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Gardening

Green Thumb – Growing Garlic

Want to get a head start on planting your vegetable garden for next year? Then garlic is the plant for you! Garlic (Allium sativum) has been grown for thousands of years as both food and medicine. It has a long growing season which may seem daunting. Fortunately, it is relatively easy ...read more

Green Thumb – Happy Houseplants

Keeping houseplants is a source of satisfaction for many. But when plants are not thriving it can be concerning and confusing. As soon as a leaf yellows or develops a brown spot, many reach for fertilizer or household pesticides, neither of which is an appropriate first response. Yellowing, brown edges, leaf spots ...read more

Green Thumb – Bearded Iris

Irises are easy to grow, long-lived, and relatively carefree perennials, making them some of the most popular flowers in gardens. They can also be found in a variety of colors, ranging from pink, purple, yellow, peach, green, white, tan, bronze, to almost black, and bi-color. The American Iris Society divides irises ...read more

Green Thumb – The Sweet Story of Strawberry Success

Nothing beats the taste of strawberries ripened to perfection in your backyard. Strawberry cultivars are separated into three distinct plant types based on their response to photoperiod (hours of sunlight received per day): June-bearing, ever-bearers, and day-neutrals. Strawberry plants tolerate many soil types but often do well on light-sandy soil with high ...read more

Get Your Lawn & Garden Soil Test

Does your soil need a nutrient boost before you plant those veggies in your garden? Can you improve your lawn with some added fertility to have a healthier looking yard? Soil fertility is important for growing a nice garden and lawn. You can improve the health of your soil by having ...read more

Green Thumb – Seed Starting

Seed starting is a popular way to kick off the gardening season. If you’ve never started your seeds before, there are several advantages to doing so:• Better germination rates because you are providing ideal conditions• Less competition from other plants• Fewer insect and disease problems. Starting seeds to make your own ...read more

Green Thumb – Sensational Succulents

In 2009, I had the opportunity to tour the Ball Seed Demonstration Gardens in West Chicago. There I learned that one of the cutting edge plant trends was to be growing succulents. Really? If I had been in the desert southwest, this would not have surprised me; but for northern ...read more

Green Thumb – Colorful Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum is Japanese,She's a fine lady, if you please.She comes to see us once a year,about the time Thanksgiving's here.— Elizabeth Gordon By late summer, the petunias get spindly, the coneflowers get floppy, and the phlox come down with mildew. That’s when chrysanthemums come to our rescue, revving up our enthusiasm ...read more

Native Plantings

Aftercare and Long-Term Management Every year not long after the corn and soybeans are planted, I start getting calls regarding the newly seeded native plantings that were completed in the spring or fall of the previous year, says Dean Johnson. The first comment is, “It sure looks weedy, and I don’t ...read more

Green Thumb – Alliums

They're Not Just Onions Anymore Alliums are a large, diverse family of plants. The allium genus contains 700 different species.We first find them in early American kitchen gardens where onions and chives were important plants to grow for culinary purposes. Today, many new forms of the original alliums have been hybridized ...read more