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Hort in the Home Landscape 2014

Protecting Your Home From Fall Insect Invaders

Now that fall has arrived and the winter season is approaching, many of us start to notice various insect critters trying to find shelter inside our homes. The good news is that most of these insects are perfectly harmless and are simply a nuisance. In fact, many of these insects are actually...
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POTW: Siberian Iris

Plant of the Week! Two weeks ago we discussed the Bearded Iris, but this week it's all about the Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica). Siberian iris looks quite different with its fine textured strap like leaves as opposed to the fan like foliage of the bearded...
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Seasonal Decorating with Evergreens

Evergreens are always a nice addition to the landscape. They provide a pop of green foliage in the winter when everything else in the landscape is without leaves or winter interest. But these evergreens are more than just for landscape use, evergreens can be easily cut and harvested for use...
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Overwintering Perennial Patio Containers

Reading my weekly newsletters this week I came across a good article with some tips on overwintering perennials in containers. I for one love to add perennials, like Coral Bells which has excellent foliage color choices, to my container mixes, but I always remove them early enough to get planted in...
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POTW: Potentilla

Plant of the Week! This week's plant is a lovely shrub, the Shrubby Cinquefoil or Potentilla, (Potentilla fruticosa). I have this shrub surrounding my mailbox and its blooming now with lovely yellow blooms. The great feature of the potentilla is its...
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A Milkweed for Every Location

While the name "weed" in any plant name scares many gardeners, milkweed plants add beauty to the garden and are essential for providing habitat for monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on the leaves of milkweed plants and then the larvae feed only on these leaves. These...
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Preventing Brown Evergreens this Winter

Last winter was a tough one on many of our evergreens. Most gardeners had severe browning on many of their evergreen trees and shrubs, and some were even killed by the cold winter winds of winter. This year, take some steps to prevent some of that damage. The problem comes when water isn't...
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Maple Tar Spot Starting to Appear

The questions about Maple Tar Spot have started to come in to our local Extension offices, which is a standard occurrence this time of year. Several different fungi in the genus Rhytisma infect the leaves of maples and cause raised, black spots to form on upper leaf surfaces. The diseases...
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Home Hydroponic Systems

This summer I've been trying out some various hydroponic setups that one could utilize in their own home or in the classroom. I initially started the project to show teachers in the hopes that they could implement a system in their classrooms. I showed these setups at the local Summer Ag Institute...
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POTW: Bearded Iris

Plant of the Week The irises are blooming beautifully in my garden and it seems in everyone else's gardens right now! The Bearded Iris (Iris x hybrida) is looking particularly great. According to the American Iris Society, iris can be classified into...
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Forcing Amaryllis for the Holidays

I'm a big fan of flowering bulbs of all kinds, especially when I'm able to force those bulbs indoors. Forcing is a technique that imitates the environmental conditions that bulbs encounter outdoors, thereby tricking them into flowering earlier. So essentially, you can bring the...
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Fall Master Gardener Training Offered in Ogle County!

University of Illinois Extension is pleased to announce that Master Gardener Training will be held in Ogle County on Fridays beginning September 5 to November 21. This will be the first time that training will be offered in the fall instead of the spring! The trainings will be held from 9:00 am to...
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Going Beyond Impatiens for the Shade

Have you noticed less Garden Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), being sold in local garden centers this year? If so, this is due to a recent disease outbreak on impatiens called Downy Mildew of Impatiens (Plasmopara obducens). In 2011, the U of I Plant Clinic began receiving...
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POTW: Elderberry

Plant of the Week! This week you can see Elderberry blooming along roadsides and in gardens everywhere. The most familiar of the Elderberry's is American Elder or Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis. This particular elderberry looked beautiful along the water...
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Decorating Windowboxes for the Winter

During the spring, summer, and fall my windowboxes are filled with beautiful blooming and foliage plants, but once frost hits, I pull all those plants out and my windowboxes are left bare. Very dull and boring. To make these windowboxes usable year-round, I add some winter interest to the boxes...
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Aster Yellow on Purple Coneflowers

If you're a lover of coneflowers (Echinacea sp.), then this is your time of year. The coneflowers are blooming beautifully in many gardens across Northern Illinois. Some gardeners have made note though, that their purple coneflowers in particular are looking a little peculiar this season...
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POTW: Perennial Hibiscus

Plant of the Week! This week I'm featuring the Perennial or Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus mosheutos). Many gardeners are familiar with the tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) that many of us grow as houseplants in the winter and set outside for...
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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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Are Ants Really Required to Help Open Peony Buds?

As gardeners I'm sure many have heard the folk tale that ants are needed to help open up the buds on your peonies. I've always heard this as well, but logically, never believed that to be true. In my head I just always pictured muscled up ants prying open the peony buds. Not very likely. Well...
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