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…

Flooded Vegetable Garden Sites and Food Safety Considerations

The devastating, historic floods in Nebraska and Iowa will leave their mark on the region for many years to come. Loss of life, homes, livelihoods, and infrastructure are of major concern, but many people who rely on their gardens or vegetable plots for food or income may also have some concerns for the upcoming growing…

Reflection

Every year seems to go by a little faster and this year was no exception.  To share with you what the Extension Master Gardener program did in the Douglas-Sarpy counties in 2018: The Horticulture Helpline answered 8,094 questions  starting in March and wrapping up in November.  We had a team of over 40 volunteers manning…

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…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Fall Garden Clean Up

When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that…

October Musings on the Vegetable Garden

Recently my friend Mary Anna returned from out of town to find her vegetable garden had been visited and the butternut squash eaten.  Teeth marks on the squash remnants indicated that one or more squirrels were the culprits.  Butternut squash wouldn’t necessarily be a squirrel’s first choice but as the growing season slows, all animals…

The Picnic Beetle

Picnic beetles are small black insects with yellowish spots on their wing covers. This nuisance insect feeds on over-ripe and decaying fruits and vegetables. Its common name comes from its annoying habit of showing up in your potato salad at outdoor events. While it can damage fruits and vegetables, picnic beetles take advantage of over-ripe…

Growing Food Indoors? Sure!

As we celebrate National Indoor Plant Week, my question turns to can we grow food indoors?  The answer is emphatically, yes! Perhaps the simplest option for indoor food production would be to grow some container plants that would work well.  Crops like lettuce, arugula, and some of the other leafy greens have lower light requirements…

Squash Vine Borer

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing the almost-ready-to-produce zucchini plant collapse.  If the base of the plant is mushy and has holes, the most likely reason is the squash vine borer. The squash vine borer adult is a ½ inch long moth that doesn’t look or act like a moth. It has an orange abdomen…