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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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My Greenhouse Beauty

There are a few cyclical events in my life that I look forward to: the first lazy snowflakes, the emergence of a small ...


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Dahlia Delights

Last summer, I had the pleasure of strolling through Cantigny Park in Wheaton, where the floral displays are always spectacular.


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Behind the Curve (and losing ground)

I think I’m missing a gene. Okay, maybe two or three. This is the time of year when gardeners are told to dream, to curl up ...


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Read ‘em and Weep

January (and February and December...oh, and add November to that list...and you might as well throw in March, just to complete


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Five Hundred Years and Counting

The age of exploration isn’t over. The hunt continues for new and better plants continues.


questions

The foliage on our cucumber plants is starting to wither and turn yellow. They get plenty of water and I feed them regularly. What could be wrong?

Must I mulch my garden and, if so, when is the best time to apply it? What are the best materials to use?

What ratio and amounts of fertilizer would you use for a perennial bed and a vegetable garden? For growing annuals in a greenhouse, should the fertilizer be fast or slow-release, organic or inorganic?

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