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Yard & Garden

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From water famine to feast

Water in the form of rain can be a blessing or a curse. We’ve certainly seen the extremes in the last two years. Life, and in this case nature, has a way of slapping us across the face without leaving a mark, waking us up to the reality that we can’t control a darn thing […]

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Fruit or vegetable?

The mouth-watering anticipation of ­taking that initial bite of ­deliciousness from their first home-grown tomato makes gardeners antsy to work that soil. Unless you’re prepared to cover your plants when the temperatures drop, you’re probably looking at mid-May in Illinois. Tomatoes are probably the most common and popular of garden vegetables, mainly for the large […]

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Gardening perfection is too hard

I’ll be the first one to admit it—­gardening isn’t always fun. That’s probably shocking. You probably think that I live in a perfectly manicured yard, with leaves that magically disappear in the fall, ­flowers blooming from February through December, no ice storm damage and an invisible wall that runs a mile high and keeps all […]

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Just say no to free plants

You can’t argue too much with “FREE,” unless what is being offered isn’t worth much. However, one person’s “free” may be another person’s “junk” and vice versa. When it comes to plants, free plants should set off alarms like the robot on the old Lost in Space ­television show: “Danger Will Robinson,” even if your […]

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Amaryllis growing advice

After 20 years of doing this ­column, it’s tough to come up with something new and exciting for the holidays. Unlike the world of technology, the world of holiday plants doesn’t evolve quickly, if at all. So, anything that is somewhat new is worth reporting. Amaryllis are still the holiday bulb that usually ends up […]

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Keep on the sunny side…

As the unofficial end of the gardening season, November is also the month to reflect on the past year. Thanksgiving allows the opportunity for us to be thankful. So, what’s there to be thankful for in terms of gardening? Well, we had the drought and heat. Summer’s conditions might not be something we need to […]

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It’s grow time for trees roots

While many take pride in their lawns, shredding hundreds of pounds in mental anguish this ­summer, the smart gardeners look at their trees and shrubs as something more important. This is not to say that any misguided and misplaced intent to make sure the lawn remains green and lush through the worst summer in our […]

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