Bee Hotel

At some point in time you have probably seen a bee hotel at your favorite garden center.  They usually have bundles of bamboo inserted into a structure.  Most of them are brightly painted and whimsical in appearance.  North America is home to around 4,000 bees.  Most of them nest in the ground but around 1,200…

The Dreaded Japanese Beetle (Again)

Despite winter and spring conditions that we hoped could thwart them, the Japanese beetles are at it again. They fall on us as we mow beneath trees, eat our hard-won fruits as they multi-task, and drown in the dog’s water dish.  Here are some important considerations: ▪Japanese beetles do lay their eggs in the soil. …

Double Trouble

Visit any of your favorite garden centers and you will see new introductions of old familiar favorites.  For instance the purple coneflower is no longer purple.  It comes a range of colors from red, yellow, orange, green, and white.  You will even find cultivars where the traditional cone has been modified into flower petals often…

Caterpillars on Coneflowers

The silvery checkerspot caterpillar, Chlosyne nycteis, can be found right now, happily munching away on the leaves of sunflower, aster, Echinacea, goldenrod and Rudbeckia.  The checkerspot caterpillar has branched spines on its back that are black in color. Sometimes the caterpillars will have an orange stripe or two.  Depending on weather conditions, there will be…

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…

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Though this phrase might conjure up images of a certain breakfast cereal, it should also communicate thoughts of a durable, widely adaptable flower for the landscape – the snapdragon.  It might also bring back fond memories of gardening with your grandparents; snapdragons have been around forever and are popular across the generations.  This worthy species…

What is Nebraska Extension ProHort Education?

ProHort, short for Professional Horticulture, is research-driven education for individuals in the tree, lawn, landscape maintenance, and garden center industries, as well as anyone who wants to hone her/his skills in the areas of botany, insects, soils, landscape design, plant disease, trees, wildlife damage management, turfgrass, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). While people participating in…

A, F, St, V, N – Huh?

Hello Friends – It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get something posted on our blog.  Over the weekend I was wondering what I could possible write about and it hit me, I could blog about the apple of love AKA the tomato. Most of us are getting our favorite seed catalogs in the…

Using a Lawn Service…after Snow Removal?

Here in the dead of winter, a valuable service to hire to maintain a residential property is a snow removal company.  No more aching back, slipping and falling and shivering in the cold.  Of course all of that comes at a price, so you have to determine if it’s worth it.  As well, as their…

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…