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winter weather

Winter Weather Preparedness

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

Winter Weather has arrived in Central Illinois! Therefore, we'll take a break from our regularly scheduled horticulture programming and talk winter weather preparedness. With Illinois averaging five severe winter storms every year, it's a good idea to be prepared. Just like thunderstorms, there can be watches and warnings for winter weather. A winter storm watch means severe winter weat...

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Arugula: A New Trendy Green from the Old World

Arugula has been trending these past few years. You can bet if you turn on a cooking show, they'll probably be using arugula at some point. Many chefs and hip restaurants have made this leafy green with a peppery zing very popular and arugula is now commonly found in grocery stores throughout the US. While arugula may be having a heyday, this is not the first time human civilization has...

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Getting Trees and Shrubs Ready for Winter

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

Now that the leaves have changed and begun to fall, many of us have or are starting to put our gardens to bed for winter. While getting the garden ready for winter, spend a little time preparing your trees and shrubs too. Doing a few things this fall can help protect our trees and shrubs from damage this winter. To help prepare trees and shrubs for the coming winter they should be water...

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There is More to Landscape Design Than Meatballs and Mulch

"The meatball meter is off the charts!" That statement made me chuckle as I sat in a crowd listening to Michael Dirr a few years ago. This leading plantsman known worldwide for his work with trees and shrubs was lamenting on the tragedy of shearing plants into "meatballs". Often when you see these 'meatballs' in the landscape, they sit atop a sea of mulch. If the mulch is dyed red, then...

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Overwintering Tender Bulbs

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

Plants like cannas, caladiums, dahlias, elephant ears, gladiolus, and tuberous begonia can make a great addition to the landscape. These plants are commonly referred to as tender bulbs, or summer-blooming bulbs. Not all of them actually grow from bulbs, but this is what their fleshy storage structures are commonly referred to as (other storage structures include corms, rhizomes, tubers, and roo...

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Invasive Bush Honeysuckle

The problem with learning about invasive plants species is once you know about them, you start to see them everywhere. It can be a little depressing. How joyous it was when I began my life in horticulture. Learning about amazing plant processes and all the wonderful plants used in the ornamental landscape. Indeed, at the outset of my botanical life, all plants were good. In practice, th...

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Protecting the Countryside: The importance of open space

This week's Good Growing column is not going to center on gardening. Instead, we are going to look at the bigger picture of the landscape. Confession time – while I did study horticultural science at SIUC, my final three years of formal education was a Masters of Landscape Architecture at Kansas State University. The majority of landscape architects (LAs) are not trained in horticultura...

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