excellence Award at University of Illinois Extension's annual conference in November 2016. The Interdisciplinary State Team Excellence Award is awarded for excellence in collaborative work to address a priority issue. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Ed...

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Indoor Herb Gardens

I have been enjoying the fresh basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley I'm growing indoors this winter. I use the herbs to make fresh pesto, teas, salsas, and more. Gardening is not limited to outside in the summer. Herbs are probably the easiest to grown indoors, but there are many more. Last winter I grew salad tomatoes and carrots. As I learn more, I was amazed by how many food crops you...

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Videos available on YouTube /

Ferree Provides Garden Tip Videos on YouTube

My new horticulture YouTube channel extends my gardening education into another realm of social media. Videos are the latest social media trend, with predictions that 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. My plan is to produce short, informational videos covering a wide variety of gardening topics and more. I post the videos on my ILRiverHort Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, I...

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