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Over the Garden Fence

Where northern Illinois gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

Latest Posts

black 20-inch container with berry plant

Save money and space with container-grown fruits

Small space gardening doesn’t mean sacrificing flavors. With rising prices people are looking to reduce their grocery bills while getting fresh produce. Fresh fruit can be container-grown for your family in a limited space, such as a balcony, patio, or small backyard. The key is to look for dwarf...
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fingers holding a small, unripe, green strawberry and white blossom

Planting Summer’s Treat: Strawberries

Strawberries (Fragaria species) are one of summer’s best treats, and there is still time now in May to plant them.   Choose the cultivar June-bearing strawberries provide one large crop of bigger berries and everbearing strawberries produce smaller berries throughout the growing season. There...
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Ready, Set, Mow

Spring lawn care tips Our lawns started to grow not too long ago, slowly at first and it has really ramped up in just a couple of weeks. If you have not wandered out in the yard with all the rotten weather that included snow and rain, you’re likely to see that the lawn is due for that first mowing...
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Patience is critical for many garden vegetables

When gardeners talk about tender or warm-loving vegetables, the conversation is not about how caring and affectionate the vegetables are, but how they need warmer air and soil temperatures to get off to a good start. Track temperatures for tender vegetables Tender vegetables are those that cannot...
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Crabgrass: annual weed, perennial problem

Crabgrass may be an annual grassy weed, but it certainly seems to be perennial problem for homeowners. Preventing it every spring can be done, but without knowing more, that becomes the normal expectation and need every year. Conditions for crabgrass As a warm season annual, crabgrass will not...
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Spring FAQs from the Master Gardener Help Desks

Our Master Gardener Help Desks are now open for the season, and visits, phone calls, and emails have started out strong. Here are some of the highlights in the last couple of weeks: Weather related to landscape plants Q:        Is it too late to prune oaks to help prevent the...
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Early spring tasks before the growing season begins

It's that time of year. Ready, set… and wait.  The winter snows are all gone and recent snows are not going to last long as we have more and more days above freezing temperatures. There is a general feeling that we should be outside doing “something” in the yard. While we continue to experience...
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Force flowering branches for an early spring show

Every gardener can enjoy spring blooms a little earlier than usual, the trick is to do so indoors. Many of our ornamental flowering trees and shrubs have the 2022 flower buds ready and waiting right now. Typically, our ornamental landscape plants produce the next season’s bloom not too long after...
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Plan your vegetable garden by season or family

The best gardening plans are those that involve family and vegetables that are loved by everyone that seem to magically produce wildly for us with minimal care. As it turns out, how successful we are can depend on the kinds of vegetables we gravitate towards. Growing vegetables that need similar...
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