jerry vitalis

I have written several articles on pruning fruit trees and each time I suggest pruning them between February and the end of March, depending on the weather.  This is one spring where pruning fruit trees may not end until the end of April.  I have tried to prune apple trees several times, only to go [...]

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No matter what kind of winter we have, gardeners are always anxious to have spring come. The list of questions gardening enthusiasts have seemingly has no end. I always get lots of questions about potatoes. Already this year, I have been asked about the soil fertility for potatoes. Many gardeners, including me, think rotating the [...]

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Gone are the days when I needed to go to the basement every week to go through the many pails of canna bulbs, the 100 potted calla lilies, hundreds of gladiola bulbs, etc.  Now I only have about ten pots of amaryllis and when I went to the basement in late January, I noticed that [...]

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In my last article I wrote about our first Spring Series class about pruning fruit trees.  It will be held Feb. 12, 6 p.m. at the Senior Center in North Branch.  Jim Birkholz, owner of Pleasant Valley Orchard, will share his knowledge.  The price for all of our classes in $5 per person, which is [...]

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One of the indicators that the economy is struggling is the renewed interest in indoor and outdoor furnaces.  Along with this interest come questions on using wood ashes as fertilizer.  I asked Sue Humble, our Master Gardener coordinator, to help me.  Sue sent me information from Mother Earth News, the University of Illinois and a [...]

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There are several reasons why fall is a good time to be adding or replacing evergreens in your landscape. One of the main reasons is that most nurseries and garden centers offer a fine selection of trees and shrubs, including evergreens, at discount prices this time of year. They prefer selling at a reduced price [...]

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