The Best Way to Remove Problem Trees

Seedling trees come up in the oddest places, and in some cases, totally unnoticed.  In the neighborhood I drive through, I observed a mulberry tree growing up through a shrub rose.  The mulberry thrived, gradually completely shading out the rose.  Eventually the rose owner noticed the mulberry and tried to remove it, resulting in the…

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach leaf curl is prevalent this spring.  The fungal pathogen, Taphrina deformans, causes leaf puckering and unusual coloration, with bright red, yellow, lime green, or a combination of all three colors on one leaf.  Infection occurs at bud swell and bud break, when spores, overwintering on twigs and buds, infect emerging leaves. The distortion of…

Growing Asparagus

Cooks love the earliness that fresh asparagus provides. Gardeners love it because it’s perennial and relatively worry-free. If you’ve not grown asparagus, this spring would be a good time to plant a few crowns to find out for yourself just how easy it is to grow. Asparagus can be started in one of two ways….

Vegetable Gardening 101

Nothing provides greater satisfaction than to grow your own food. It’s also really easy to start, with a small investment in some seeds, a few transplants, and a container or plot of land. A basic requirement in vegetable gardening is a clear understanding that there are cool season vegetables—those that grow and produce best when…

Managing Weeds in the Garden and Lawn

Weeds may be our least favorite topic but still one of the driving forces behind phone and email questions right now, with “How do I kill…?” leading the discussion. Weed identification may seem immaterial, after all, the consuming focus is to be rid of the pesky plant, but in reality, this should always be the…

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…

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…

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…