1. Published

    After some up and down temperatures earlier this year, it seems summer has settled in for good. While a lot of the work we do in the garden happens in the spring, that doesn’t mean we can coast through the summer. Here are some things we can be doing in our landscapes to help keep them going through the summer.

  2. Published

    Why are we talking about pumpkins in June? Because if you want home-grown pumpkins for Halloween, it is best to get them planted now!

    Good Growing Fact
    Did you know Illinois is ranked #1 for pumpkin production with more than 10,000 acres planted in 2019? Morton, IL, is considered the Pumpkin Capital of the World because 85% of the world’s canned pumpkin is packed there.

  3. Published

    Fertilizer does not actually “feed” your plants. Let’s be clear, plants get their food from sunlight. I know we may have heard about photosynthesis and not paid much mind to this process. I was the same way. I remember sitting in high school biology learning about animal cells and plant cells and then hearing the teacher explain photosynthesis. Without a doubt, the term and definition of photosynthesis were placed in my short-term memory to get me through the next biology test, and afterward, it was mostly forgotten.

  4. Published

    When it comes to invasive insects, much of our attention is directed towards those that cause a great deal of damage, such as Japanese beetles and emerald ash borer. However, there are some other invasive insects present in Illinois that pose a threat to our plants and even us that you should be aware of.

  5. Published

    The Asian longhorned beetle is a non-native pest that threatens a number of hardwood trees in North America. The larva damage living trees as they tunnel through.

  6. Published

    In 1946 Robert Allerton transferred the ownership of a large parcel of his estate near Monticello to the University of Illinois. The Allerton legacy gift is now used as a public park, a conference and retreat center, and a 4-H youth camp. 

    Now, 75 years later, nearly all of its 1,600 woodland areas are challenged by invasive plant species presenting many challenges to the professionals entrusted to its care.    

  7. Published

    In 2019, the pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death, a plant disease that has killed large tracts of oaks and affected many native plant species in California, Oregon, and Europe, was found in Illinois. 

    Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) was confirmed in ornamental plants at 11 stores throughout Illinois. A total of 18 states received diseased plants. 

  8. Published

    Palmer amaranth is an invasive weed species we have been hearing a lot about in agriculture over the last 10 years, and it continues to be a threat after its first documented appearance in Illinois in 2012. Native to southwestern US states, palmer amaranth has made its way to 39 of the states.

  9. Published

    Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a newer invasive pest in the United States that has the potential to become a serious pest across a large part of the United States, including Illinois.

    What do they look like?

    Adult spotted lanternflies are about 1 inch long. The front pair of wings are gray with black spots, and the tips of the front wings have speckled bands. The back pair of wings are red with black spots and a white band. Their heads and legs are black, and the abdomens are yellow with black bands.

  10. Published

    With the recent detections of boxwood blight, which is a regulated plant disease, in Illinois, the importance of scouting landscapes and new plants for the disease is greater than ever. Boxwood blight can be a challenging disease to identify outside a plant diagnostic laboratory. Many of the symptoms associated with the disease are similar to other common boxwood disorders.

  11. Published

    When we look at the current lists of plants that are deemed legally invasive by state and federal governments, we see species that were quite popular in the landscape in generations past. As we battle the current invasive species in our natural areas, there is a new generation of non-native shrubs that are currently quite popular in the home landscape which we are now seeing escape cultivation into the wild. Here are three shrubs that are recommended to avoid or remove.

    Privet:

  12. Published

    They’re baaaack. If you’ve spent much time outdoors recently, there’s a chance you’ve had an encounter with buffalo gnats.

  13. Published

    Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) or EAB has cut a wide swath of destruction across a large portion of the United States, including Illinois. EAB has been responsible for the death of tens, if not hundreds, of million ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees, which has led to drastic changes in some communities and landscapes.

  14. Published

    With our recent warm weather, you have probably started noticing your landscape plants really taking off in growth. For those with a more established landscape, this boost in growth may have you noticing some of your perennials crowding out others or taking over. If this is the case, it may be time to consider splitting your plants.

    Why Should We Divide Perennials?

  15. Published

    A tree is a long-term investment for a home. Truthfully, we often don’t plant trees for us, but for those that come after us. But many trees planted in a developed area don’t live past their eighth year. Here are some tips to help get your new tree past the eight-year hump and keep it going for generations.

  16. Published

    Have you ever noticed small white flowers dotting the landscape this time of year? Chances are they’re spring beauties (Claytonia virginica). While they may not be the first wildflowers to bloom, spring beauties are one of our earlier blooming wildflowers and a sure sign that spring has arrived. Individually, these wildflowers may not be the most impressive plants out there, but when growing in large masses, they are a sight to behold.

  17. Published

    The year of 2020 brought a new experience for many as over 20 million novice gardeners picked up a trowel for the first time according to Bonnie Plants CEO Mike Sutterer. New adventures come with excitement; however, as those rose-colored glasses become clearer with further attempts and another year of gardening, the frustrations and failures can grow. Therefore, we have come up with some tips to help those 2nd time growers stay optimistic.

  18. Published

    It is heartbreaking to see the results of natural disasters, when it affects entire communities or when the storm hits home. As a horticulture educator, I am often asked in the aftermath of a weather-related disaster, “How do we restore our landscape?” This may seem like a trivial question in such times, say when a community is recovering from a tornado, but each time a person steps outside their home and is greeted by a ravaged landscape, they will be reminded of the disaster.

  19. Published

    Asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetables that is commonly grown in gardens. But don’t let that intimidate you - it’s a relatively easy crop to grow. However, you’ll need to exercise some patience when growing asparagus.

  20. Published

    Our fool spring has many itching to get out in the yard and get to work sprucing up the lawn; however, it is important to consider that it could still be too early. To properly take care of problems in the lawn, it is important to fully understand what we are trying to control.

    Spring lawn maintenance often includes a combination of the following: a pre- or post-emergence herbicide, overseeding, aerification, dethatching, fertilization, or an insecticide. When making these applications, it is important to apply maintenance practices at the right time.