University of Illinois Extension
Bruce Spangeberg

These articles are written to apply to the northeastern corner of Illinois. Problems and timing may not apply outside of this area.

Stateline Yard & Garden

Yard and Garden Resolutions for 1998

December 25, 1997

As the year winds down, it's once again time for some resolutions for the upcoming year. Here are a few yard and garden resolutions for consideration.

Regardless of the type of yard or garden, proper planning is the key to success. Outstanding gardens and landscapes rarely happen by accident. So if new plants are proposed for 1998, draw up a plan this winter. Consider factors such as the height and spread of plants, hardiness, preferred habitat, and maintenance needs. Also, use plants that go well together so the landscape has harmony and is attractive.

Winter is also a great time to put together a maintenance calendar for existing landscape plantings. This will assure they are cared for properly and remain attractive. Depending on what types of plants exist or may be in future plans, consider pruning, fertilizing, weed control, dividing, reseeding, and other practices in your schedule.

Another important area to put into your yard and garden resolutions should be sound pest management practices in 1998. Start by always identifying the problem, then look at possible ways to manage it. Management may or may not include pesticide use.

When using pesticides, resolve to always use extreme care and follow all label directions. Label directions include how to mix, apply, store, and otherwise handle the product. Don't assume pesticides will be the "cure all" to problems; but consider them as one potential management tool in a complete plant management program.

Think about improving yard and garden soils in 1998. Poor drainage, compaction, high soil pH (alkaline), lack of nutrients, and large amounts of clay are among the problems facing landscape plantings. Consider soil testing, adding organic matter, and following proper watering and fertilizing programs in 1998.

Another year had passed, which saw a variety of problems showing up on yard and garden plantings. Many were described in this column...stay tuned for more in 1998. Happy Holidays!


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