Three Must Have Books

This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are celebrating National Library Lover’s Month and the books that we love to use.  I want to share two of my go-to books and a new addition that I am excited to have this year. Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains (ISBN 978-1-60938-071-7) by…

National Plan Vacation Day–Include A Botanical Garden!

It’s National Plan Vacation Day! In recognition of a gardener’s favorite vacation site–the botanical garden–we’re running this article that appeared in the December 2017 Master Gardener newsletter Roots & Shoots from Master Gardener Connie Lowndes. Enjoy! Horticulture Traveling on a Dime: Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Pass by Connie Lowndes, Master Gardener We love our Nebraska Statewide Arboretum…

Seed swapping and understanding seed packets

This time of year is the perfect time to think about swapping or buying seeds to get ready for the coming year.  But many people are often confused about some of the language used on seed packets.  What exactly does hybrid mean? or heirloom?  What a bout non-GMO?  

Crosnes—The Tubers That Look Like Beetle Larvae!

Master Gardener Glen brought me some crosnes, which he grows and harvests. What are crosnes and why would anyone eat them? The crosne, pronounced “crone” or “crow-sn” is a member of the mint family, Stachys affinis, and produces these neat little segmented tubers resembling beetle larvae. Crosnes are native to China and Japan but take…

The Dirt on Dirt

So what is it with dirt anyway?  Dirt, otherwise known as soil, is either greatly loved by gardeners or the source of endless complaints. In recognition of World Soil Day, let’s tip our hats to this much maligned, often disrespected, contributor to plant growth. One clear thing about soil—if it’s a healthy soil, then there…

The First Thanksgiving: A feast of native and local foods

Turkey, dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you put it or what you call it), potatoes, fresh bread rolls and pumpkin pie are the traditional fare for the celebration these days, but they are a far cry from what the original feast shared by the pilgrims and American Indians would have featured.

Pumpkins-on-a-Stick

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkins, but have you ever grown pumpkins-on-a-stick?  “Pumpkin” is a bit of misnomer because these are actually eggplant.  The flavor of this eggplant is quite bitter and is used in Asian dishes, but this doesn’t preclude using it for arrangements. The color of pumpkins-on-a-stick is outstanding and they make a great…

Winter is Coming: Prepare your Fruit Trees and Shrubs

While the end of the garden season has basically flown past us with a flash of frost and freeze, there are still some things you need to do to prepare your garden for winter. Fruit trees and shrubs are no different, as there are some things you should do or prepare to do before the…

A Happy Plant “Volunteer”—the Nanking Cherry

Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are individuals who are passionate about gardening and sharing research-proven solutions.  Potential volunteers apply and go through an interview to be selected as an intern.  They will receive over 48 hours of initial education from experts in soils, botany, landscape design and more and give back 40 hours of volunteer service…

Beekeeping in the City

Backyard beekeeping is legal (and encouraged) in the city limits of Omaha.  There are several beekeepers in the city, and many of the organizations that work with urban agriculture and community gardens in the city have beehives and provide education for those interested.

Pollinator Habitat

Pollinator decline has been a huge buzz word the last few years and rightly so.  With so much focus on the use of pesticides, viruses, mites and whatnot – leaves us feeling helpless. Welcome to the Nebraska Extension Pollinator Habitat Certification.  You spoke and we listened.  If you want to be a part of the…