Yard & Garden

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Suggestions for what to plant in July

From a gardening standpoint, July is sort of the in-between month where we seem to enjoy the bounties of the month, and not worry about planting anything. July is fresh sweet corn rolled in butter, plump red cherry tomatoes that pop in your mouth, and juicy peaches that ooze liquid down your chin. You can’t […]

Watering-can

Watering dos and don’ts

Summer means heat, humidity and maybe the lack of rain. One never knows for sure, though. We could get cool weather and lots of moisture. Fortunately, Illinois hasn’t ­experienced years of severe drought, but if we go through some dry ­conditions, there are some things to remember and things you definitely should not do. The […]

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How to prune for renewal and rejuvenation

Okay, here’s one last column this year on pruning. If all goes well, everything should have been in full bloom sometime last month or at least by this month. Forsythia, deutzia, lilacs, viburnums and spirea are just some of the many, many flowering shrubs peppering the landscape with colors ranging from white to yellow to […]

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More on how to properly prune

Continuing last month’s pruning topic, it’s come to my attention that folks are scared of pruning wrong. To that I say, go by the three-beer pruning method. Drink three beers, and then go out and prune, making sure you do NOT use the chainsaw. As you’re pruning, you will realize how fun it is, and […]

trees

Proper pruning pays

There is nothing worse than a storm wreaking havoc on your trees. It’s enough to make you cry. Several years ago, an ice storm hit my yard, snapping the tops out of the clump birch trees. You could hear the limbs breaking, and it was heart breaking knowing there was nothing to do but wait […]

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More flower power

This is one of those months that commercial and wholesale florists love. Well, actually it’s just a single solitary day they love. And in truth, they probably love February 15th because they can breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, this year that’s a Sunday and they’d be relaxing anyway. The day before will be […]

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Resolve to be a better gardener

For 2015, I ­promise to be a ­better ­gardener. You can use that ­resolution as well, free of charge. Well, that tends to be a yearly promise, and ­fortunately, it comes without any benchmarks to tell if I, or you, chose to affirm the same goal to succeed. Let’s face it, it’s hard to fault […]

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How to save your ash trees

Since 2006, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has spread throughout the state, usually following interstate highways or rail lines, though there have been a few exceptions. Left on its own devices, the EAB flies about 1-5 miles a year, usually more on the lower end of the scale. With that, it would have taken an […]

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A matter of taste

October and apples go hand in hand. Sure, you may find some apples such as Lodi ripening in July and August, depending on the year. And some won’t taste good until they’ve been stored in the refrigerator or cellar over the winter. The vast majority of apples, though, come into their prime during October, matching […]

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Musing about a mossy issue

Moss is somewhat like curly hair. Those with lots of curls envy those with straight hair, and those with straight hair want the curls. Some gardeners strive and strive to get moss to grow in their yards, between bricks and patio pavers. They want their pots to show the aged moss effects. Some even will […]