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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Horticulture News
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Putting the Pollinator Garden to bed by Karl Hedding

Regardless if you have a pollinator garden or not, that is, for any type of garden, waiting until the spring to cut back plants and cleanup dead plant material provides a hotel for insects to overwinter in and can be a source of seeds for the birds. However, always remove diseased plant material in the fall. Don't compost the diseased material. For example, Bee Balm may have powdery mildew by t...

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Nature  final holes in the tree
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Fall Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids

We read in the news all the time that we are a generation of phones and internet. Any question is answered with a quick tapping of fingertips, amounting to instant gratification. I personally am grateful that I can look up anything anytime because my job requires me to answer a barrage of gardening questions that has been backed up by research. However, my childhood was spent in the pin...

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Karlton Allsup

Turning of seasons, in nature and life

The yellow leaves of the sugar maple, the reddish purple leaves of the ash and the multi-colored leaves of the sweet gum have begun to litter the ground, foreshadowing the end of a season and the celebration of the natural cycle. These fallen leaves will insulate the trees and plants while providing hiding places for insects, providing shelter materials for wildlife and building up the soil....

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Chrysanthemums: A flourish of fall colors : Tips and Tricks for the Illinois Gardener

Chrysanthemums: A flourish of fall colors BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –Chrysanthemums come in a myriad of colors and flower forms, just in time to spruce up a tired flower garden or create a festive fall display. The garden centers are overflowing with these must-have bursts of color. Some gardeners have tried and failed to overwinter these mature mums bought from the garden centers....

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Saffron Crocus University of Florida

Should we grow saffron crocus in Illinois?

Just yesterday, I began thinking about the fall bulb-planting season. I already have designs to plant early flowering spring bulbs for the bees like crocus, snow drops, siberian squill, winter aconite, hyacinths and grape hyacinth. However, I keep coming back to fall crocus. Wouldn't it be nice to have a fall blooming bulb in my garden and harvest saffron? Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus...

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McLean master gardeners are awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate McLean County Master Gardeners, Tracy Burr, Carolyn Erwin, Tudy Schmied, Pat Warren, Bob Williams, and Rose Yahnig for being recognized with the 2017 Outstanding State Master Gardener award. The Outstanding State Award was established to honor the best of Illinois Master Gardeners. Only the top 2% of Illinois State Master Gardeners...

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Sandy Knight and Dee
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Livingston Master Gardeners Awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate Livingston County Master Gardeners, Sandy Knight for being recognized as a 2017 Outstanding Illinois Master Gardener, and Dee Woodburn for being recognized as s 2017 Sustained Excellence Award Winner. In her six years as a Master Gardener, Sandy's volunteer services and contributions to the Master Gardener program have more...

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Woodford Master Gardeners awarded by Brittnay Haag

The University of Illinois Extension would like to congratulate Woodford County Master Gardeners, Nancy Carls for being recognized as a 2017 Outstanding Illinois Master Gardener, and Jack Pfaffmann for being recognized as s 2017 Sustained Excellence Award Winner. In her four years as a Master Gardener, Nancy's volunteer services and contributions to the Master Gardener program have more...

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Identifying Butterflies with Kelly

Four Seasons Gardening Program Offers Fall Series The fall series of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening program is about ready to get underway on a computer near you. Four Seasons Webinars focus on environmental stewardship, home gardening, backyard food production and more. The first session of the series is What's That Butterfly in my Gard...

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Leaf Casting Class at Eureka Library on August 22

Grab the leaves from your garden and cast them BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Join us to see how you can make new gardening décor from the leaves laying in your garden right now. Through this exclusive demonstration, you can learn just how to cast and paint concrete leaves. Maybe you have never heard of leaf casting before this…well then please join our Woodford County Maste...

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Too much mulch can kill your tree

Around town, piles of mulch are built up like volcanoes around the bases of trees. Perhaps it is because there is extra mulch: If a little is good, than a lot must be great. Perhaps it is an artistic statement. Perhaps it is learned from watching others in the neighborhood. The reasoning dumbfounds horticulturists because the practice kills the trees slowly. University of I...

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Herbs at Heartline Hearthouse in Eureka on August 22

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension - Woodford County Master Gardeners are adding some celebration to their summer with the sweet aroma and culinary delight of herbs from the garden in a program entitled "It's a Culinary Delight!" This program is from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22 at the Heartline and Heart House in the Community Room in Eureka. Our Woodford...

