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Over the Garden Fence 2021

Christmas tree traditions and care practices

Part of holiday tree history Decorating evergreen trees at Christmas is an old German custom that originated in the region along the upper Rhine River. The Christmas tree was first brought to America by Hessian troops during the Revolutionary War and, another early account tells of American...
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Winterizing your home orchard

We winterize everything else, why not the home orchard? Now is the time to prevent problems later by spending some quality time with your fruit trees. Rodent damage to the trunk at the soil line happens when grass is left to grow tall next to the trunk. Remove the grass and weeds using hand...
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Don't forget about these late fall yard chores

November gardening in the home landscape is always a mixed bag of tasks (and weather). Some jobs are timely and appropriate, and others we may just need to catch up with. Here’s a few to make sure are on your to-do list: Vegetable gardens We have had some pretty cool weather, so end-of-season...
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jumping worm

Fall updates: gardening trends and jumping worms

In 2021, both the consumer and retail sides of gardening have seen unique challenges due to the pandemic.  Since spring 2020, garden centers saw a huge and unexpected increase in demand for seeds, plants of all kinds, and all the associated supplies used in home landscape. This caught all of us...
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Northern Illinois drought continues into fall

Are we still in droughty conditions here in northern Illinois? As of October 5 – the day before we started to get all the rain – we sure were. Are we good now? We are better off, but not “out of the woods.” The rains we got were most welcome, yet the drought monitoring sites still show DuPage,...
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Fall is a good time to start composting

As autumn progresses, gardeners begin wondering what to do with all the plant parts that need to be pruned off, and later, all the leaves that will fall. A great alternative to those landscape waste bags is to recycle right in your own yard and benefit from all that free organic matter....
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Gardening chores don't know summer is over

Some of our late summer and early fall garden tasks can take more time than others. Making a “to do” list can help us get them done in a timely manner and not forget anything. (For example, hurrying to get the houseplants in just after dark and before that predicted frost is never fun.) Here’s a...
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There is still hope for the vegetable garden

Many families tend to “give up” the vegetable garden once school starts, yet you do not have to. Vegetables can still be productive for a couple more months, depending on what you have been growing. Certainly, long season crops like tomatoes and peppers, are there now and will continue to produce...
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