Iowa’s Noxious Weeds…. Bull Thistle

April 16, 2013 0 Comments
Iowa’s Noxious Weeds…. Bull Thistle

The Bull thistle (Cirsium lanceolatum or Cirsium vulgare) is a member of the Aster family.  The flower certainly looks a lot like the asters I have in my garden. Plus the butterflies love it.  Too bad it is one of Iowa’s Noxious Weeds.  The Bull thistle is a biennial which means it grows the greenery […]

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Iowa’s Noxious Weeds…. Canada Thistle

April 12, 2013 0 Comments
Iowa’s Noxious Weeds…. Canada Thistle

The Iowa Weed Law says that all thistles in the Carduus and Cirsium genus are considered noxious, so there are several on the list.  The first to come up in this series is the Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). Canada thistle has an extensive root system so it is very difficult to get rid of.  Each […]

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Iowa Noxious Weeds…. Perennial Sowthistle

April 9, 2013 0 Comments
Iowa Noxious Weeds…. Perennial Sowthistle

The next in the Noxious Weeds series is the Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis). There is an Annual sowthistle (Sanchus oleraceus).  They look similar to me, but the annual (S. oleraceus) has a taproot while the Perennial (S. arvensis) has rhizomes. The stem is smooth, erect and unbranched, except at the top.  The lower leaves are […]

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Iowa Noxious Weeds…. Quackgrass

April 5, 2013 0 Comments
Iowa Noxious Weeds…. Quackgrass

Ah. Quackgrass.  My husband’s nemesis.  That infernal weed that only an all-out plant killer will take out.  Or, I suppose, we could spend our lives trying to dig every little bit of that evil little plant out of our lawn. Quackgrass has the scientific name of Agropyron repens or Elytrigia repens depending on which article […]

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Iowa’s Noxious Weeds Series… The Beginning

April 3, 2013 0 Comments

Now that Mother Nature has seen fit to let stuff start growing, it is time to start looking out for all those weeds.   With the ground still wet, these should be easy to pull out.  Dandelions are nice to see as color after our long winter, but nobody wants them in their yard.  Clover is […]

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Fermentation Finished

April 2, 2013 0 Comments
Fermentation Finished

Late last fall I got about a ton of cabbage from one of my Urbana Farmers’ Market vendors.  Well, it wasn’t exactly a ton, but it sure felt like it when I was shredding it into a 10-gallon crock.  I ended up shredding 33 heads of cabbage, interspersing it with canning salt and smashing it […]

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Getting That Itch to Dig in the Mud

March 25, 2013 0 Comments
Getting That Itch to Dig in the Mud

Mother Nature has seen fit to make this Winter last as long as possible.  My fingernails are wondering if I am mad at them since they don’t have any dirt, or mud, under them at the end of March.  While I can’t get to cleaning out my gardens or planting too much of anything, there […]

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VERY Early to Rise

January 21, 2013 0 Comments
VERY Early to Rise

Saturday’s very warm temperatures had us in the yard cleaning up the old birdseed under the feeders.   While wandering around the house looking at various plants in the garden I noticed that the rabbits have been busy already on my roses.  And one of the roses in sprouting new growth.  More concerning to me are […]

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Post Christmas Green

December 24, 2012 0 Comments
Post Christmas Green

All the presents are ripped open and the wrapping paper and packaging thrown out.  The tree is still standing despite the best efforts of Rover and Fluffy.  Now what?  What do I do with the tree? Well, if it is an artificial one, leave it up until Valentine’s Day like we used to do.  It […]

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A Bittersweet Moment…

December 10, 2012 1 Comment
A Bittersweet Moment…

‘Tis the season to decorate, but you might want to be careful what you are decorating with. Oriental Bittersweet is a woody vine that has bright red berries and is perfect for Christmas decorations. The problem is, the seeds on the vines are viable, meaning they will grow if they hit the dirt… well, they […]

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