While this winter has brought little ice and snow cover, this past weekend’s winter weather put a coating of ice on most smooth surfaces. Gardeners, businesses, parks and others with landscaping near walkways must apply deicing salts for safety, but these products can harm plant life.
Every gardener has several of those go-to plants, the ones that seem to always grow nicely in their particular gardening system, making them a repeated addition over the years. I just love it when one of these go-to specimens can not only provide ornamental beauty, but an edible harvest as well.
A properly planted and well located tree can last longer than a human lifetime, so tree selection is an important decision. Last week I talked about a few commonly available trees to avoid due to their poor performance in tree plantings. This week I would like to explore some recommended alternative trees which provide similar ornamental value and have a much better track record.
We all have our favorite spring wildflowers for one reason or another. Maybe they are part of a native plant community we visit often, such as a close-by natural area or favorite park trail? Perhaps our preference comes from the plants we are able to cultivate at home, in our own gardens? For me, it’s certainly hard to pick one favorite, I probably have a list a mile long of my “favorites”.
In last week’s blog, I covered the basics of site selection for a new vegetable garden. Finding the best location in your yard, or understanding that containers may be the winning option is a really important part of setting up your growing space for success. I would like to continue the discussion this week by taking a closer look at the growing medium, or soil, we choose for gardening.
With an increased amount of time at home these days, there is an increased interest in gardening. It is such a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise while growing some neat and interesting plants.
In early July, the Illinois Department of Agriculture submitted a press release detailing the detection of a new pathogen in Illinois that threatens our native oaks. This non-native pathogen is the causal agent for a very serious disease known as sudden oak death. However, there may be some good news in this incident, thanks to swift action by the agency and others to rapidly identify and quarantine infected nursery plants.
Landscaping with edible plants is my second favorite gardening themes, next to ‘Going Native’. Today, there are a wide variety of plants available that will, not only provide your family food, but also offer many other desirable attributes. In addition, it reduces your carbon footprint by growing some of your own local food.