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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Soil Testing

Now is the time to take soil tests. If you have plants that are not growing the way they should, a soil test might be needed to see if soil amendments are needed. Soil amendments should be based on a soil test to know the amounts needed. Be sure the sample is representative of the area to be treated. The teaspoon of soil finally used for analysis weighs a few grams in comparison to abou...

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Actaea pachypoda%u2013 White baneberry or Doll%u2019s eyes
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Doll's Eyes…A Great Halloween Plant

Some plants are perfect for Halloween. Bat flowers, devils claw, and corpse flower come to mind. Another creepy looking plant is doll's eyes. I'm not sure why dolls with staring, glass eyes are so scary, but they can be truly frightening to some people. I used to have a recurring dream as a little girl about a scary doll in an old house. Weird, I know! I recently found a doll's eye plan...

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IMG 7548
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Pine Needle Drop

Parts of my backyard and woodland are covered with fallen pine needles. We have a large number of mature white pine trees that yearly drop their needles. Annual needle drop is normal and beneficial. Martha Smith, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension said it well, "There is really nothing to be concerned about," "What is happening is commonly called inner needle dr...

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Found at go.illinois.edu/ferreevideos

Water Mature Trees and Shrubs During Drought Periods

Most people assume that established trees and shrubs can handle drought conditions. Often this is true, but the severe weather extremes that we've had in recent years has depleted reserves and stressed many plants. Please don't ignore your older trees and shrubs. Mature woody landscape plants often do not exhibit symptoms from underwatering for several months; or, some cases it takes 3-...

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2017 State Outstanding Master Gardener Award winner May Bach with Dr. Czapar
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Award Winning Master Gardeners

I am continually impressed and humbled by what our University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners accomplish. Although they all deserve accolades, several of our local Master Gardeners were recently recognized at the 2017 Illinois Master Gardener Conference in Normal for their outstanding efforts. May Bach, Jennifer Bass, and Kathy Edwards were among 36 Master Gardeners receiving the...

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2017 University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener teamwork award for Wildlife Federation Mayor%u2019s Monarch Garden in Pekin, Illinois. Pictured are Dr. Czapar, Dr. Bissonnette, Susan McCabe, Margaret Kelly, Jennifer Bass, and Carol Cihla.

Pekin Garden Wins State Master Gardener Award

A team of eight University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners was awarded a teamwork award for their Wildlife Federation Mayor's Monarch Garden in Pekin, Illinois. The award was presented during University of Illinois Extension's annual master gardener conference in Normal on September 8, 2017. This group's project planted seeds of knowledge in young people to develop their love for...

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Popcorn

Enjoy Locally Grown Popcorn on the Spoon River Drive

I love popcorn! Each year I buy kettle corn at one or more locations along the Spoon River Drive. It is a good possibility that the popcorn I purchase was grown and packaged locally. Mason County, Illinois grows a lot of popcorn! In 2012, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service's Census of Agriculture ranked Mason County the No. 1 producer of popcorn in the United States with...

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2017 State Outstanding Master Gardener Award winner May Bach with Dr. Czapar
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Peoria County has Award Winning Master Gardeners

May Bach and Jennifer Bass were honored for their outstanding contributions to University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardener Program during the 2017 Illinois Master Gardener Conference in Normal. May and Jennifer were among 36 Master Gardeners receiving the State Outstanding Master Gardener Award. They are each involved in various projects in the Peoria area. May Bach was t...

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2017 State Outstanding Master Gardener Award winner Kathy Edwards with Rhonda Ferree

Kathy Edwards Named State Outstanding Master Gardener

Kathy Edwards was one of 36 University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners honored for their outstanding contributions to Illinois' Master Gardener Program. She was named a State Outstanding Master Gardener at the 2017 Illinois State Master Gardener Conference in Normal. Kathy has been an active Master Gardener in Fulton County since 2007. Her many projects include educational garden...

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