2023 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

The USDA updated their Hardiness Zone map publicized in November 2023, reflecting changes in average extreme minimum temperatures, moving several Nebraska and Iowa counties to zone 6a. The author reminds gardeners to consider factors not covered by the map, such as anomalies and soil conditions, before purchasing new plants.

Overwintering Eggs

Arthropods like praying mantises, wheel bugs, and garden spiders survive the winter in the egg stage. Learn how to identify insects and spiders in your garden landscape.

Fall Bulbs in Minor

Fall has finally arrived in Nebraska and now is the time we can start thinking about fall planted bulbs for next spring. There is an endless parade of options to choose from – so which one do you pick? Let’s talk about some of the lesser-known options that you can choose to plant in your…

Carpenter Ants: When to Worry

Carpenter ants make their nests in dead and decaying wood, and sometimes that results to damage to structural wood. People often worry when they see a large black ant crawling in their landscape. Does this mean their house is at risk? Learn about nature’s carpenters and how to prevent carpenter ants from entering and infesting your home.

Rethinking Sweet Autumn Clematis

When we first think about invasive plants, we often conjure images of plants that are not pretty. I often think of the brambles that Maleficent casts around the castle in Sleeping Beauty. Sharp thorns, jagged edges, overall, a barren landscape. Invasive plants are not new. We know that some thistles, leafy spurge, and palmer amaranth…

Black Swallowtails – Caterpillars in the Herb Garden

If you have a flourishing herb garden, you’re bound to get pollinators and pests alike! Learn about the black swallowtail butterfly and why it needs a little bit (or a lot) of tolerance when it comes to sharing your dill, parsley, and fennel.

Old But New

Plant breeders have given us some spectacular wonders for our gardens over the years.  We now have beebalm and phlox that are more resistant to powdery mildew. Coneflowers now come in bright bolder colors with sturdier stems.  We even have different Joe-Pye-Weeds that are shorter, more compact and even some like Eupatorium altissimum ‘Prairie Jewel’…

Indian Meal Moths and the Infestation that Never Ends

The Indian meal moth is a common household pest, infesting stored food products such as flour, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals, chocolate, bird seed, powered milk, pet food, and spices. They are found indoors all year round.

Don’t Wig Out Over Earwigs

The earwig is a curious pest. It is considered a wonderful mother, a creepy crawler, a natural enemy, and a pest of fruits.

Crawling up the walls: Brown marmorated stink bugs at it again

Yes, they’re back and they’re right on time. The brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) have certainly made a name for themselves in eastern Nebraska for invading houses. Over the last few years, they’ve become known as a structural pest and indoor nuisance. Entomologists call them fall invaders or incidental invaders, due to the timing of…

Dormant Seeding for Lawns

With dormant seeding, the main objective is to get the seeds into the soil when it physically can be done and then remain in a holding pattern until the first rays of the April sun warm the soil and encourage growth. Sure, mid to late April might turn out to be a conducive time as well, but what if it isn’t?

Little Gnats in the House

Got annoying gnats in the home? Learn how to identify fungus gnats and how to get rid of them for good.

Fall and Winter Watering

It is at this time of the year that I get questions asking if people should still be watering their plants or hear people say they just don’t need to water plants again until spring. However, it is very important to keep watering plants to ensure they go into the winter with a full reservoir…

Fall is for Planting Shrubs

The phrase “Fall is for Planting” is a common one in the horticultural world and for good reason. One of the best groups of plants to install in your landscape in fall is shrubs. Here’s why:

Fall Invading Insects

It is September, which means all the outdoor insects will start coming inside or bothering us more when we enjoy the cooler weather in the evening. Fall invading insects are just another thing to deal with, but they can be managed. Photo above of Minute Pirate Bug is from Jody Green, Urban Entomologist, Extension Educator…

Fall Watering

One of the most common questions right now at the Nebraska Extension office, is tree and shrub leaf problems resulting from drought stress. If your plant has been developing brown leaf splotches which started to appear in July or August, it’s a good bet you have leaf scorch.