Post Frost Weed Control

So, it frosted.  In some areas, it was a hard frost with temperatures down in the 26 degree F range, and in others, plus/minus 30 degrees.  At this point in October, the question is: Is it a good idea to apply a post emergence herbicide to the lawn, considering the recent frost?  The answer?  It…

October Musings on the Vegetable Garden

Recently my friend Mary Anna returned from out of town to find her vegetable garden had been visited and the butternut squash eaten.  Teeth marks on the squash remnants indicated that one or more squirrels were the culprits.  Butternut squash wouldn’t necessarily be a squirrel’s first choice but as the growing season slows, all animals…

Late Fall Fertilizer Timing

For the past 5 years or so, our recommendation has been to lightly fertilize turfgrass stands in the Halloween timeframe to bolster root growth heading into winter.  That recommendation still stands, however, due to recent extended periods of cool, wet weather, we’re encouraging that an adjustment be made for this year. Instead of strict adherence…

Cleaning up the Garden

Cleaning up the garden, aka “garden sanitation” is not a sexy topic, but an important one in terms of future pest control and productivity.   So, what are the things to clean and to leave alone?  After all, you’re not going to advise us to scrub the dirt with a scouring pad are you?  Good…

The Picnic Beetle

Picnic beetles are small black insects with yellowish spots on their wing covers. This nuisance insect feeds on over-ripe and decaying fruits and vegetables. Its common name comes from its annoying habit of showing up in your potato salad at outdoor events. While it can damage fruits and vegetables, picnic beetles take advantage of over-ripe…

Lawn To Do Late September

What’s there to do in late September in the lawn?  Plenty.  First, keep mowing.  There’s a natural human tendency to slack off or give up being a tender of the landscape in mid fall; fight it.  Continuing to mow will encourage expansion of turf grass plants, fill in voids and chew up falling tree leaves. …

Lake Friendly Lawn Care

Preamble:  “Lake Friendly” lawn care is very similar to “regular” common sense lawn care.  The difference is two-fold – 1. The presence of an obvious target, and 2. Heightened sensitivity of the owners of the site. That said, the practices that will prevent pollution are: Encourage infiltration, not runoff. Seven ways: -soil modification -core aeration…

September Flower Power

September doesn’t have to be about chrysanthemums and asters alone.  There is a plethora of other, lesser-known, counterparts that can add flower power to the late season garden. Turtlehead, Chelone lyonii, has light pink to dark pink flowers that resemble, you guessed it, a turtle’s head. Serrate leaves are pointed, shiny and dark green. People…

Spiny Solanums

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about perennials and how common names can inherently hurt them.   However, this week the plant that has caught my eye and has recently become a new obsession is the porcupine tomato Solanum pyracanthos.  Unlike other plants with a misleading common name, this one delivers.  Yes this is a…

Ash Tree Bolete

We’ve been receiving multiple samples and questions about the Ash Tree Bolete.  We are proud to have Professor Emeritus Tom Weber from University of Nebraska – Omaha as an Extension Master Gardener share his insights with this particular fungi. The first organism on the list of ash tree associates, good or evil, that pops up…