Tree Troubles – Nonspecific Symptoms

Fir and spruce trees are known for providing beauty and function in Nebraska.  Unfortunately, they’re also known for being hard to diagnose when troubles arise.   With most trees and shrubs, specific symptoms are present when they are ailing from insects, diseases and abiotic maladies.  That’s most trees and shrubs.  Not so much with fir…

Herbicide Drift

A tomato plant sample was brought in today with curled stems and cupped leaves. Under-watering and fungal diseases were a few of guesses as to the wonky foliage while truly the blame lies with herbicide drift.  Drift occurs when desired plants receive an accidental dose of herbicide.  Depending on the herbicide, damage to vegetable plants…

To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize: That is the Question

You see a bright shiny package at the garden center saying that it can help you have the most bountiful garden ever, the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, your plants will have miraculous growth, or it will supply every element on earth to make sure that your plants are living their best life. It’s got…

Classic Color Combinations

  The keys to success with patio planters and pots of all sizes are: Designing with the thriller, chiller and spiller concept in mind. The “thriller” is a plant chosen to “wow” you, to attract attention.  The “spiller” is the plant that cascades over the edge of the pot, providing a softening effect, and the…

Lawn Watering – Good and Bad

July is the traditional start of lawn watering season.  July like many horticultural tools and garden practices, there are good and bad “iterations”, as there are with cars, grocery shopping and exercise.  For example, cars are generally considered good, as they help us travel conveniently, however, when you put a drunk driver behind the wheel,…

Weeds in Perennial Beds

They seem to pop up everywhere – weeds.  New beds, old beds; it doesn’t seem to matter.  At this point in the season, a little moisture encourages growth of tons of weeds.  Seeing these weeds makes you wonder several thoughts. Where did they all come from? Why are they growing as well or better than…

Newly Planted Trees, Shrubs, Perennials – Aftercare

You’ve installed some new trees, shrubs and perennials…now what?  In order to keep them looking great, there are a few simple care steps that should follow planting, especially in June.   A thorough soaking of water, followed by moisture monitoring. Nothing special here; use a sprinkler can to place water evenly throughout the entire root…

Containers…Everything is a Container!

Just about any item can be a vessel for plants, from wash tubs to whiskey barrels to cast aside footware.  All that is required is a side wall and a drain hole, which can be fabricated if need be.  Once the imagination has run wild about what could be, it’s important to focus on fine…

Hail of a Day

For many of us in the Omaha area we woke up early May 28th to a thunderous roar of hail.  Depending on the location in town the size of the hail stones ranged from pea to quarter sized.  Our back yard it was quarter sized and lasted for about 10 minutes. Large leafed plants took…

You Can’t Plant That Here aka Right Plant, Right Place

I see it every day.  Wrong Plant, Wrong Place.  Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard.  Maybe job security.  Maybe just (as the Spanish speakers say) “así es”, or “it is, what it is”.   On a recent trip, in a location known for “good horticulture”, I ran across some good, er, bad examples.  There were trees…