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 cultivars that can be planted in containers.
Choose the cultivar
June-bearing strawberries provide one large crop of bigger berries and everbearing strawberries produce smaller berries throughout the growing season. There also are novelty types of strawberries that range in flavor or color – such as purple, yellow, white.
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.
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.
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.
Gardeners have left the warm comfort of the house, and the impacts of winter are very evident as we do that “walk about” the yard and begin to formulate spring gardening plans. Master Gardener Help Desks have been open for a couple of weeks already with a lot of questions.
Q: I have noticed “runs” in the lawn, focusing near the bird feeder and then going in all directions. What is it?
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 possible spread of oak wilt?
A: Best range is November through February. This keeps us clear of oak wilt season. As of this column, we are really too close to sap flow to risk it.
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 weather that is warm one day, cold and snowy the next, there are some really basic gardening tasks that can be done. Do these on a dry day or while the ground remains frozen in the early part of the day.
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 they have completed flowering, so a few weeks after blooms fade, those landscape plants are already hard at work producing the next spring’s flower buds.
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 care can make gardening more effective and efficient.
If you like our cool season vegetables, consider those that are grouped by plant families:
Alliums: onion, leek, garlic*
Dormant oil sprays
Home orchardists often under value the importance of applying a dormant oil spray to their fruit trees. Dormant oil sprays are typically applied to the point of run off to the branches and trunks of fruit trees to control over wintering adult insects and insect eggs that were laid last summer and fall as a means of lowering the insect pressure early in the season. Dormant oil sprays do not manage insects that are overwintering off your fruit trees or in the soil around your trees. These insects will be managed through yo
Are you one of those gardeners who always gets the “itch” to start gardening too early each year? Don’t worry. There are some preventative steps to take to delay the early onset of Gardenitis:
How do you get a flower garden to be in bloom all summer or even longer? The simple answer is – by planning for it.
Drain flies and fungus gnats are another couple of household nuisance pests. They can be found any time of the year but may be more noticeable in winter when we are inside a lot more.
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 home orchard. There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider, apple, cherry, peach, pear, and plum.
Since we are in the northern portion of Illinois, apple is likely the main fruit tree grown in back yards because it is the hardiest. For the home orchard, apples are a good starting point. Once you have got a good handle on apples, expanding out to other fruit trees will be easier.
Now that you have cleared off the coffee table and the kitchen counter from the holiday catalogs, the next pile will be gardening solicitations and more catalogs.
Historically, this time of year was when gardeners ordered to get the hard-to-find seeds, perennial plants, and certain varieties of brambles and fruit trees. Given industry trends the last two growing seasons, it is going to be more important than ever to place all your orders as soon as possible.