2019 Reflections

Extension Master Gardeners were busy in 2019 in the Douglas-Sarpy counties. Over 200 volunteers reporting 16,022 hours of service to the program. These volunteer opportunities came in a wide variety of formats. They answered Over 7,000 calls on the horticulture helpline that we staff six months out of the year. Volunteers were also present at…

Salty Snow & Slush Damage

As snow and ice are cleared from the driveway and sidewalk, there may be more than frozen water in the shovel. No one likes to slip and fall on the concrete, which is why applying ice melt products is a routine procedure in winter.  Unfortunately, many homeowners get carried away and over-apply it.  How much…

Beyond the flower

Sometimes I get too caught up in flowers. One of my goals is to have something in bloom every month of the year in our yard. A worthy challenge. Flowers speak to us. They make us happy, they bring us joy and yes, frustration. We often get so caught up in the flower that we…

Follow-up Care For Newly Planted Trees – Fertilization

Like water, fertilizer or added nutrients are needed in greater supply by turfgrasses than trees in the landscape.  If mulched properly and growing on decent soils, the majority of newly planted trees don’t need any supplemental fertilizer.   In fact, applying fertilizer soon after planting can be counter-productive, especially if it contains nitrogen as well as…

Caring For Newly Planted Trees – Pruning

Like staking, pruning is an “as needed” procedure, although the need in the first year is not great.  In fact, because young trees need every leaf that they can get their chloroplasts and vascular bundles on, pruning should be avoided in most cases.  If branches are removed at planting time or shortly after, the tree…

Follow Up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Mulching

Mulching If a little is good, much more is better is not a good mantra for mulching.  For the overall sense of proper mulching technique, take a cue from Mother Nature.  In a forest or natural setting, you’ll commonly see a 2-4 inch layer of fallen leaves, stems, fruits and bark, often referred to as…

Follow-up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Watering

When a tree fails, it is sometimes difficult to determine the cause.  In many cases, it is due to a failure to spread the roots out in the planting hole or simply planting it too deeply.  Doing so leads to girdling or lack of an adequate amount of oxygen, resulting in death.  Other than the…

Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

For color in the spring, you’ve got to plant in the fall.  Unfortunately, here’s a common scenario that we see all too often: novice gardeners drive around town noticing landscapes in April, green with envy because they are jealous over all the flowering spring bulbs they see.  Of course, it’s too late to plant them…

A New Can of Worms!

Nebraskans are talking about an invasive worm. They are commonly referred to as “Asian jumping worms”, “jumping worms”, “crazy worms”, or “snake worms”. I like to call them crazy worms because whether they jump or move in a serpentine motion, they certainly behave in an uncharacteristic way for a worm. The short story is that…

Fall Inspection of Trees and Shrubs

September and October are great months to enjoy working in the garden and viewing landscape plants, enjoying the outcomes of season long efforts of care.  In addition to digging, replanting, weeding, dividing and other fall routines, inspection is a key step in maintaining a sustainable landscape.   Inspection?  What does that mean?  Simply put, it’s…