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Plant Propagation Workshop at Sarah's Garden on July 29

On Saturday, July 29 from 9 A.M. to Noon, the University of Illinois 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 propagated will be of heirloom origin and a plant that Sarah Davis grew over 100 years ago. Sarah's Garden is an original, restored 144-yea...

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Herb Festival at Unity Community Center on July 27

University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners would like to invite you and your family to a festival of herbs at the Unity Community Center, 632 Orlando Avenue Normal, on Thursday, July 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Bring the kids to participate in garden festivities while tasting delectable dishes made out of the tasty herbs grown in the garden. University of Illinois Extension Hort...

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A message from Extension Pollinator Garden Writer Sally Whaley

Extension Pollinator Gardens By Sally Whaley Hello, all you grateful gardeners! Well, you now have the warmer, dryer weather that you requested to have your garden flourish. In our Extension Pollinator Garden, our plants are starting to make the landscape colorful. This month we will talk about the Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) and Autumn Joy Sedum ( Hylotelephium...

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Confessions of a new homeowner- Landscape Design

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Creating a new landscape or renewing an old can be a daunting task for homeowners. However, if one looks at it as painter's canvas and envisions the design, it can be energizing at the prospect of creating his or her own garden oasis. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator and brand new homeowner, Kelly Allsup, is excited to transform a bland landscape into t...

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Join the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail at Eureka Public Library

Join the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail at Eureka Public Library Eureka, Ill. – Looking for a staycation idea? Please join University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Program Coordinator Reid Young, as he stops at the Eureka Public Library ( 202 S. Main St., Eureka ) to chat all about the McLean County...

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Soil without Water

Warm days and thirsty plants: the art of watering

Warm days and thirsty plants: the art of watering   BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – I often tell people that I have a Ph.D. in watering plants, states University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. 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 da...

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Suspect herbicide drift? U of I Extension has answers

Suspect herbicide drift? U of I Extension has answers URBANA, Ill. – Every year the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) receives approximately 72 complaints of crop damage due to pesticide drift. When drift occurs, it is important to know the basics of the complaint process as well as the available resources. "Neighborly discussions before pesticides are applied are a good...

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Master Gardeners bloom through training

Master Gardeners bloom through training BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension McLean & Livingston County Master Gardeners is proud to welcome 18 new interns to the program after completing 14 weeks of extensive training by University of Illinois and University of Illinois Extension Educators in all subjects' horticulture. From insects and plant diseas...

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Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale in Eureka

Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale Coming Soon! Eureka, Ill. – It is time again for the Woodford County Master Gardener Plant Sale at the Eureka Library! The plant sale will be from 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, May 20. "Stock up this spring with garden favorites like perennials, grasses, annuals, some vegetables, herbs, and oddities for the garden" states Univers...

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Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing Conference in Bloomington

Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing Conference BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners and the Community Cancer Center will be presenting the "Horticultural Therapy: Gardening is Healing" conference on Saturday, June 10 at the Community Cancer Center in Normal. This daylong conference will pro...

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Praying Mantis

Livingston County Master Gardeners ready to answer all your horticulture questions

Livingston County residents, did you know that our Livingston County Master Gardeners helped hundreds of local gardeners with their gardening questions during the 2016 growing season? Let them help you solve your gardening woes by visiting the University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Master Gardeners walk-in Help Desk or Pontiac Farmer's Market booths this season. Master Garde...

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Pulmonaria saccharata
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Spring Blooms for the Pollinator Gardener

Hoping to add just a few more spring bloomers to the pollinator garden, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, suggests the following. Pulmonaria saccharata Bethlehem Sage boasts pink flower buds that turn blue, as they get older on top of attractive mottled foliage. Bethlehem sage is sought for its nectar by bumblebees and long tongue be...

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Praying Mantis

Spring into action with McLean County Master Gardeners

  McLean County residents, did you know McLean County Master Gardeners helped thousands of local gardeners with their gardening questions during the 2016 growing season through services offered throughout the county? Let them help you solve your gardening woes by visiting the University of Illinois Extension Mclean County Master Gardeners walk-in Help Desk, Blo...

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