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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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Welcome Bees with Early Spring Bloomers

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Get your gardens buzzing next spring by planting bee-friendly bulbs and spring bloomers this fall. Bumblebee queens, honey bees and solitary bees start emerging from their winter homes ready to feast on the landscape as early as March. Feed them from your garden by planting a mix of crocus, snow drops, Siberian squill, grape hyacinth, bluebells with spring flowering hellebores and primrose...

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Drinks from the Herb Garden

If you added herb plants into the matrix of your vegetable gardens this year, you may, like most zucchini and tomato growers, have more harvest than you can handle. Your basil may have started flowering because it wasn't pinched, parsley leaves may be yellowing because it needs some fertilizer and the mint has spread beyond its bounds and is now feeding all the bees in the neighborhood. E...

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Fall is a good time to take a soil test

Fall is a great time to test the soil and alleviate questions about fertility in your vegetable gardens or beneath that beloved shade tree. Fall soil testing allows the gardener to make additions to the soil before winter. Individual types of plants (vegetables, trees and flowers) require ideal soil pH and nutrient levels to thrive. The soil test is a scientific way of gathering p...

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Some Weeds Bad Side Outweigh the Benefits

May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist and researcher of the decline in honeybees, has said Illinoisans need to be more accepting of weeds, which provide habitat and food sources f...

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