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…

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…

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…

What Kills Trees

Trees in native undisturbed sites live, on average, to be about 150 years old.  Downtown trees have a life expectancy of 7-17 years; suburban trees 30-40 years; and rural trees 60-70 years.  Why is there such a difference in life expectancy between trees in native sites than those in disturbed sites? Certainly there are acute…

Plan…Plan…Plant!

In carpentry, there is an old adage urging us to measure twice and cut once. The same can be said when it comes to plants.  Planning is the least expensive of the plant selection process, simply requiring a little of our time to talk to experts and glean information from catalogs and web sources.  I’ve…

Taking Care of Poinsettias

I had a client call me one September day and asked if it was time to bring her poinsettia into the light. Oh yes and by the way, she mentioned the plant had been stored in the closet for the past nine months. Hmmm… On the positive side of things, I thought it was great…

Composting—Even in Winter

Whether you are new to composting or an old hand at it, there is a technique that can, or already does, work best for you. My favorite composting adage is one supplied by Roger Swain, former host of public television’s The Victory Garden: “Throw some green stuff in, throw some brown leaves in, throw in…

How to Become a Nebraska Extension Master Gardener

(Part 3 of 3) Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are Extension-educated volunteers who make a difference in their communities, reaching people from all backgrounds and ethnicities about research-based gardening information. Knowing lots about gardening before joining the program is not a requirement.  Becoming a Master Gardener involves a love of learning and the ability to volunteer…

The Wreath

December 15 is National Wreaths Across America Day.  Wreaths, being the circular arrangement of plant twigs, leaves and fruits that they are, have been ubiquitous with Christmas.  Historically, however, the wreath has long been representative of Mother Earth and the sun. With no beginning and no ending, the circle itself is symbolic of infinity.  Today,…

What about the Horticulture Education for Extension Master Gardeners?

(Part 2 of 3) Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are Extension-educated volunteers who make a difference in their communities by educating people of all backgrounds about research-based gardening information. Programs across the nation are set up on a one-for-one basis, with 1 hour of volunteer time for each hour of education received.  In Nebraska, Extension provides…