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.

The Importance of Bare Ground in Pollinator-Friendly Landscapes

Gardeners know the importance of mulching around plants to suppress weeds and conserve soil moisture, but are there instances when mulching is not a good idea?  The answer is yes, in particular when creating a pollinator-friendly landscape. To understand the importance of bare ground, you must first be aware of just how many pollinators it…

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…

Weed or Flower?

“Is this a weed or a flower?” – one of the most commonly asked questions I get here at the Extension Office.  I always answer: is it growing where it supposed to?  If not, then it is a weed.  A coneflower growing in a bluegrass lawn is a weed and bluegrass growing in a coneflower…

A Turtlehead Tutorial

Turtlehead, Chelone spp., is one of the great flowers of the late summer garden.  Flowers are either pink or white and are shaped like, you guessed it, a turtle’s head. Turtlehead is a great pollinator plant, adding a tapestry of color and flight to the garden. The plant must have an impish streak too because…

Checkered White

It’s always a joy to see something new visiting the garden.  This past weekend I was out and about in the yard and spotted a new butterfly to me, the Checkered White (Pontia protodice).  A handsome butterfly that appears white with brown markings and (to me) a powdery blue body.  This was something that I…

Stupendous Liatris

You may be aware of the spiked gayfeather that graces florist bouquets, but this is just the beginning of all Liatris has to offer.  People unfamiliar with the plant are often surprised to find out it is a native.  Nothing beats the intense purple color of flower spikes that manage to hold themselves up without…

High Temperatures Affect Tomato Production

With the week’s high temperatures, watch for tomato fruit set to be delayed.  This is because pollen dies when temperatures reach 85 degrees F. or higher.  Dead pollen means flowers don’t get pollinated and unfertilized flowers will fall to the ground, resulting in reduced production. Gardeners often want to know if hand pollination will help…

When Treating for Japanese Beetles Isn’t a Good Idea

Those pesky Japanese beetles have broad appetites!  They feed on roses, trees, perennials, vines and even our vegetable plants.  Knocking them into a pail of soapy water is certainly a satisfying (read vengeful) way to keep their numbers down.  But when their numbers are overwhelming, it’s tempting to look for an insecticide to stop the…