Evergreen Shrub Protection in Winter

This is winter in Nebraska.  Winter in Nebraska is by definition “variable”.  Long term residents seemingly are always telling newcomers that it’s colder this year or wetter this year or dryer this year or more up and down this year.  To sum, this is winter in Nebraska…variable.   As a result of variable conditions, especially…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Protecting Young Trees in Winter

Many homeowners plant trees in the fall, after all, fall is for planting.  As the focus shifts from planting to raking leaves to getting ready to scoop snow off driveways, there’s a common tendency to forget about the new trees that were planted this fall or even in the past few years.  At least 3…

It’s The Berries

As autumn’s colorful leaves fall to the ground, our attention turns to berries as a source of color in our landscapes and for cuttings to grace our tables and entryways. Crabapples represent some of the most reliable of spring’s breathtaking flowers, but the fruit they produce also offer an array of yellow, orange and red…

Sunset Bells

Sometimes I struggle grasping the diversity of the Gesneriaceae family.  With over 130 genera and an untold (well not untold but greatly disputed) number of species I am always amazed by this family of plants.  One thing that I do find fascinating is: there are no native Gesneriads to the United States and Canada and…

New Turf in Late Fall

After the scourges of summer, many of us replanted or renovated the turf around homes and throughout the landscape.  As the winter sets in, there are a few steps to take to increase the odds of survival and regrowth next spring.   Perhaps the most important “to do” is to keep the soil moist…not soggy…

Autumn Leaf Colors

This season’s autumn colors have been exceptional. Shortened day lengths, sunny and warm days, cool nights, and adequate soil moisture provide the perfect conditions to showcase autumn’s greens, golds, reds, oranges and coppers in our trees and shrubs. Fall leaf color is a dynamic process, influenced by the decline and production of pigments within leaves….

Streptocarpus

If you have ever grown an African violet you are may want to try your hand at growing Cape Primrose AKA Streptocarpus (strep-to-car’pus).  Streptocarpus are in the Gesneriaceae family which includes the florist gloxinia, lipstick plant, guppy plant, flame violet, African violet, and many more.  Recent genetic studies have determined that both the African violet…

Winterize Garden Tools

Garden tools are important – they make the job easier, and they’re not inexpensive.  If you’ve been gardening for a while, or even just taking care of the lawn and a few perennials, you’ve probably accumulated a collection of several important pieces.  A few minutes of care will pay dividends.   No matter the tool…