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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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From the Editor - Jan/Feb 2014

This is our “Ideas Issue,” designed to be a keeper, although of course we hope you keep all of our issues. So to get this ...


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Birds and Beans

All the snow we’ve had recently brought many more birds to the feeders outside our kitchen window. A lone starling was ...


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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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Dismayed in the Shade

"President Jimmy Carter once said that life is not fair. I’m not positive, but I don’t think he coined that phrase. I’m not pos


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From Garden to Table

No one wants to think about gardening when the temperatures hover in the single digits and the wind is howling, but before ...


questions

What is the best way to dig up, clean and store gladiolus and dahlias? What are the little white sacs on glad bulbs?

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?

I applied commercial compost and hardwood mulch to an area where I am establishing a small garden. I did a few soil tests on the area and the results indicated the nitrogen was depleted. I intend to spread a bag of dried blood to rectify this problem When is the best time to apply the dried blood?

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