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Tobacco Hornworm

Hornworm Alert: Be on the lookout

Our recent hot weather has not only helped our garden plants to grow, but it has also helped our garden pests to arrive a little earlier than usual. The Tobacco hornworm is showing up in local gardens with 3-inch ones present in at least one local garden. The hornworm caterpillar is the larva of a...
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Cicada Map of Central Illinois

Will the 2024 cicada invasion affect me

We have been hearing for months that two broods of periodical cicadas will emerge from the ground this May in central Illinois: the 13-year Brood XIX and the 17-year Brood XIII. These cicadas have been living underground, feeding on tree roots for either 13 or 17 years, depending on the brood. Is...
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Man carrying out a bare Christmas tree ready for recycling

Upcycle that old Christmas Tree

Well, Christmas is over, and it is time to decide what to do with that fresh-cut Christmas tree that has been sitting in your home for the past several weeks. Did you know that how you dispose of your tree can have an environmental impact? A live Christmas tree disposed of in a landfill is...
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Apple hanging from an apple tree

Growing apples in your home orchard

There is a lot of interest by home gardeners to raise and produce organic fruit. The good news is it can be done! Home growers need to be attentive to their fruit trees and know when to apply control measures. Producing fruit that is relatively free of discoloration and damage...
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Person holding a glass filled with water

When was the last time your well was inspected

A properly constructed and maintained water well can provide many years of trouble free service, but a well can deteriorate or become damaged allowing surface contaminants to enter the water in the well. In addition, groundwater can become contaminated. The safety of a family’s drinking water is...
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Protect Your Small Flock from Avian Flu

Preventing Avian Flu in Your Small Flock

In the past three weeks, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected wild birds in the central U.S. flyway. The HPIA strains being detected are Eurasian H5 and Eurasian H5N1. Confirmed cases of HPIA have been confirmed in commercial and small flocks in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and...
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When should I sow seeds for my vegetable garden?

With spring right around the corner and seed catalogs pouring in, many gardeners are anxious to get their hands in the soil, myself included. It may currently be a little early and damp to put shovel to ground, but it’s never too early to plan what vegetables and herbs you might grow. Gather your...
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Recycle Your Real Christmas Tree

Recycling Your Real Christmas Tree

Are you wondering what to do with your fresh-cut Christmas tree now that Christmas is over? How about recycling it? If you have a landscape recycling center or compost facility nearby, take it there and it will be converted into a renewable mulch or compost. Before you recycle your tree, it...
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Feeding bees with syrup through the hive inner cover

Prepare your bees for winter

When temperatures start getting cold in late fall, it's time to make those last-minute preparations that help your bees have the best chance of surviving the winter. Check for Varroa mites This is your last chance to treat for Varroa mites. In the late fall, your Varroa mite sampling should show...
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