Raised Beds around Trees—A Bad Idea for Landscapes

As we plan for our much anticipated outdoor projects this gardening season, let’s discuss the tree-killing practice of building raised beds around trees.  Don’t get me wrong here—I am not talking about planting hosta beneath a tree, I’m talking about building a RAISED bed around a tree. This unfortunate practice leads to many dead trees,…

Fragrant Solomon’s Seal

In the last two weeks besides being asked what to do about Japanese beetles I am getting bombarded with questions about what to plant in the shade besides hosta.  True enough there are only so many different types of green hosta that you can plant in the shade and this is where Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum…

Calibrachoa

2018 is the Year of the Calibrachoa according to the National Garden Bureau, a non-profit green industry group based out of Chicago.  Each year, the NGB touts an underutilized or novel plant that has big potential in the garden world and this year is no different.  If you’re wondering about the name, you may have…

Pruning Trees and Shrubs – When and How

It’s a necessary thing – to prune.  Prunes can be important for human health too, but that’s for another blog.  Removing unwanted or broken/diseased stems is important for the health of the woody plant, but perhaps even more important is the timing of the action.  Some pertinent specifics follow:   Shade trees:  the best time…

Crabgrass Prevention

If I had to think of ONE thing, just one thing that I get asked in the spring about lawns, it’s “when do I put on my preemergence for crabgrass?”.  In most years, people are antsy to put it on, partially because they have spring fever after a long, cold Nebraska winter and they’re really…

What Do Earth Day and Trash Have in Common?

April 22 marks Earth Day 2018 and in praise of all things nature, I’m not going to write about trees, flowers or gardens, but instead I’m focused on trash. Walking is my preferred method of exercise and I’m downright appalled at the amount of stuff left along streets and roads and collects in fields and…

What’s in My Tree?

Spring has finally sprung in the Omaha Metro area and many of us are taking full advantage of the warmer weather.  Leaves are just starting to pop on trees but this allows us time to notice and sometimes panic when we see something that doesn’t look quiet right. Take for instance the cover photo for…

Soil Tests

T’is the season when many gardeners are thinking about soil tests.  Especially in instances when plants won’t grow, won’t flower or won’t respond to our best efforts, soil tests can be the logical next step. Bear in mind, however, that while the soil test results contribute to an overall understanding of the health of the…

When to Plant Which Veggies

Especially in Nebraska, spring weather can be variable.  You might even say “very variable”.  Warm and cold, wet and dry and combinations thereof make for a challenging early planting season.  With this in mind as an overarching consideration, we still need to start somewhere, with some kind of guidance.  A basic planting schedule as the…

Seeding Lawns in Spring

Winter has been harsh this past year, hasn’t it?  For most of the people I talk to during the week, the answer is a strong “Yes!”.  Perhaps it’s just the spring fever, but we certainly have had a seemingly large number of cold and windy winter days.  All of this undesirable weather has left many…

Creating a Community Garden

A community garden is a collective place where local people grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for local people.  There are many types of community gardens, ranging from neighborhood gardens to child care center gardens to food pantry gardens, and everything in between. The reason community gardeners garden is varied, with access to fresh food,…

Fields of White & Gold

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” A.A. Milne Who doesn’t love dandelions?  They are the most well recognized flower anywhere you go.  Kids love them and enjoy watching the delicate seeds drift in the wind.  Well, when you grow up and have to deal with them in the lawn it becomes…