Bringing you the activities of the following county soil and water conservation districts: Clinton, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope-Hardin, Pulaski-Alexander, Randolph, Union, St. Clair, Saline, Washington, White, and Williamson.
Have you been wondering what that tall yellow flower is that seems to cover the landscape as far as you can see? - It's Butterweed!
Butterweed is a native biennial or winter annual plant 1-3" tall. The hollow central stem is stout, light, green or reddish green, with conspicous veins along its length. The central step and small side stems terminate in rather tight clusters of compound flowers. A compound flower consists of 5-15 yellow ray florets, surrounding numerous golden yellow disk florets. Each compound flower is about 1/2" across, and a cluster of such flowers is about 1-5" across. The blooming period is from mid-spring to early summer, lasting about 2 months.
They prefer full or partial sun and wet to moist conditions. A rich, loamy soil is preferred. This plant is easy to grow, and can volunteer is unexpected places. During the spring, it develops very rapidly during moist weather. It will tolerate temporary flooding.
Habitats include wet to moist areas in open floodplain forests, meadows along rivers, black soil prairies, borders of ponds, ditches, swamps and seeps, abandoned fields and poorly maintained lawns, and soggy waste areas. Sometimes, this plant can form sizable colonies in disturbed areas. It is more common in wetland areas than prairies and meadows.
Around your home and yard:
*Dispose of discarded tires, cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other unused similar water holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
*Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
*Drill holes in recycling and other containers that are stored outside to prevent standing water.
*Maintain door and window screen.
*Clean clogged roof gutters, down spouts and flat roofs of buildings which hold water.
*Keep drain, ditches and culverts free of grass clippings, weeds and trash to prevent standing water.
*Keep weeds and tall grasses cut short and spray shrubbery or high weeds to kill adult mosquitoes.
During outdoor activities:
*Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
*Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors.
*Clothing should be light in color and made of tightly woven material to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
*Spraying your backyard with an insecticidal for or mist is effective, but only for a short time. This process must be repeated according to label directions.
*Use mosquito repellent according to label directions.
White County SWCD entered into an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to provide assistance for the Wabash River Floodplain Corridor Project - Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and The Nature Conservancy are partnering to promote a Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) project along the Wabash River in White, Gallatin, and Wabash Counties. The WREP is a special project in which NRCS and local conservation partners work with landowners to enroll acreage into 30 year or permanent easements and restore land to wetland conditions in a targeted area including 6 Illinois counties and 8 in Indiana.
The WREP is a program offered by USDA to return lands with flooding problems to their natural floodplain conditions. Most land in the floodplain of the Wabash River qualifies for the WREP Floodplain Easement Program. Easements purchased by NRCS are based on $2,800 per acre for cropland or $2,500 per acre for non-cropland areas. Payments will be made as a one time lump-sum. If restoration work is done on a site enrolled as a permanent easement, NRCS can pay 100% of the costs.
There has been extensive flood damage to farmland along the Wabash Valley Corridor. Some farmland acres have been damaged badly enough to affect crop production. The Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program can become a valuable resource for farmers and landowners.
WREP, a component of the Wetlands Reserve Program, leverages assistance from NRCS’ partners to provide financial and technical assistance to eligible landown-ers to protect, restore and enhance wetlands and improve wildlife habitat. Wetlands provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endan-gered species. Wetlands also improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals; reduce flooding; recharge groundwater; protect biological diversity; and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.
For additional information, contact White, Gallatin, or Wabash County Soil and Water Conservation District staff or the NRCS District Conservationist. Click on SWCD Basics, Contact Your SWCD for contact information.
The University of Illinois Extension has websites to suit all kinds of gardeners.
Watch Your Garden Grow (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies) features information on the basics of vegetable gardening, how to plant the garden and a directory of vegetables.
Selecting Trees for Your Home (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treeselector/intro.cfm) helps consumers make knowledgeable decisions when selecting a tree.
Gardening with Perennials (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/perennials) includes information on common perennials, perennials for specific uses, how to prepare a perennial bed, guidelines for planting and transplanting, care for the plants after planting, how to divide perennials and fall and winter care.
Our Rose Garden (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/roses) is designed to ehlp the home gardener learn all about different kinds of roses available, how to plant, fertilize and care for them. Among the topics explored on the research based website are the histor of roses, how to select rose plants, site selection and bed preparation, planting and the use of water, mulch and fertilizer.
My First Garden (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/firstgarden) covers topics such as gardening basics and planning a garden through pictures and illustrations. Whether planning a backyard garden, community gardenor school garden, this site gives children lots of ideas to get started.
Food Fun (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/foodfun) is an ideal source for parents and teachers to emphasize teh importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Wildflowers (http://urbanext.illinois.edu/wildflowers) can help gardeners incorporate wildflowers into their gardens by giving information on various native wildflowers.
Driftwatch TM is an online tool to help protect crops and habitats from pesticide drift. This site features an easy-to-use Google Maps TM interface that clearly shows applicators the locations of registered sites BEFORE they spray.
Sensitive crop areas registered on this site may include beehives, certified organic crops, fruits, vegetables, nursery crops, pumpkins, melons, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Managers of ecologically sensitive areas and owners of commercial fields and apiaries may register. (This site is not intended for homeowners.) You can also order "No Spray" signs for your farms. For more information and to register, go to the Illinois Department of Agriculture webpage www.agr.state.il.us and you will see Driftwatch listed in the right hand side of the page.