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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
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Ticks! We all dread getting them. To help us better understand these nasty critters, here is part of an article written by Dr. Phil Nixon, recently retired University of Illinois Extension Entomologist. Deer tick, the northern subspecies of the black-legged tick, spreads Lyme disease, perhaps the fastest rising, most under-reported serious disease in the U.S. There have been an estimate...

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2017 Japanese Beetle Update by Dr. Phil Nixon

Issue 9 , June 26, 2017 Illinois Pesticide Review Newsletter Japanese Beetle ShareThis Adult Japanese beetles have emerged in Illinois. Early control reduces damage throug...

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Climbing rose on May 7, 2012.  Notice the carpet of petals forming below the plant.
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Heirloom Flowers Making a Comeback

Old-fashioned flowers and flowering shrubs like roses, hydrangeas, sweet pea, lilac, and more have always been common garden plants. Technically, an heirloom is defined as a plant that is open-pollinated. These are pollinated by insects, hummingbirds, or the wind and the resulting seed will produce plants that are identical (or very similar) to the parent plant. Heirlooms are popular fo...

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Free Summer Gardening Webinars also on YouTube

The summer series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program focuses on environmental stewardship, home gardening, and backyard food production. The first session of the series is titled, Using Essential Oils Safely. The program is offered twice –on June 27 at 1:30 p.m. and again on June 29 at 6:30 p.m. Essential oils have been growing in popularity, but some p...

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Ferree Journal Quote

Natural Journaling

Nature Journaling …Allows us to slow down and see the natural world from a different perspective, while it Offers a creative outlet for self-expression Promotes relaxation and calmness Enhances outdoor experiences Builds positive connections with nature and people What to...

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Masked chafer - adult form of white grub

Japanese Beetle Look Alikes

For pictures, go to this Minnesota Extension Factsheet PLEASE NOTE: Control recommendations for Illinois may vary than those given for Minnesota. ANNUAL WHITE GRUBS Annual white grubs, the larvae of the southern masked chafer (Cyclocephala lurida) pass through one generation each year....

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Dog Gone Lawn by Chris Enroth

How do dogs harm lawns? Chris Enroth, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, explains. First is the traffic. Very often backyard dogs will wear down paths in the grass from circling or pacing. Not only is this hard on the lawn itself but it also leads to compacted soils, making reestablishing turf in these locations even more challenging. And then you have...

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Mowed daylilies with severe aphid infestation.
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Daylily aphid testimonial

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Last week I noticed an unusually large number of daylily (Hemerocallis sp.) leaves turning completely yellow and dying. Upon closer inspection, I found that they have aphid feeding on the lower stems. Aphids are a soft-bodied insect with piercing mouth parts that they use to suck out the plant's sap. They multiply quickly, resulting in large populations....

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sunflowerbuscard final

Help Available for All Your Garden Questions!

Do you wonder why your tomato plants have so many yellow leaves or how to deal with those pesky bugs eating your roses? If so, University of Illinois Extension is here to help answer all your gardening questions. For almost 30 years, Master Gardeners have answered home garden questions through their Garden HelpLine located in Peoria. Staffed every weekday morning throughout the growing...

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srgc walk

Canton Garden Walk Showcases Five Landscapes

It seems like yesterday that Judy Holloway walked into my office wanting to start a Canton garden club and annual garden walk. As a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, she did just that, and much more. Since 1999, the Spoon River Garden Club has sponsored garden walks across Fulton County. This year's walk is on Saturday, June 10, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Featured are...

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