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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
March 15 Raised Bed Gardening Allsup

Raised Beds: Benefits and Considerations

With a little spring preparation, your garden season can be more rewarding than ever: raised beds simply make gardening vegetables and herbs easier. When gardeners choose to grow in raised beds, the soil stays looser which means the roots are happier. And every gardener knows happy roots means happy shoots. The soil also warms up faster and stays warmer; this helps with germinating seed...

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March 01 Hydrangea quercifolia cv Brido SNOW FLAKE 068 Wahle
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Hydrangea, Part 1: Panicled and Oakleaf

Posted by Kelly Allsup -

Hydrangeas have long held the eyes of gardeners and landscapers for their bigger-than-life ornamental appeal. This horticulturist planted two hydrangeas in the landscape within a few months of buying a house. Hydrangeas have what most horticulturists call multi-season appeal and if you are a gardener who has experienced fading daffodil and tulip foliage, or the yellowing foliage of daylilies at...

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Feb  22 tree planted too deep  rock as mulch ring

Gardening Mistakes that Cost Big

Posted by Kelly Allsup -

Do not try to grow grass under trees or in shady areas of your landscape. Generally, lawns are seeded with a mix of Kentucky blue grass, fine fescue and rye grass. Each type contributes to the whole of the lawn, but none of them will grow well in full shade. Instead, consider growing groundcover or making a mulch ring. Shade-loving sprawlers like vinca, pac...

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FEb  15 2456 Lobelia siphilitica Elizabeth Whale
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Gardening For Climate Change

Rain Gardening is among the newest buzzwords at University of Illinois. The buzz is a response to another buzzword in the news: climate change. Illinois' recently-retired state climatologist, Jim Angel, says one way climate change is affecting the Illinois landscape through more frequent torrential rains, as opposed to more frequent, lighter rains. These weather patterns can cause flood...

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HLGD Jack Barnwell

Bringing Mackinac's Beauty to Home, Lawn, and Garden Day 2019

He is an award winning garden designer from Mackinaw Island, author, overall plant enthusiast, and this year he will be the keynote speaker for Home, Lawn and Garden Day. McLean County Master Gardeners welcome Jack Barnwell for a presentation about landscaping and gardening on the island, on Saturday March 2. Jack has over a decade of experience creating breathtaking commercial and priv...

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Jan  25 blackberry University of illinois

Pruning Blackberries for Productivity

As a child, my grandparents would send me to the unmanaged portions of their property to pick blackberries with my sisters. Most of the time we brought enough back for grandma to make a pie, and probably just as much sun sweetened fruits in our bellies. For backyard garden blackberries, active management of these brambles will boast more produce. Suggested blackberry cultivars for centr...

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Jan  18 Wedding Flowers

Wedding Flower Trends for 2019

It may be hard to predict what a bride will want for her wedding day, but is likely to include gorgeous flowers. Barn weddings with rustic materials have been popular for years, but floral designers are seeing a shift in 2019 towards a 1970s bohemian style, and an elegant industrial style. Here are some field reports on what brides are asking for this year. Color Pastel blooms h...

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