Category: Lawn

"A Chemical Reaction" Screening at Columbia College Chicago

“A Chemical Reaction: The Story of a True Green Revolution,” will be screened at Columbia College Chicago on March 20. The critically acclaimed film questions many of the products and practices used to create and maintain lawns. According to a press release for the screening 78 million U.S households use home and garden pesticides. This... Read more »

Choosing Lawn Fertilizers

Came across another helpful video by the University of Illinois Extension that talks about winterizing your lawn to prepare it for next year. It focuses on choosing the right lawn fertilizer for late summer early fall. When it says that organic lawn fertilizers are “lower in analysis” than “commercial chemical-type fertilizers” it is referring to... Read more »

Powdery Mildew in the Garden

Powdery mildew is probably the easiest to recognize of all plant diseases in the garden. It is a fungal disease that attacks just about every plant in your garden. A wide variety of fungi cause powdery mildew on different plants, but it is recognized by the appearance of a white or gray coating on the... Read more »

Lolla '09 and Grant Park

Over the weekend Grant Park was ground zero for one of the largest music festivals and not being a music buff, or attendee, I found myself curiously drawn to news here on ChicagoNow and on Twitter about the acts performing and the crowds. I was the Web 2.0 version of the grouchy neighborhood guy sitting... Read more »

Mushrooms in Lawns

With the extremely wet weather we have been experiencing in Chicago mushrooms are popping up in lawns all over the neighborhood. Mushrooms, oftentimes called toadstools, are the reproductive parts of some kinds of fungi. Mushrooms found in lawns seem to illicit a strange reaction. I’ve observed people plucking them from lawns wearing gloves or keeping... Read more »

Field Bindweed

Field Bindweed is one of my favorite weeds. Yeah, I said it. It was introduced into the U.S in the early 1800s and has become a nuisance in gardens, lawns, alleys and empty lots around Chicago and across the country. The weed is tough to eradicate because it has a strong and extensive root system.... Read more »

Manure Share Illinois

Manure Share is a program that connects gardeners and landscapers to farmers who have an abundance of manure. Livestock owners benefit by removing excess manure from farms and gardeners and landscapers benefit from free manure that can be applied to gardens.  Shares of the manure are available either fresh or composted. Composted manure can be... Read more »


Dandelion is the common name for Taraxacum officinale, a genus of flowering plants native to Europe, North America and Asia. The English dandelion is a corruption of the French dante de lion which translates to “lion’s tooth,” a refference to the deeply serrated leaves of the plant. The flower head (floret) of the dandelion is actually several... Read more »

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles emerge in late June in Illinois after over-wintering in the ground below the frost line as grubs. In the spring they move upwards feeding on the roots of your lawn and by the summer they are fully grown adults. When they emerge as adults, Japanese beetles feed on the leaves and flowers of... Read more »

Crocus: A Profile of a Garden Bulb.

By the time you read this one of my favorite garden bulbs to plant in my garden will likely be done blooming throughout Chicago. The crocus isn’t as popular as the tulip or daffodils in urban gardens in the city. While the flowers are colorful and can make the careful plant observer stop for a... Read more »