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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

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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Pumpkins

Picking Pumpkins

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

Even though the weather seems to think it's still summer, fall has arrived. This means leaves changing color , apple cider, and pumpkin spice everywhere. It also means many of us will be taking a visit to a pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with several other familiar plants...

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Give Your Soil a Check-up This Fall

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

As you begin your fall garden cleanup think about adding a soil test to your list of things to do. Soil testing is a quick and easy task that has many benefits. By conducting a soil test, it will allow you to see what the pH of your soil is, as well as what the nutrient levels in your soils are like. Conducting a soil test is good for both your wallet and the environment. By knowing wha...

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Indoor Plant Week Reminds it is Time to Start Bringing Houseplants Indoors

Coming up this third week of September is National Indoor Plant week. My attitude toward houseplants is quite harsh. I refuse to grow an indoor plant that is finicky about the pH of the water or must only be given a tablespoon of water every three days. To live in my house, you have to be tough! Late spring of every year, I return my houseplants to the outdoors, where they often thrive...

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Eastern Yellowjacket. Photo by Johnny N. Dell, Bugwood.org

Yellowjackets

Posted by Ken Johnson - Articles

As the calendar creeps closer and closer to fall, often times we begin to encounter yellowjackets more and more. These wasps are commonly confused with honey bees because of their similar size (both are about ½ long) and coloration. Despite this, they are rather easy to tell apart (if you're willing to look close enough). Yellowjackets have bright yellow and black bands on their abdomens and ar...

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