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Northwest Illinois Horticulture Corner

In the far Northwest Corner of Illinois, gardening is a very popular pastime! Get your info here!
Extension News Releases

Fall Garden Tasks

October is upon us and as gardeners that means we are wrapping up the gardening season. The leaves have started to turn and will be falling soon. As we head into fall, we need to consider completing a few simple tasks outside in our lawn and garden that will help keep out garden looking good for the next season. In our perennial garden beds, most perennial plants have slowed or stopped...

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Why succulents are ideal plants

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Candice Hart, mille116@illinois.edu Succulents have long been a favorite group of plants for gardeners, for one great reason: They don't need to be watered often! For a gardener who feels watering is a chore, succulents are a dream. By definition, a succulent is a plant tha...

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Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

This blog is written by Extension Educator Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617, fishburn@illinois.edu Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The three R's are part of being a good steward to the Earth. Jennifer Fishburn, a University of Illinois Extension educator, points out that it is ironic that the horticulture industry, whose goal is to b...

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The mystery lurking under the pond turns radiant

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Kelly Allsup, kallsup@illinois.edu They are the stuff of nightmares, but can make us stand in awe at their beauty. Their dark, extended bodies are poised to attack while lurking under water. They propel themselves through the water with a forceful expulsion of water through their re...

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To Spray or Not To Spray in the Garden

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Martha A. Smith, smithma@illinois.edu Stop and think before grabbing a bottle of pesticide to control garden pests. That's the message University of Illinois Extension educator Martha Smith wants to convey to gardeners this season. "Integrated Pest Management stresses monito...

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Common Garden Tomato Problems

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Martha A. Smith, smithma@illinois.edu Now that summer has arrived, gardeners are noticing problems with their tomatoes. There are a number of diseases affecting Illinois-grown tomatoes, says University of Illinois Extension educator Martha Smith, but the most common are early blight...

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Growing Herbs in Containers

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Kari Houle, 217-357-2150, khoule@illinois.edu   Got a green thumb but inadequate space or sun for an in-ground garden? Container-grown herbs may be the answer, according to University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Kari Houle. With the right size container and ap...

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Blackberry and Raspberry Summer Tipping

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, aholsing@illinois.edu   Blackberry and raspberry gardeners can achieve a huge boost in berry yield by learning a technique known as tipping, according to a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Summer is a time for...

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Avoid heat-related illness while working outside this summer

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Chris Enroth, 309-837-3939, cenroth@illinois.edu Landscaping and gardening is great physical exercise and studies show it's good for emotional well-being, but University of Illinois Extension educator Chris Enroth says those working outside must remain aware of the dangers associate...

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Right plant, right place

News source/writer: Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617, fishburn@illinois.edu URBANA, Ill. – As gardeners, we go to the garden center, wander the aisles, and find a plant we can't live without. Then at home, we walk to our garden with plant and shovel in hand and look for a space to put our new impulse purcha...

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Perennial plant of the year – Allium 'Millenium'

News source/writer: Martha A. Smith, 309-756-9978,...

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2018 All-America Selection winners

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611, brucejb@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Cold, blustery temperatures have been moving across Illinois lately and gardeners are starting to put the landscape to bed for the winter. Why not weather the season indoors and start designing next year's garden? "Planning yo...

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A winter experiment for youth: Forcing paperwhites

News source/writer: Brittnay Haag , 309-663-8306, bhaag@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Even though it is cold outside and snow may be covering our gardens, we can still exercise our little ones' green thumbs. Bring the garden inside this winter with fun activities and experiments! Winter is the per...

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Watch where you step: The legend of mistletoe

News writer/source: Chris Enroth, 309-837-3939, cenroth@illinois.edu URBANA, Ill. – Decorating with mistletoe has been a holiday tradition for many centuries in North America and Europe. It begs the question: Why do we have this strange tradition that prompts friends, family, and even enemies...

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Twelve Christmas tree facts

News writer/source: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900, rwolford@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Ron Wolford, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, shares these Christmas tree facts that are sure to spruce up your yuletide knowledge. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states as well as Canada....

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Ten interesting facts about poinsettias

News writer/source: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900, rwolford@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – No flower says Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia, according to Ron Wolford, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Let's learn a few facts and dispel some misconceptions about this traditional...

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Holiday wreaths

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, aholsing@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Decorative wreaths are a popular favorite during the holiday season. A holiday wreath adds color, interest, and a festive focal point inside or outside your home. "A wreath can be made from a variety of fresh greenery," sa...

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Selecting the perfect Christmas tree

News source/writer: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900,...

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Horticulture hydration

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, aholsing@illinois.edu It's not rocket science; we all know that plants need water to thrive. But Andrew Holsinger wants to give gardeners a refresher on the ins and outs of garden hydration. "Many environmental conditions factor into plant survival," says Holsinger, a...

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Creating a Butterfly Oasis

News source/writer: Kari Houle, 217-357-2150, khoule@illinois.edu There are approximately 2,000 species of butterflies and moths native to Illinois, and creating a butterfly oasis can bring them to your backyard. "One of the things to remember when creating a butterfly oasis is to provide both nectar sources for butterfli...

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Garden Flowers for the "Dog Days" of August

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, smithma@illinois.edu Every summer, gardeners notice that certain plants are beautiful up until the heat arrives. Then they fade and wither, leaving us with only the memories of what once was. To keep these plants looking good, watering becomes a nightmare during high heat and perio...

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Goldenrods for the Garden

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, smithma@illinois.edu When August arrives, our gardens start to show off their late summer beauty. Butterflies flit from plant to plant, often alighting on members of the Solidago species, commonly known as goldenrods. This native plant has gained popularity in recent years....

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Decoding the secret language of flowers

News source/writer: Rhonda Ferree, 309-543-3308, ferreer@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Do you give flowers to your loved one on holidays and birthdays? Flowers are a great way to communicate your love and affection, and some can convey...

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Benefits of intergenerational gardening

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611, brucejb@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – Like many life skills, gardening is often learned directly from family members. Grandparents might recruit the grandkids to help water transplants or drop in seeds, setting the stage for a lifetime love of gardening....

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Managing pests in your garden with IPM

News source/writer: Ken Johnson, 217-243-7424, kjohnso@illinois.edu   URBANA, Ill. – When trying to manage pests in your garden this year consider using integrated pest management (IPM) practices. "As the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and i...

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