Watch News 25 Midday every Thursday at 12:25 PM to learn useful gardening tips from Ella Maxwell and the Pros at Hoerr Nursery.

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  • The Midday Gardener

    Ornamental Grasses – August 21

    In the fall, Ornamental Grasses start to bloom. You can get a variety of different kind of seed heads. They can be used for foundational planting and your perennial garden, and you can keep them up for the winter. The varieties of sizes, which go from a little blue fescue up to a maiden grass (over 6 feet tall). There are 25 different grasses at Hoerr Nursery and all of them are full sun grasses. There are a few shade grasses as well. They come back every year for Summer and Winter enjoyment; no fertilizing needed and not a lot of water… just to cut them back each Spring. Fall is a great time to plant them.

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  • Attracting Bees, Pollinators – August 14

    Ella Maxwell is a beekeeper and came to talk about attracting pollinators to your garden. She brought some ‘bee’ plants, which attract, of course, bees. In the fall, there is a nectar flow in some of these types of plants for pollinators – bumblebees, wasps & bees. These insect populations are dwindling and are good for the environment; reduce use of pesticides to help their population stay intact. Garry said mosquitoes are more likely to bite you than a bee is to sting you. Ella specifically brought Hyssop & Goldenrod, which doesn’t cause seasonal allergies. She suggested planting these plants away from your deck or sitting areas, toward a more remote area of your yard.

  • Emerald Ash Borer – August 7

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery talks to Garry Moore about the Emerald Ash Borer, which has confirmed sitings in Peoria & Tazewell counties. The Emerald Ash Borer is about the size of a penny in a torpedo shape. It is an exotic invasive species from China that can kill any Ash tree. Ella shows Garry how the adults lays eggs under the bark, and the larva do the damage to tree and the trunks, starving it of water & nutrients and then the top part of the tree dies back. To protect against tree death, Ella discusses using the systemic insecticide drench, which needs to be diluted with water but lasts an entire season; it does, though, need to be applied every year. Watch until the end, as Ella scares Garry with a unique trick.

  • Fresh Produce Available – July 31

    Typically, Hoerr Nursery sells a lot of transplants for produce and seed each year, but for the first time in 2014, produce (tomatoes, eggplant – a few varieties, cabbage, green beans, okra, zucchini & yellow squash) is available for sale at Hoerr Nursery on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ella Maxwell takes Garry Moore on a produce tour of what’s available to take home.

  • Coral Bell Perennials – July 24

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery talks to Garry Moore about the different varieties and cross-pollination, color discoveries in Coral Bell perennials. Ella has fun with Garry by playing ‘poker’ with all the different leaf varieties they produce. Coral bells can grow in any situation – full sun, full shade but enjoy a little afternoon shade. Garry holds and smells a Cinnamon Curl Coral Bell. Coral Bells also attract hummingbirds.

  • Water Features – Fountains, Small Ponds – July 17

    Water features provide a wonderfully-relaxing atmosphere in your garden, backyard. A few tips for creating your own oasis: to be successful with plants and fish, you need about 6 hours of sunlight each day. If you have too much shade, use a pond-less waterfall or fountain. Large water gardens can be expensive but last a lifetime. If you don’t want to make that investment, think of other smaller water features you can add, like a water bowl with a Lilly or Locust which needs fertilizing once per month. You can use mosquito dunks to protect against them throughout the summer. Also, for those with algae concerns, there are algaecides or floating barley bails. And of course, you can add fish, like coy or goldfish.

  • Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Garden – July 10

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery gives us 4 Tips to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Tip 1: Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticide. With Japanese beetle problems, use a container of dish soap to tap them into, so you’re not using harsh chemicals. Tip 2: Add water to your garden. Birds love bird baths, and to provide water for butterflies, take a large plastic plant saucer, fill with sand and then water. Tip 3: You have to have caterpillars to get butterflies; find out what butterflies you want and what their larva feed on to grow. Then plant Dill or other plants depending on their needs. Tip 4: Find the perennial plants that will attract the butterflies and hummingbirds; there are many varieties to choose from at Hoerr Nursery on Route 91 in Peoria.

  • Hydrangeas Demystified – June 26

    Many people believe Hydrangeas are difficult to grow but they aren’t. Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery helps Garry demystify Hydrangeas and where the best places to plant

  • Clematis Flowering Vines – May 22

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery visits to discuss the ‘climbers’ – Clematis Flowers. These twining vines need some sort of support or structure; you can use

  • Hummingbird Time – May 15

    Garry Moore receives a paper Hummingbird from Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery. Hummingbirds are attracted to both Annuals & Perennials, feeding on the nectar of both plants. Hummingbird feeders are also extremely popular and the easiest way to attract them. You don’t necessarily need real flowers to draw them in; you can attract them with fake flowers with tubular shapes and then have a feeder present for them.

