Mulch Volcanoes—A Harmful Practice for Trees

Too often the mindset is if a little is good then a lot must be better. So it goes with the spring task of mulching. A “mulch volcano” is the tongue-in-cheek term given to those copious heaps of woodchips surrounding a tree.  No one knows exactly where this harmful practice came from but all it…

Dwarf Witch Alder

Choosing a shrub can be difficult. It is best to choose a plant that will be allowed to grow and will not need routine pruning.  Most shrubs are picked for their color, shape, size, or another attribute.  However, they are often put in the wrong place.  Shrubs should be allowed to grow with out having…

Apply a Preemergence Herbicide – Lawn & Garden

Each year, we struggle to keep the weeds out of the garden and lawn.  Oh sure, not too many show up in May, and the ones that do sprout are easily controlled with a hoe or a dandelion digger.  However, human nature being as it is, we soon tire of weeding.   When early summer rolls…

Henbit, Ground Ivy, and Speedwell

Three weeds we see at this time of year resemble each other so closely that it is often confusing as to which is which. Henbit, ground ivy, and speedwell are flowering right now so it is easy to notice them.  I’ll admit, conversations about weeds are some of people’s least favorite, but talk we must…

Flooded Vegetable Garden Plots

Looking forward to the vegetable garden this spring, it’s easy to think that now that the flood waters have receded, our gardening season can carry on as usual.  While many of the callers to Extension are aware of potential dangers of gardening on a flooded site, the exact way forward is a little unclear.  Here…

Pruning Hydrangeas

I’ve been planning to write a blog this month on pruning hydrangeas.  Why?  We get lots of questions on doing so, as it’s a bit confusing, and they certainly look better and are healthier if they are pruned, and pruned correctly.  This morning, lo and behold, a wonderful article on this subject came across my…

Be Mindful of Flooded Areas When Hunting Morels

As morel mushroom hunting season approaches, be mindful of food safety.   It’s important to remember flood waters don’t carry just water.  There is a host of unsavory things that are downright dangerous— ▪Human disease pathogens from raw sewage, ▪Pesticides carried from farm fields and lawns on soil particles and plant residue, ▪And rubber and petroleum…

Other Iris

Most of us at some point in time have grown German iris or bearded iris?  What about Iris reticulata, I. histroides, I. cristata?  All three of these iris are considered species types and do well in the the Omaha Metro. Iris reticulata also goes by Dutch iris and is grown from a bulb unlike their…

Veggie Container Gardening – A Viable Alternative

For many reasons, container gardening is a great way to produce veggies and herbs.  Maybe you live in a townhouse and just don’t have much room for traditional gardens.  Maybe you have a traditional residential lot, but most of the landscape is too shady for an edible garden…most crops need at least 6 hours of…

Flood Recovery Impacts Plants in the Landscape

The flooding and subsequent ponding has a profound effect on trees and shrubs in the landscape. The contaminants these waters carry negatively impact vegetable garden sites and orchards.  Here are some flood resources to address residents’ concerns. Food safety in vegetable gardens and orchards after a flood*: https://grobigred.com/2019/03/22/gardenflood/amp/?__twitter_impression=true  by Nebraska Extension Urban Ag Educator John…