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Vegetable gardening

When should I sow seeds for my vegetable garden?

With spring right around the corner and seed catalogs pouring in, many gardeners are anxious to get their hands in the soil, myself included. It may currently be a little early and damp to put shovel to ground, but it’s never too early to plan what vegetables and herbs you might grow. Gather your materials now and start planning your growing space. You may choose to forego the indoor jungle and winter sow seeds that...
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It's Time to Plant a Fall Garden

If you enjoy those sweet tender vegetables of spring, then you get another opportunity to enjoy them during the cooler temperatures of fall. The catch is that you have to plant them now during the month of August. Why does a fall crop need to be planted in August? Daylight and temperature. Here in central Illinois, we lose over two hours of daylight from the beginning of August through the third week of September. Three hours are lost by mid-October. After the middle of September, average...
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The New Victory Garden

Spring has sprung, the weather is gorgeous, and everyone wants to get outside. However, social distancing measures prevent many of us from being in public spaces. We can’t gather with others, but we still care about our families and our community. What a perfect time to revisit the victory garden and give a whole new meaning to the word VICTORY. During World War II, food was in high demand, and agricultural production was stretched to its limits. The United States fed our own population, both...
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A Beginners Guide To Worm Composting

This spring has provided ample opportunity for DIY projects so here’s one more to add to the list.   Worm Composting! For many, this might be unthinkable, but in reality, worm composting or vermicomposting is a great way to fulfill your mission to reduce, reuse, recycle. Vermicompost is mostly worm excrement which is also referred to as “castings.”  Worm castings actually contain 5 to 11 times more plant-available nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which is comparable...
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Homegrown: DIY Hydroponics for All Gardeners

Hydroponics continues to be a popular topic in the horticulture industry, but usually it is on a very large greenhouse scale.   Why is it so popular? Well, it's because your plants can grow 30% to 40% faster. And it is just pretty darn cool. Did you know that you can build a hydroponic system at home? This particular system you can build is a passive hydroponic system, meaning that nutrients, which are in a fluid solution, are drawn up and absorbed by the growing medium — a...
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