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Refresh your grass identification skills

Spring is here and plants are greening up and leafing out almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule! My neighbors and I have already been out and about doing yard work and getting ready for the new season.  As we shake off the winter doldrums and welcome new spring life, it’s time to refresh your plant identification skills! I’ve already seen grasses in bloom (yes, you read that correctly!) so let’s go...
Periodical cicadas in Illinois in 2024. A black cicada with orange wings and red eyes rests on a green leaf

The cicadas are coming! Periodical cicadas in Illinois in 2024

Can you hear them? Probably not yet, but soon, Illinois will be awash in the songs of periodical cicadas. This year (2024) is a big year for periodical cicadas in Illinois, where Broods XIII and XIX will be emerging throughout much of the state at the same time. This is the first time this has happened since 1803, and it won’t happen again until 2245! Despite some talk of an impending insect...
Recent Blog Articles

Tips for Improving Parent/Child Communication

Being open and available to talk about subjects such as sex and sexuality can be challenging. Some common fears that many parents have include not having all the answers, feeling embarrassed, encouraging sexual experimentation, or feeling as though talking doesn't matter. Here are some suggestions...
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Fireblight on Pears Common This Year

We've gotten many calls and samples concerning fire blight this season, and the same goes for our plant clinic on campus in Champaign-Urbana according to their recent report. The majority of the samples submitted to the plant clinic identified fire blight on pear trees and ornamental pear trees....
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Slugs a Common Hosta Pest

Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator If you find large, ragged holes in the leaves of hosta (and other) plants in your garden and notice a slime trail as well, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator warns you may have a slug or two taking up residence...
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Squash Bugs

The dreaded squash bug is inevitable if you are growing squash, melons and pumpkins says Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. It is responsible for major crop failure and causes hysterical gardeners running to buy chemicals in which to kill them. Besides this issue these crops can be really easy...
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10 MORE Rules Money Savvy Kids Should Know by Age 18

I have mentioned before that I did not do a very good job of teaching my kids how to handle money. That is in part because my parents did not do a good job teaching me. Finances were something that were not talked about with children (who should be seen and not heard!). Many do not believe that...
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First Japanese Beetles of 2014

The first Japanese beetles of 2014 have emerged in the Lincoln, Illinois area. I caught four of them in my pheromone trap located just north of Lincoln on June 19th. Remember, these beetles will attract others to places where they begin feeding by giving off pheromones to attract others.
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Illinois Govenor's Mansion Grounds

Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator The recent University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Team professional improvement meeting in Springfield included three tour sites. One location was the grounds at the governors mansion. I've been to the grounds many times and...
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POTW: Bottlebrush Buckeye

Plant of the Week! On a tour of the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield this week, it was hard not to notice the beautiful Bottlebrush Buckeyes (Aesculus parviflora) blooming! The bottlebrush buckeye is a multi-stemmed, suckering shrub that suckers...
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We Have Blogs on Many Different Topics

Personal Finances

Illinois Extension can guide your family through all of life's stages.
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Great retirements don't happen by accident. Tips for saving and investing your money.

Plan Well. Retire Well.

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Money talk by college students, for college students.

Be Centsible

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Develop and maintain thoughtful and effective financial behaviors using these trusted methods.

Fearless Financial Future

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Find the financial balance that fits your personal budget and financial planning goals.

Finding Financial Balance

Family

In today's hectic lives, families find themselves raising children, caring for elders, and working.
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Read these timely resources for wellness across the lifespan.

Family Files

Health

Living well means taking time for ourselves so we can be healthy for others who need us. 
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Take steps to living a healthier life.

To Your Health

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Genuine, sustained self-care is an art.

Refill Your Cup with Self-Care

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A journey of wellness dedicated to awareness and the power of knowledge to help you on your health and wellness journey.

Walking the Line to Wellness

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Empowering people to make healthy, respectful and responsible choices.

Community Health: Empowering People

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Working together to address social and structural health inequities

Health Insights Illinois

Nutrition and Wellness

Eating healthy shouldn't be this hard.
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Healthy information for better living

Live Well. Eat Well.

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Nutrition information you can use.

Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy

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Highlighting food, recipes, and ideas for a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Eats and Repeat

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Helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Community and Economic Development

Illinois Extension helps communities develop strategies to thrive.
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Strategies for strengthening local economies.

Building Entrepreneurial Communities

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Participants in Illinois Extension Illini Science Scholars Program share their experiences in this unique opportunity. 

Scholars Speak

Natural Resources

We have one planet. Let's work together to ensure its future and ours.
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Dig deep into the types of grasses and their uses in our world.

Grasses at a Glance

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Read the latest news in natural resources.

Naturalist News

field buffer

The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream.

Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy

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Weather impacts food production, transportation, homes, and lives.

All About Weather

Horticulture

From the flowers you enjoy to the produce you eat to the plants that add value to our life, we offer help for growing strong.
mums

Keeping you (and your garden) growing with good ideas.

Good Growing

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Gardening in Illinois including everything from vegetable gardening to native plants.

The Garden Scoop

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

Over the Garden Fence

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Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

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Helping new and experienced gardeners develop their skills and knowledge while encouraging everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

Illinois River Horticulture

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Archive of the most popular blog articles from Illinois Extension

Our Greatest Horticulture Hit Blogs

Local Food Systems and Specialty Crops

Growers are diverse, from urban agriculture and beginning small farmers to farmers markets and organic agriculture.
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Learn new resources for urban growers.

Local Foods | Local Farms | Local People

strawberries

The "Jungle" refers to Elizabeth Wahle's personal St. Louis Metro East garden and it provides the backdrop for her writings about building and sustaining viable food webs and ecosystems within the home landscape.

Welcome to My Jungle

squash soup

A blog for growers, consumers, and backyard gardeners to grow, eat, and connect in the local food system.

Raise, Grow, Harvest, Eat, Repeat

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Connecting you with your food, farmers and community.

Know How. Know More. Connecting Food, Farmers, and Community

carrots in the ground

Ramping up local food production in the second-most populous county in the US.

Cultivate Cook County

vegetables in basket for sale

Conditions can change quickly. As a commercial fruit and vegetable grower, get the latest information as it is available.

Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Growers

 

Agriculture

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The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies.

The Cattle Connection

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Whether you're a farmer or landowner, trust the advice from Extension's farm coach.

Farm Coach

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Emerging news and best practices for pesticide use and testing.

Pesticide News

corn

All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.

Acres of Knowledge

crops

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.

Hill and Furrow

Youth Development

We're the friend you've been looking for.
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4-H’s learning opportunities are intentionally designed around four essential concepts necessary for positive youth development: a sense of belonging with a positive group, independence and self-determination, a spirit of generosity toward others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges.

Our Stories from Illinois 4-H

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Timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.

Connection Corner: Activities for Families