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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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

Watering All season long

I often tell people that I have a Ph.D. in watering plants. As a young professional, I spent my days deciding if I should water and then checking to see if I made the right decision. Sometimes, I spent my days racing to water before plants wilted. I would like to say it is an art, but any gardener who learns the following water guidelines can get a Ph.D. in watering. Even though...

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Pollinator Palooza

Pollinator Palooza: A Party for the Pollinators coming August 9

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Did you know that nearly 75% of the world's crops require pollination? Join University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois State University Horticulture Center as they celebrate the world of pollinators. The Pollinator Palooza: A Party for the Pollinator s will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 9 at the Illinois State University Horticulture Center, loc...

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Frank about fertilizers

Why do I need fertilizer? When? What kind? How do Master Gardeners fertilize plants? The answer to this question is easy to answer: It all depends on the plant. Now that you have been left even further mystified about fertilizers, learning some basic principles about plant nutrition can help you make a decision like a pro. Plants require nutrients in varying quantities for prope...

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Hover fly maggot
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Hoverflies not sweat bees

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Walking in the Illinois State University Horticulture Center garden this week, I see the hover flies (aka syrphid flies or flower flies) are covering any nectar-producing flower in droves. These flies, commonly mistaken for bees are one of our most prolific pollinators in the Illinois garden. In addition to their pollinator services, their larvae are ferocious meat eaters. Hover flies are excel...

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Join Master Gardeners. Teach gardening in your community.

Join Master Gardeners. Teach gardening in your community. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer organization with the University of Illinois Extension that gives back to the community through gardening and horticulture education. The newest project came about one year ago at the Flanagan Public Library with an idea for a pollinator...

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cicada killer adult NIxon
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The big Wasps of summer

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Cicada Killers and the Great black wasp may have already started menacing gardener. However menacing they are in their façade, they are just simply trying to get some nectar from the flowers. About this time of year, inquiries from the public start to flood Master Gardener ran help desks because they start emerging from their winter homes that are nests underground. Cicada killers are s...

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Roses from Sarah s Garden

Plant Propagation Workshop at Sarah's Garden on July 28

Add a little of Sarah's Garden to your backyard landscape with exclusive Propagation Workshop BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – On Saturday, July 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon, the University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners will be conducting a Plant Propagation Workshop at the award-winning and city treasure, Sarah's Garden at the David Davis Mansion. Many of the plants pro...

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