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Urban Gardening

Fall garden with pumpkins

Give your front porch containers a fall makeover

Are you ready to toss in the towel on your overgrown, drab-looking container gardens for the year? Unfortunately, our gorgeous summer containers are now fading due to the stress of the summer heat, possible insects or diseases, and the changing temperatures and sunlight in fall. Don’t give up! Now...
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Oats, Outi Mähönen, via Unsplash

Spring cover crops help start the season weed-free

Do you struggle with weed control in the spring before planting your summer garden? Does your garden lose topsoil after a heavy rain due to slope? Would you like to improve soil structure and add organic matter to your garden? Backyard cover cropping is for you! At the time of...
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seedling under plastic lid. creative commons.

Seed starting woes? Ask the pros

Originally published by Kelly Allsup on February 19, 2021. Who would have known seeds would be the latest craze in 2021? Many seed companies are finding it hard to keep up with the demand and are out of stock or delayed in delivery. If you haven’t ordered your seeds, don’t fret, some are...
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growing crops in bags

Edibles or ornamentals? Container trends for 2021

Patio containers will grow food and boast hues of silver and white, and I think we may even see gardeners experimenting with growing sweet potato vine towers. Long gone are the acre gardens with rows and rows of vegetables. The current gardeners are growing their food in patio pots, garden bags,...
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Mint plant on window sill in small container. Image: Eleanor Chen via Unsplash

Herbs all winter: grow them indoors

While winter can give gardeners a nice break from their usual garden maintenance, they undoubtedly miss the ability to harvest and enjoy the fresh garden bounty. Try growing fresh, flavorful herbs indoors this winter to add some green to your home and zest to your recipes! Many herbs are native to...
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red oak rain garden

Rain gardens offer standing-water solutions

A homeowner who is interested in eco-friendly gardening may want to consider incorporating a rain garden into their landscape. A rain garden is a permeable landscape feature that improves the quality of water runoff while adding beauty and supporting pollinating insects and birds. Typically...
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fox squirrel in foreground of fall or winter tree limbs.

Wildlife in the fall garden

Proactive strategies can lessen the extent of wildlife damage to your gardens through fall and winter. Once the ground is frozen, rabbits will have fewer places to take shelter or hide, and will forage for food a lot closer to the protection of their winter home. They will go for anything green...
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full season french intensive garden

French intensive gardens root well in Central Illinois

Connie Kostelc has been a Master Gardener volunteer for University of Illinois Extension in Livingston County for the last 22 years. When gardening for edible plants, Connie uses the French intensive raised bed method. Connie says the look of a French Intensive raised bed garden is different than...
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wheatgrass growing in a cup

Kids in the Garden: Grow & Explore this Fall

Fall is the perfect time for little ones to get out in the garden to explore plants at their peak, and even grow their own plant projects in the cooler temperatures. Here are a few ideas to get them outside and appreciating nature. Cut Grass Hair Grow your own grass head, then snip or style the “...
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Take your butterfly garden to the next level

Are you ready to take your butterfly gardening to the next level and allow some of your beautiful plants to be eaten by caterpillars? Choose the right plants, give them some care, and voila — caterpillars. The most grown caterpillar food in our gardens are milkweeds for monarchs and parsley for...
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beet greens and lettuce greens

Don't grow distant from your garden!

Free time on your hands? Avoiding social spaces, but need some time outside? First, remember that just because you're outside, the virus can still spread. If you're working with more than one person: Maintain minimum distance of six (6) feet between you and others in the area. Do not take part...
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Lavender photo by Verophoto Art, via Unsplash

Sensory gardens invite interaction

Walking through any garden can be calming, educational, inspiring, energizing, or a combination of all of these. A new trend in gardening is creating intentional gardens; gardens with a specific purpose, like a sensory garden.  Sensory gardens are areas designed to stimulate one or more of the...
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