A windbreak of evergreens

Hold on to your hats! It is windy here in Illinois. Wind can be destructive to our homes and landscapes, plus it can make being outside miserable. This is why many Illinoisians plant windbreaks around their homes to keep that biting wind from causing a drafty house, prevent drifting snow, and make being outside tolerable.

Unfortunately, not all goes as planned with windbreaks. Some of these problems can be avoided with proper planning and choosing plant species suited to your location. Following are some tips for windbreaks.

Row cover protecting some lettuce

It feels like spring has sprung and boy it sprang hard. Several days above 60 and 70 degrees has pushed growth in many early perennial plants. Buds on trees and shrubs are swelling ready to pop at a moment’s notice. Many cool-season vegetables have put on significant growth. But soon we will likely be back to more seasonable spring weather. Chilly, rainy, and mud everywhere.

Cold frame with vegetables growing inside in the fall.

Are you waiting on the edge of your seat, ready for that frost-free date to pass so you can safely plant your tomatoes in the garden? If you know any vegetable farmers, they already have tomatoes in the ground. But you can’t fit a high tunnel in your backyard. Maybe the front yard? Nah, the neighbors won’t like that one bit. There are strategies to get you out in the garden sooner by extending the season. Let’s cover some early- and late-season strategies for the home gardener which don’t involve 100-foot long high tunnels.

What is Season Extension?