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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
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University of Illinois Master Naturalist, Deanna Frautschi reminds us with this image that it is cold out there. Like us, squirrels are active all year long but seek shelter when the winter storms come in tree dens or leaf nests amongst the braches. Studies have shown that squirrels living in dens use less energy in maintaining their body temperature. Like the Master naturalist taking this pict...

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fruit tree pruning picture

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop Announced

Do you have fruit trees? Would you like to harvest more each year? Most homeowners and local farmers should know that a yearly pruning can increase quality fruit production, reduce occurrence of diseases by increasing airflow and improving the longevity of the tree. However, most are unsure where to start or how to complete this process. Let the University of Illinois Extension program help gui...

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Barred Owl

Barred Owl It takes a watchful eye like that of Master Naturalist, Deeana Frautchi, to get this stunning photo of a barred owl perching on a pine limb. Barred owls, with their soulful eyes, sit and wait for the small mammals or insects they hunt or swivel their head 180 degrees to spy a Master Naturalist creeping in the woods with a camera. Although a common owl in Illinois, most live i...

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Tips on caring for tropical houseplants

Tropical houseplants can be a rewarding sight after coming in out of the snow this winter. A jungle of textures and colors can make home dÃ?©cor come alive. After years of working at the Plant Biology Conservatory at the University of Illinois and caring for tropical houseplants in my own home, I've compiled tips to help growers become more successful with these plants. Lig...

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Home Lawn and Garden 2013

Caring and Taking Cuttings from Succulent Houseplants

A wall garden can be constructed with a variety of succulents – plants with thick leaves and stems that can store water – such as aloes, crassulas, echeverias, hawthorias, kalanchoes and sedums. If you have an old door, try placing the plants in wooden boxes filled with soil and sand and affixing them to the door. The succulent plants would then fill in the boxes as their roots grow...

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