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Spring Gardening: When is the best time to get started

By Ella Maxwell, Extension Master Gardener serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell counties The temperatures this spring have been up and down which forced some of the earliest flowering plants to begin blooming at least two weeks earlier than normal in my garden. My winter aconite and...
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Eliana' Garden memorial rock in her garden

Gardening can help you heal while grieving

In August of 2020, I received a call with the news that is every mother’s nightmare. There had been an accident and my six-year-old daughter did not survive. That week, her lovely kindergarten teacher brought us five plants to start a butterfly garden. Although I already loved gardening, at that...
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raised bed with flowers and vegetables growing together

New Hardiness Zone Map changed some of our local zones

The USDA Hardiness Zone Map has been updated to reflect temperature data collected over the last 30 years. This new map version used GIS technology and input from climate, botanical, and horticulture experts to create hardiness zones on a much finer scale.   Updated to Zone 6A Locally, the map...
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4 packages of seeds

January and February are prime time for winter sowing

Winter sowing is a cost-effective and low maintenance way of starting plants for the garden. The creator of the winter sowing method, Trudi Davidoff puts it in simple terms, "starting plants outdoors, in winter." Winter sowing works with nature to prepare seeds for growth by providing the proper...
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a close up photo of several plants in the garden with varying textures

Engage your senses with a vibrant sensory garden

A sensory garden is not only a feast for the eyes but also for your nose, touch, taste buds, and ears. They are perfect for schools, healthcare facilities, or your backyard oasis. Here's how you can create a sensory garden: Pick the Perfect Spot Find a location that gets plenty of sunshine every...
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