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Good Growing

Keeping you growing with good ideas

Mowing for Monarchs

There is something about mowing that brings a measure of satisfaction to many of us. What is it that we love about mowing? The smell of cut grass? Taming an unruly landscape? To me, it is measurable progress. It seems so often that modern jobs give few tangible results. So much of our work these days is in the digital ether. After a full day's work, I leave the office switching off my computer,...

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Fungus Files: What to do about toadstools in your lawn

In that past two weeks, West Central Illinois has seen a much-needed return of rain after a summer of low precipitation. With the rain has come a handful of calls into the Extension office about mushrooms/toadstools popping up in lawns. Most callers are curious as to why toadstools are showing up now, while a few are on the warpath to eliminate these fungal intruders. The lawn warriors...

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The Best Gardening Happens in the Fall: Learn how with University of Illinois Extension

For the past three years that I have been part of the Good Growing column, I have written an article on gardening in the fall. And before that my predecessor, Mike Roegge, would write about the joys of fall gardening. Yes, you are about to read yet another piece on gardening in the fall. This is our subtle way of suggesting fall gardening is the best gardening. Though after all these years, the...

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Five Valuable Tips for Fall Lawn Care

Lawn care does not stop when summer ends. To the contrary, when it comes to routine turf maintenance the late summer to early fall months are a critical time for cool season lawns. Cool season lawns are a group of turf species comprised mainly of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue. If you are a homeowner in Illinois with a lawn, more than likely it is a...

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Silphiums: Standing tall over the prairie

This past month I have been traveling on the road more hours than I care to count. The time in the car has allowed for some windshield botany. Better described as identifying plants while going over 65 miles per hour. Many invasive species stand out as my brain has been wired to spot those for purposes of eradication. Teasel ( Dipsacus laciniatus and Dipsacus sylvestris...

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