Miscellaneous

Herbal Gifts

December 7, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Herbal Gifts   Herbs from your garden can form the basis for a healing salve, lip balm, soothing hand cream or solid perfume.  All have the same three ingredients:  an herb-infused oil, beeswax and vitamin E oil.  Varying the amount of infused oil and beeswax is what changes the outcome. The first step is to […]

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0 HerbsMiscellaneous

Autumn Decorations from Your Yard or the Roadside

November 16, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

No need to splurge at the florist for a centerpiece to decorate your Thanksgiving table.  Look around outdoors and you’ll find all you need. Prairie plantings abound with stiff-stemmed flowers topped with interesting dried seedheads.  The prickly tops of spent purple coneflowers are classic.  The rattling pods of wild indigo hang on the stems all […]

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0 Miscellaneous

Nativars are not native plants

October 5, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Have you heard the term “nativar”?  It is the name given to a cultivar of a native plant. As a refresher, a native plant is one that existed in a particular area prior to European settlement.  Natives are well-adapted to the climate and soils of the area where they have grown for hundreds or even […]

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0 Miscellaneous

Mycorrhizal Fungi

September 7, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Everything you thought you knew about how plants get nutrients from the soil through their roots may be wrong.  Scientists have determined that 95% of plant families get the majority of their nutrition not through roots, but through microscopic fungi that either attach to or penetrate the roots.  These fungi, called mycorrhizae (pronounced my-core-rise-uh), form […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneous

Could a Wasp Save Our Ash Trees?

August 3, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

I spend an hour a week walking in circles on baseball diamonds doing biosurveillance.  I’m not wearing a hazmat suit or carrying high-tech spy equipment.  I need only my eyes and a pencil and paper to record what I see. I am searching for nests of cerceris wasps, a non-stinging – to humans – native […]

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0 MiscellaneousPests/Weeds/Invasives

What Are The Plants Doing All Winter?

February 2, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

      In winter, trees, shrubs and perennial plants go dormant.  They stop growing and in some cases die back to ground level.        The single signal the leads plants to begin the process of going dormant is day length.  When daylight hours shorten in fall, growth regulator hormones begin to build up in plants, slowing […]

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0 Miscellaneous

Laying out the Welcome Mat for Winter Wildlife

November 17, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

How are you coming along with your fall yard and garden clean-up?  Still have a ways to go?  Wouldn’t it be much easier to leave the annuals standing, the perennials uncut, the leaves unraked and the brush piles unburned? You could just quit now and allow your yard to be a haven of shelter and […]

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0 Gardening techniques and toolslandscapingMiscellaneous

We are Lucky to Live in the Tension Zone!

October 6, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

You wouldn’t think that living in the “Tension Zone” would be a good thing, but those of us who live in Winnebago County do and are fortunate to do so. In the 1950s, John Curtis, a botany professor at UW-Madison set out to classify the plant communities of Wisconsin.  With help from his students, a […]

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0 Miscellaneous

Don't Spray – Plants Can Defend Themselves!

September 15, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

What happens when you see an insect chewing on your beans?  Do you immediately reach for some kind of spray?  You really don’t need to do that – as soon as the chewer landed on the plant and began snacking, the bean called for help.  It did this by releasing a complex of chemicals called […]

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0 Fruits and vegetablesGardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneousOrganic gardening

What lawn weeds are telling you

September 1, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

The weeds in your lawn are trying to send you a message about your soil.  You can shush them temporarily by killing them year after year, but until you pay attention to what they are trying to tell you and take action to correct the underlying problem, they are going to keep coming back. The […]

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0 MiscellaneousPests/Weeds/Invasives

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