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…

Mulch and Hot Weather

Mulch is an aspect of the landscape that doesn’t provoke much thought. Wood chips or rock? Landscaping fabric or not? The reality is that the right kind of mulch, applied to the proper depth, has a BIG impact on plant health, especially during the heat of summer.   Root function stops when soil temperatures reach…

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,…

Gardening With Children

When gardening with children, it’s important to encourage use of all the senses. ▪For touch, experience plants that are soft, such as lamb’s ears (Stachys); prickly, like pumpkin on a stick (Solanum integrifolium); and stickiness of the native hedge apple (Maclura pomifera). ▪When it comes to fragrance, we often think of flowers, but leaves and…