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Gardening

Green Thumb – Tomato Trials & Tribulations

I like to grow different tomato varieties, but I also like to find the top of my kitchen counter at harvest time. That is why I usually grow just four plants. Last summer I had 17.  Some of them were candidates for the compost pile, like the four-pack of desiccated ‘Jet ...read more

Green Thumb – Springtime in the Garden

As gardeners, we have been patiently or perhaps not so patiently waiting for April and May and the beginning of the gardening season. We look forward to enjoying some of our old garden favorites but will also be interested in exploring new gardening trends and the new plants for this ...read more

Green Thumb – Fall Checklist

As we enter September and October, we look forward to harvest and a beautiful fall season. We must also realize that during these two months there will be work ahead as we close up our home gardens and landscapes for the winter. September is the prime time to plant trees. Trees for ...read more

Green Thumb – Spotlight on Ornamental Grasses

If you are an ornamental grass, you need to practice the fine art of patience. While summer gardens are full of blooming flowers, ornamental grasses remain in the background, quietly and discreetly, growing and waiting their turn. In late August and early September, the role reversal begins. Summer flowering plants are ...read more

Pondering Pollinators

In the mid 1800’s, Illinois was discovered as an incredible landscape for those who wished to settle in an ocean of tall grass prairie and rich soils. A prairie full of native grasses and flowers for hundreds of miles. Our plant communities have since changed, as people inhabited this great nation. ...read more

Green Thumb – Summer Checklist

By the middle of summer, some of our enthusiasm for gardening may be waning a little bit. However, some of our very favorite plants are about to appear in our gardens to be enjoyed this month. Annual plants should be filled out and looking beautiful in July. Annuals in the ground ...read more

Green Thumb – Phlox: What To Do About Powdery Mildew

Do you have a love-hate relationship with your garden phlox? The large clusters of long-blooming flowers are sweetly scented and oh-so beautiful. Their nectar attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. The downside is that once the heat and high humidity of summer rolls in, white spots can appear on the stems, leaves and ...read more

Green Thumb – I Can’t Leave… Something will be Blooming

The flower garden of our dreams has beautiful color all season long. We look longingly at catalog pictures, attend seminars, read advice from experts, and know every garden center within 50 miles.   We buy new plants, pull out dead plants, get divisions from friends, and move things around ...read more

Green Thumb – Spring Checklist

Spring Checklist It’s spring! As gardeners, we can’t wait to get out and begin planting our gardens, but in March we still have to wait for Mother Nature to give us the go ahead. This is a good time to do some planning for the gardening season ahead and start on ...read more