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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas
Christmas tree

Caring for Christmas Trees

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

Selecting a live Christmas tree is a tradition for many families. Whether you get your tree from a retail lot, direct from the farm or cut your own here are some tips for keeping your tree looking great throughout the holiday season: After purchasing your tree, place it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and cold (freezing) temperatures until you're ready to...

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Real  1

What's More Sustainable: Real or fake Christmas trees?

Growing up, a family tradition was going out to the Christmas tree farm to find that perfect tree. As a child, it was fun going out to pick our tree, cut it and then watch it hauled to the barn on a sled, shook for all its worth to get the dead needles out, and finally bundled up on our car ready for home. My wife had an altogether different experience growing up. She would help her mot...

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Salt in the Landscape

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

As we've already experienced this year, winter in Illinois commonly means snow and ice. Though plowing and shoveling are the primary means of removing snow and ice where they aren't wanted, deicing salts also help prevent slick, hazardous conditions. While salt is great in its place, it's not so great for many things that may encounter it. Rock salt (sodium chloride) is the most common...

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Designing for Pedestrians can make Shopping (and Communities!) Better

When someone tries to entice me with Black Friday shopping, my response is "That sounds terrible." Shopping, in general, makes me cringe. The idea of rising at 3 AM to wait in line outside of a giant store when it is below freezing outside is enough to turn me into the Grinch. I'm not the only one who shudders at shopping. Yes, Americans are still shop-a-holics as brain science has prov...

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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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