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Article ThumbHow to be a Mother to a Butterfly, Yes, You!

If you are reading this article, you are probably already aware that monarch butterfly numbers in Illinois are way down. Worse yet, it is our State Insect! But guess what! We can all help increase monarch numbers by finding butterfly eggs and raising caterpillars and releasing newly hatched butterflies. What??? Yes, YOU!!

To Attract and Find Monarch Eggs and Caterpillars: You’ll need milkweed plants, the only plants monarchs lay their 200 plus eggs on. Go to a garden center. You know you have milkweed when you rip off a plant leaf and it has white sap. Buy any kind of milkweed. Monarch caterpillars love them all equally. Remember common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the invasive one that travels by runners.


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Friends Don’t Let Friends Plant Mint

If “ignorance of the law” is no excuse, does that apply also to the laws of nature? Of physiology? Of reproduction?


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From the Editor - MayJune 2016

I always feel grumpy when people refer to gardening as a hobby, and now I know why. This winter, garden columnist Allen Lacy …


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The Dog Dayz

Gardeners perplex me. Actually, I’m perplexed by many things, including gravity and spumoni ice cream and why most Americans ...


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I have been trying to kill Grandpa Ott, known affectionately around here as Gramps, for twenty years. We brought him here ...


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A Gift from the Gods

Irises are named after a goddess who delivered messages while traveling on a rainbow. Just one reason they have so many colors.


questions

From what I have read, hellebores are supposed to spread. I have a few I planted four years ago, and they seem to be the same as when I planted them. They are planted in a bed of vinca. Should I remove more vinca that surrounds them? I do fertilize them and protect them with a winter mulch. What else should I be doing to have more plants?

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

I am going to be planting five dwarf fruit trees; two ‘Bartlett’ pears, one ‘Cresthaven’ peach, and two ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. Could you give me some feedback on them?

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