Milkweed (Ornamental Plants Toxic to Animals)

To increase monarch populations, people are increasingly planting ornamental types of milkweed and encouraging common milkweed to grow wherever it occurs in uncultivated areas. While milkweed is beneficial to monarch populations, people need to be aware that it is toxic and can be lethal to animals, particularly horses and other equines.

Using Wood Ash in the Home Garden

Authors: Kevin Schoessow, Extension Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties Last Revised: 02/27/2020 X-number: XHT1268   Home gardeners often ask if wood ash can be used as a fertilizer in vegetable gardens and flowerbeds, around landscape trees and shrubs, and on lawns.  Wood ash can be a valuable source of certain nutrients and can also be used to modify […]

Reducing Soil pH

Sherry Combs, formerly of the UW-Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Lab Revised:  10/27/2007 Item number:  XHT1151 Is your soil pH too high?  Probably not, although the popular press urges most gardeners to question whether their garden soil pH is ‘right’.  Only a soil test for pH can indicate whether the pH is ‘right’, and ‘right […]

Degree Day Calculation

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  8/6/2012 Item number:  XHT1086 Indicator plants are not always suitable for the timing of pest management practices.  You may not have the critical indicator plant  nearby to time local activities, or there may not be a good indicator plant for a particular pest’s crucial life stage.  Another […]

Phenology

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  5/17/2012 Item number:  XHT1085 The word phenology is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning “to show” or “to appear”.  Phenology is a branch of science that studies the relationships between periodic biological events—usually the life cycles of plants and animals—and environmental changes.  Natural events such as […]

Hummingbirds in the Garden

Hummingbirds are a large group of tiny birds with iridescent feathers, looking like sparkling jewels zipping among the flowers. These nectar-feeding birds utilize a wide range of plants to supply their enormous metabolic needs. Learn more about this fascinating group of birds and how to encourage ruby-throated hummingbirds, the Midwest’s only hummingbird species, in your garden in this article…

Jumping Worms

Native to East Asia, jumping worm was found in Wisconsin in 2013. Jumping worms feed on soil organic matter, leaf litter and mulch and create very grainy-looking and hard little pellets when they excrete. The ‘changed’ soil resembles large coffee grounds, and has poor structure for plants to grow in. Also, the worms feed on […]

Amazing Flowers

Everyone has a vision of what a “flower” looks like, but plant flowers are extremely variable and come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. Take a virtual tour of a dozen weird and wonderful flowers, each from a different plant family, and learn about some of their interesting characteristics, pollinators, or uses. No daisies here…

Stinkhorns

Stinkhorns are mushrooms that are found from the tropics to more temperate regions such as Wisconsin. They can suddenly appear in mulch, lawns, and areas with bare soil. These visually-shocking fungi get their common name from their characteristic, unpleasant odor. Stinkhorns do not cause plant disease, and can actually be beneficial, as described in this factsheet.

Insect Pest Management for Greenhouses

This handy chart lists pesticides that are most effective against common greenhouse pests such as aphids, scales, leafminers, spider mites, and thrips. Formulation, effectiveness, cautions, and other details are provided.

Rabbit Ecology and Damage Management

This publication describes the lives, habits, and habitat of the eastern cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare, both natives of Wisconsin. These creatures consume lots of different kinds of food, including garden vegetables and flowers in spring and summer, and bark of woody plants in fall and winter—which is why they are not welcome guests in everyone’s back yard.

Create a Butterfly Garden

Colorful butterflies can add a lot to a garden. With just a little extra planning and proper plant selection you can encourage these pretty creatures to visit, and maybe even get caterpillars to grow in your yard. Learn how to create a butterfly garden that will be attractive to many different types of butterflies in this article…

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