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Over the Garden Fence 2014

Winter Protection for Young Trees

Lots of tree planting happened in the Fox Valley this past fall. The replanting has been pushed by the continuing tree population decline from the Emerald Ash borer, a boring insect that has now killed millions of ash trees in the Midwest. The other major reason homeowners have replanted trees has...
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Time To Mow

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator The annual passage of winter to spring has begun and the smell of fresh cut grass is in the air. The last week has seen a big green change in the neighborhoods. A few guidelines to having a good-looking lawn do not take us away from what...
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Airline Flights and Springtime Delays

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Spring is coming, but may be a bit late compared to what we have gotten used to. It is great that plants, insects and wildlife seem to know when it is right to show up. Insects will typically develop right along with their plant hosts and...
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Our Poor Sycamores

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Just about this time every year, homeowners that have a Sycamore tree in the home landscape begin to notice problems. Leafing out late or seeing a second set of buds and then leaves form is not normal. While Sycamores seem to be the worst...
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Vine Crops – Bugs and Disease

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Cucumbers, Squash, Zucchini, Pumpkins and Melons are all considered vine crops out there in the garden. Cucumbers are known for attracting cucumber beetles and a disease called cucumber wilt. Squash attract the squash bug and squash vine...
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The Song of the Cicada

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator There has been some recent press covering cicadas in Illinois this summer. While we can have a few cicadas every year, the brood of concern will be invading northwestern Illinois in the summer of 2014. According to the experts that follow...
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Crabapple Scab and Cedar Apple Rust

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Our beautiful ornamental flowering crabapples that grace so many yards have a couple of foliage diseases that can really impact how they look once the bloom show is gone. Both diseases readily infect the crabapple leaf. Apple Scab (...
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Winter Temperatures, Flower Buds and Rabbits

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Cold weather has already given peach trees in the home orchard a knock down punch for 2014. When temperatures reach 10 degrees, peach flower buds start to die. For every degree below -10 degrees, we lose another 10% of what was left until...
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What's Going on in the Garden?

Our ornamental landscape beds are really going through the process of getting ready for winter in a big way now. The weather pattern with warm days and cooler to cold nights has triggered the plants physiology from one of active growth to that of preparing for dormancy. Once that begins, there are...
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Forcing Branches into Bloom

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator Most of the spring blooming shrubs and small ornamental trees in the home landscape already have their flower buds ready to go right now. The flower buds were created last summer and have overwintered protected by insulating bud scales....
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Out in the Yard and Garden

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator July has brought us a mild summer with a fair amount of rain. It was not until the end of July that our yards and gardens began to look more typical – drying ground with some cracking showing up as the soil did begin to dry. If you missed...
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Do You Know Where Your Bulbs Are?

We are lucky here in the Midwest to be able to enjoy spring and summer bulbs alike. We plant spring bulbs in the fall and summer bulbs in the spring. We let spring bulbs overwinter in our garden beds and dig up summer bulbs to overwinter indoors. Our spring bulbs need a cold treatment to trigger...
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Dwarf Fruit Trees and Pollination

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator January is not too early to start to plan for a new home orchard or to consider replacements for aging fruit trees in an existing orchard. There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider, including apple, cherry, peach, pear...
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Holiday Plants in Your Home

The giving of holiday plants has become for many homes an annual family tradition. The one we think of most often of course is the poinsettia, yet mums, azaleas, cyclamen, and Christmas cactus are also given frequently. How well those holiday plants hold up and continue to give us enjoyment depends...
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Sod Webworms and Grubs

Gardeners would normally see damage from grubs or sod webworms this time of year. With our rainfall this summer, grub damage if they are even out there will be minimal. The winter weather took out a large percentage of the Japanese beetle grubs, so we have not seen that big population we have in...
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Spring Trees and Evergreens

Down the Garden Path Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator   Spring is a good time to be planting trees, shrubs and evergreens in the home landscape. We have lost so many trees to the Emerald Ash borer, other wood boring insects and diseases lately that some communities look bare,...
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First Really Cold Weather

We should have been expecting it, but no one is really ever ready for the first really cold weather we get. Our hardy trees, shrubs and evergreens or perennials weren't really impacted by low 30's and upper 30's that areas in the Fox Valley received. Gardeners do plant lots of tender flowers for...
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Warmer Weather and Ants

There are some 8000 thousand ant species around and on occasion ants can become an annoyance in the home. Most often they are a bother in the spring of the year when soils outdoors begin to warm again. Right now with our soils next to the home being warmer yet, we can have ants from outside...
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Rain Rain Go Away

Landscapes flower and vegetable beds sure needed some moisture; just getting it all at once is not ideal. Couple the high humidity, temperatures together, and we have great opportunities for disease outbreaks in the yard. Some general precautions would be NOT to work in the beds at all while the...
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Presents for the Birds and Your Backyard

Just about now, you can see holiday trees sitting in the front or side yard, waiting for the assigned pick up date to be collected and mulched. This is one way to be sure your holiday tree gets recycled to the benefit of the environment. The follow through to getting your tree composted in a...
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