  • Mother’s Day – May 8

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery talks about what to give Mom for Mother’s Day from Hoerr Nursery. You can choose from everything from retractable watering can, a water wand, garden statuary, unique flower pots/containers, boutique items like lotion & scarves, a hanging pot and… a chocolate mint plant (for Garry Moore’s mom).

  • It was a Hard Winter (especially on the Plants) – May 1

    Many of the Evergreens were damaged due to the severe winter; those which are yellow-tipped just need to be trimmed back and then fertilized. A number of Japanese Maples suffered a winter kill; you can however try to cut them back and force some growth out. There are several boxwoods that did well in the fields but some in pots didn’t have the wherewithal to survive. The White Pines will need time to re-grow, many of them along roadways having suffered salt spray. And now is also a good time to halve your Hasta plants (trying using an old steak knife and cutting from the bottom, instead of the top) and re-plant them.

  • It’s to do some Grass Seeding – April 24

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery says now is the time to seed those bare spots in your yard. First, you need to determine if the bare spots are in a shady or sunny area. Afterward, do a light rake and then it’s time to put down seed; which you can do with a handheld seeder, by using the cut-out handle of an old milk jug, or by hand. Once the seed is down, you can lay down some starter fertilizer, then rake them together, and water… and you’re done. You don’t want to rake the seed too deep, as it needs to stay in the top quarter inch of the soil. You can also mow in the first 7-10 days.

  • Get Started on Your Lawn – April 17

    Scott’s has a Four-step program and Step 1 is important because of Crab Grass prevention by using a spreader; you can get Crab Grass preventer in Step 1 with or without fertilizer. It’s best to put Crab Grass preventer down as soon as possible. And one final tip from Ella Maxwell of Hoerr Nursery… what do you do with your bulbs when they are done blooming indoors? Immediately plant them outside in the soil.

  • Let’s Make an Easter Basket… of Flowers – April 10

    Bring a decorative, ornamental wicker basket to Hoerr Nursery and fill it with flowers. WEEK’s Garry Moore selects from a number of different small, potted flowers & plants, and places them into the basket. Ella Maxwell of Hoerr Nursery says to add final touches, use Easter grass; a ceramic rabbit; foiled-wrapped, chocolate rabbits; eggs; and finally a bow.

  • Pots, Pots, Pots – April 4

    Ella Maxwell of Hoerr Nursery stops in to see Garry Moore to discuss Pots. If terracotta pots are left outside over winter, they get hairline cracks. If you need an outdoor planter year-round, concrete is recommended. It’s important with any planter to have a drainage hole at the bottom, and concrete pot risers will provide enough space for draining. There are plastic, lightweight pots, which are self-watering by containing a reservoir at the bottom; these can be used for indoor plants. You can also utilize a plastic saucer, which will allow extra water to run off and give the plant the necessary oxygen it needs.

  • Pansies Turned Easter Greeting Cards – March 27

    The intense colors of Pansy leaves make a great color feature for creating your own Easter or any other type of greeting card. Ella Maxwell of Hoerr Nursery says to put the leaves of pansy on a piece of construction paper or water color paper, and then insert it into a plastic bag before pounding it to imprint the design on the paper. Pansies are wonderful because they can take the cool temperature and you can put them in pots outside.

  • House Plants – March 13

    Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery talks about pruning an ivy on a topiary (a form used to train a plant’s growth).

  • Dormant Pruning – March 6

    Now is the time to do some pruning before the trees, shrubs & brushes start budding.

  • Getting Ready for Spring – Planting Seeds – February 27

    Hoerr Nursery opens Saturday, March 1.

  • Flowers for Valentine’s Day – February 13

    Flowers are always the No. 1 gift for Valentine’s Day. Ella Maxwell from Hoerr Nursery advocates putting together your own arrangement, using non-traditional vessels. Also, it’s good to use long-lasting flowers like Chrysanthemums, Alstromeria, & Carnations. Roses, of course, are always a hit as well; please make sure to cut your roses often and they will keep for a long time.

  • Orchids & African Violets, House Plants – January 23

    Ella Maxwell talks about Orchids, specifically Phalaenopsis Orchids and how to care for them. Do what Ella says but not what she does with her orchids. Don’t overwater your orchids, which only need about a quarter cup of water. In most cases, they don’t need soil but instead use a bark mix, which drains quite well. A house plant that does need soil to grow is an African violet.

  • Preserving your Fragile Trees & Protecting Your Garden Against Animals – January 9

    Use a broom to sweep or brush off your evergreens, and then use twine to keep the evergreen from splaying opening (and ultimately breaking), which gives it a mummy effect. That allows the tree to move together in the wind and wintry weather. Make sure to check your garden, shrubs & trees when the weather breaks slightly and starts to warm up because you want to see if any rabbits or deer have eaten things in your garden. To prevent this, use chicken-wire fences but please to continue to monitor activity.

  • Great Gift Ideas – December 19

    Ella Maxwell says there are many great gift ideas for your gardening loved one.

  • Proper Care for Poinsettias – December 12

    The Poinsettia came into the United States in 1828 from the Ambassador of Mexico.