Gardening Projects

What really sets Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners apart from garden clubs is their dedication to learning Best Management Practices, the cornerstone of what the land grant university has to offer, whether it is an invasive insect, a tough weed to manage, or a proven plant variety to try. This dedication to learning shows in the…

Valentine’s Day Alternatives

No doubt there are certain reported health benefits to a little dark chocolate now and then, but maybe this year, an alternative is in order for your loved one.   Here’s a short list of good ones:   *A potted plant – pots of Boston fern, rosemary, African violets, orchids and sweet bay can last…

Lawns in the Shade? Really?

Are lawns supposed to be in the shade?  No, not really.  Yet, as you gaze out the window at your landscape, even in winter, many lawns are covered in shade.  Even in winter, even without tree leaves to cast a shadow.  How did this happen?   First, how it happened.  The most likely scenario is…

Keeping Fresh Greens Fresh

The holiday season is upon us and many of us will be putting up live/fresh cut trees.  There is nothing better than the smell of fresh cut greens indoors to celebrate the spirit of the season.  However, there are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that your tree and greens stay…

Pruning Hydrangeas

In the realm of gardening questions, answering “When can I prune my hydrangea?” can be the most complicated. This is because of the number of hydrangea types that grow in this region, requiring an understanding on our part before the pruning saw is even employed. It’s important to note that pruning most woody plants in…

All That Glitters

Trendy or not painting plants is a surefire way to kill them. Plants have pores (stomatal pore) that are located mostly on the surface of leaves. These pores are how plants gain access to carbon dioxide to carry out the process of photosynthesis. They are tiny and typically not visible with the use of a…

American Robin

Nothing says spring like the American robin. Most years my mom and I will call each other when we see our first robin. There is something uplifting about seeing them. Maybe because they singal the end of winter and the promise of spring. American robins can be found throughout most of North America from the…

Looking Ahead: Plan to Help Pollinators Next Year

Kicking back to consider next year’s garden, let benefitting pollinators be one of your considerations. Of course pollination is important to us because we like to eat—one-third of our food supply exists because pollinators pollinate. Pollinators, specifically native bees, are real work horses of the pollination world—just 250 native bees do the work of thousands…

Follow-up Care For Newly Planted Trees – Fertilization

Like water, fertilizer or added nutrients are needed in greater supply by turfgrasses than trees in the landscape.  If mulched properly and growing on decent soils, the majority of newly planted trees don’t need any supplemental fertilizer.   In fact, applying fertilizer soon after planting can be counter-productive, especially if it contains nitrogen as well as…

Caring For Newly Planted Trees – Pruning

Like staking, pruning is an “as needed” procedure, although the need in the first year is not great.  In fact, because young trees need every leaf that they can get their chloroplasts and vascular bundles on, pruning should be avoided in most cases.  If branches are removed at planting time or shortly after, the tree…