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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Poinsettia Plant Requirements

URBANA – Poinsettias represent 80 percent of all potted plant sales in the United States during the holiday season, said University of Illinois Extension educator Ron Wolford. "There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today," Wolford said. "They come in a myriad of colors like red, white, pink and burgundy. Keeping your poinsettias healthy during the holiday seas...

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Christmas tree in woods

Holiday Tree Selection

URBANA-- Christmas trees come in different varieties. Knowing the differences can make the selection process easier, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Some of the most commonly sold varieties of Christmas trees are balsam fir, Fraser fir, Scotch pine, and white pine," said Ron Wolford. "Each type has unique tree needle retention, color, and fragrance."...

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Storm Damage Trees by Rhoda Ferree

Tree damage is just part of the devastation that severe storms afflicted throughout Illinois. It is important to use proper pruning techniques to help restore these plants' beauty and health, as well as to protect the safety of the home area and workers. University of Illinois Extension Educator Rhonda Ferree suggests the following procedures. "Tree damage, unless it's a hazard or liabi...

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ISU Hort Center Winter

Preparing Trees For winter

Trees are tough and durable handling wind, rain, snow loads, drought, compaction and freezing. Depending on the species, they can be very adaptable to poor growing conditions. However, not all trees found in the garden center are ideal for growing in Central Illinois without additional care. For instance, the primary issue that faces the University of Illinois Extension McLean County Ma...

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Seed Saving at Sarah's Garden

This fall, Master Gardeners are collecting seed from California poppies, impatiens, larkspur, annual phlox, gaillardia, musk mallow, aster, bleeding heart and bachelor's buttons from Sarah's Garden at the David Davis Mansion Historic Site in Bloomington. Without collecting seed each year, the Master Gardeners would be unable to maintain the 141-year-old garden's historic status. Letters...

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Things to know about invasives

The largest threat to maintaining diversity in our natural areas is non-native – that is, invasive – species. These species displace native species and the wildlife that depend on them. Some of the invasive plants in Central Illinois are garlic mustard, teasel, Japanese honeysuckle, Norway maple and common reed grass. Most of these were introduced by landscapers, homeowners...

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ZZ Plant  2

ZZ Plant

Most homes have insufficient light, inconsistent temperatures and tap water containing fluoride – all of which make it nearly impossible have lush foliage during the winter months. However, most tropical houseplants can be sustained and even thrive in these conditions. Houseplants such as devil's ivy, dieffenbachia and peace lily do very well with low light and temperatures that are not t...

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fire blight

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshops offered in Livingston and Woodford Counties

Bill Davison former organic vegetable grower and now Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator with the University of Illinois Extension will lead grafting workshops at Sunny Lane Farm in Eureka on March 22 and at Spence Farm in Fairbury on March 29. Workshops start at 9am and end at 12:30pm. Each workshop will include a brief farm tour. Teresa Santiago owns Sunny Lane Farm and is an experie...

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