of herbal fun, food and fellowship is planned for Herb Day 2003,
with noted herbal experts from around the country set to present
educational sessions that will inspire herb gardening and use in
the coming year.
Williams, owner of The Proper Season in Andover, Mass., and
author of "Are There Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden?" will speak
about designing and planting herbal theme gardens. Her talk is entitled
"Fairy Dreams and Other Herbal Themes." She will also present "Mrs.
Thrift's Herbal Tips," an in-character interpretation of the usage
of a wide variety of herbs.
House, home economist and cooking author from Ada, Mich., will
entertain us with her unique style of "Efficient Herbal Cooking."
Deanna's light, humorous presentation and encouragement of audience
interaction make for a lot of fun.
William Handel of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana, will
present a historical perspective on "Native American Prairie Plant
Medicine," a look at how the original residents of the Illinois
prairie used the plants around them.
Finally, Jan Powers of Peoria will demonstrate
"Containing Your Passion for Herbs," a talk about how to design and
construct beautiful, functional herb container gardens.
past years, there will be a retail area, with vendors of herbs,
everlastings, equipment, books and many other herbal products. This
area will be open for shopping to Herb Day 2003 attendees as well as
interested members of the general public from 8 a.m. until 3
p.m. There is no entrance fee for those attending only the retail
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event has blossomed into far more than a chance to see and hear
nationally known and respected herb experts. The conference has
become an annual gathering place for herb enthusiasts from all over
Illinois and surrounding states, where they can renew their
collective enthusiasm for herb gardening," said Chuck Voigt, U of I
Day 2003 is sponsored by U of I Extension and is open to
professionals as well as members of the general public. Cost of
registration, including lunch, is $39 per person. This includes
seating in the lectures, an information packet, an herbal theme
lunch buffet and access to the retail area. There will be
vegetarian options on this buffet, or a vegan plate can be arranged
reservations must be received no later than Jan. 10. To reserve
registration and lunch, mail checks, payable to the University of
Illinois, to Herb Day 2003, Attention: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner
Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.
in the lecture room is limited to 250 participants. On-site
registration will be accepted only if spaces are not filled prior to
the event. On-site registration will also cost $39 but will not
include lunch. For more information, call (217) 333-7738 and mention
Herb Day 2003. Credit card orders cannot be accepted.
of I news release]
Many of the improved varieties offered
today last an amazingly long time. To keep them looking good and
lasting, keep the room temperatures between 60-68 degrees (if
possible) and with very high humidity. Temperatures over 75 are
really hard on poinsettias, especially with low humidity. Try to
place your poinsettia by a bright window just out of direct
sunlight. Remove it from the window at night if there is a danger of
chilling. Keep soil moisture at moderate and uniform levels, and
never let the pot stand in water.
[Photo provided by John Fulton]
Re-blooming poinsettias is a common
goal, but bear in mind that this is one of the most difficult plants
to succeed with. If you're a gambler, or a die-hard
horticulturalist, here are the basic steps to improve your success.
After you are done displaying your
poinsettia, gradually withhold water. The leaves should soon turn
yellow and drop. Store the dried-off plant in a cool (meaning 50-60
degree), dry, dark basement room until April or May. During this
period, water lightly with just enough to keep the roots and stems
from drying out too much.
When you bring the plant back up, prune
stems to about six inches. Remove from the pot, take some old soil
from the roots, then repot using a well-drained mixture. If there
are several plants in the pot, separate and pot them individually.
Use a pot that provides plenty of room. Water the plant well and
place in a warm, sunny spot for renewed plant growth. You can put
the plants outside when frost danger has passed, but be wary of
direct sun in the hottest part of the day. You may have to repot the
plant if it becomes root-bound. If you're into starting cuttings,
you may have decent success by starting new plant from the shoots
that appear on your old cut-back plant in the spring.
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Keep the plant actively growing during
the summer months by watering regularly and applying a complete
liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. As new shoots form, pinch
them back so that two nodes (leaf pairs) remain on each. Stop
pinching off shoots in August. Also, you may want to remove some of
the weaker stems completely, allowing only a few of the stronger
ones to develop. Control insects as they appear, and if plants
become diseased they should be pitched.
Before cool weather in the fall, place
the plant inside at a south window with full sun through the day.
Watch the temperatures and moistures. Temperatures should be 60-65
during the day and 70-75 at night. Moisture should be moderate.
Starting the last week of September, your plant should be exposed
only to natural sunlight (this means no house lights after dark).
Probably the best method is to put the plant in a closet overnight.
Once the leaf color forms you can increase non-daylight light.
With these recommendations, and a
little bit of luck, your poinsettia should be ready for the holiday
season. If you're really into poinsettias, try the University of
Illinois Extension "Hort Corner" pages on poinsettias. Point your
poinsettia/index.html and enjoy.