Cucumber Bitterness

The compound that imparts the bitter taste in cucumbers is cucurbitacin. Wild cucumbers have a large amount of cucurbitacin, which discourages feeding by wild animals and insects. Today’s hybrids have been bred to have lower amounts of cucurbitacin in the fruit and what cucurbitacin is in the plant is concentrated in the roots, leaves, and…

Is COVID-19 an issue on homegrown or purchased produce?

This post was originally published on The Garden Professors blog in May 2020. Now that much of the world’s attention is focused on limiting the spread of pathogens, well one pathogen, it seems like a good time to talk about some of the questions or concerns we’ve seen regarding vegetable gardens, community gardens, and farmers…

Where Does Your Garden Grow?

The phase “Right Plant, Right Place” rings true in every outdoor space, certainly for a vegetable garden.  Though each plant has some potential for adaptability, vegetables can generally be divided into 2 groups: a. the sun lovers and b. the ones that prefer full day sun but are adaptable to a few hours of shade…

Veggies – Eat What You Want

Customize your gardening experience.  Think about what produce you and your family enjoy and want to eat and what you might want to use to can or freeze for later use.  In the spirit of “one person, one vote”, consider asking each person in the household to make a plea for vegetables that they like…

April is National Safe Digging Month

April is Safe Digging Month   Late April is prime time for starting all sorts of landscaping projects from planting trees, shrubs and lawns to installing brick work and paths.  But, before you dig, it’s SUPER important that you make sure there are no buried communication or utility lines in your digging zone.  Here are…

March’s Garden Bits

If you’re at home and practicing social distancing, the one bit of good news in all of this is that we can be outside to tinker with plants. Spring is an exciting time, full of promise and possibilities. If you’re not a gardener, no worries, learning how to garden is a trial and error process….

When Good Seeds Go Bad: How long can you store seeds?

Spring is just around the corner, gardeners!  I’m ready to get seeds started…though that bring lots of work getting ready for the thousands of plants we’ll start for our variety trials this year. If you’re getting ready to start seeds you’ve saved from previous years, you might want to give this article a read.  It…

Gardening Projects

What really sets Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners apart from garden clubs is their dedication to learning Best Management Practices, the cornerstone of what the land grant university has to offer, whether it is an invasive insect, a tough weed to manage, or a proven plant variety to try. This dedication to learning shows in the…

Valentine’s Day Alternatives

No doubt there are certain reported health benefits to a little dark chocolate now and then, but maybe this year, an alternative is in order for your loved one.   Here’s a short list of good ones:   *A potted plant – pots of Boston fern, rosemary, African violets, orchids and sweet bay can last…

February’s Garden Basket

February, March and April are busy months for the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program. Master Gardener Interns are participating in classes, on their way to becoming certified Master Gardeners. The classes are intensive, covering botany, plant diseases, landscape design, bug boot camp, and plant management. Once coursework is complete, Master Gardener volunteers hit the ground…