Posts Categorized: How-to

Aphids: What to Do?

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  This post was written to address a question about aphids on milkweed. Any of the steps would apply to aphids on any other type of plant, including edibles.  (Note the image at the top of the page is of a Lacewing adult, one of the beneficials that you want to attract and keep in your… Read more »

Indoor Seed Starting

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Indoor seed starting gives you a jump on the growing season. If you wintersowed your flats outside, and they’ve had enough time outside, you can simply bring them and start the germination process indoors.  Or, if you stratified your seeds in your fridge via a medium or paper towel method, you can then sow the… Read more »

Putting the Garden to Bed–Wild Ones Style

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Putting the Garden to Bed–Wild Ones Style The best time to get ready for next year is now.  1.Get rid of any invasives.  2.As you remove some of these plants, you might bring up hibernating insects like ladybugs and spiders. Tuck them back in the best you can, so they can do their good work… Read more »

What’s in a Leaf Pile, Or Why Not to Do Fall Clean-up

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What’s in a Leaf Pile? A lot of potential for life is in a leaf pile. Many beneficial (and beautiful) insects overwinter in our yards. For instance, the Katydid (important food source for birds during late summer) and Preying Mantis overwinter as eggs attached to twigs, stems, and/or leaves. Ladybugs and Lacewings also spend the… Read more »

Monarch Garden Planting Tips

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If you ordered a Monarch Garden Kit or are new to gardening, this “How-to” sheet might be helpful. Monarch Garden Planting Tips Thank you for purchasing one of the Monarch Kits! The plants will need a little TLC for a few weeks while they get settled and their root systems get established. We’ve written up… Read more »

Rethinking Spring Clean-up

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Hold your rake!  Clearing out your garden can backfire–you are removing the building blocks of soil and harming if not destroying beneficial insects that found a safe place in your garden during the winter.  You can learn more about some of these animals in this post: What’s in a Leaf Pile.   Read the below… Read more »

Quick Tips to Tidy the Habitat Garden for Winter

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Quick Tips to Tidy the Habitat Garden We understand the difficult balance there can be between having a presentable garden and being ecologically friendly.  Although we tend to keep our own gardens through the winter, we still do a little trimming and thinning here and there.  Below are some of the strategies we use: If… Read more »

Start-up Guide for Native Gardens in West Cook County

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Native Gardening Basics There are many ways to start using native plants in your garden. You can start to incorporate native plants into your existing landscape – or – you can start completely from scratch. First, make an assessment of the environmental conditions (shady or sunny, drainage, soil types, irrigation, etc.). Also, make an inventory… Read more »