Lawn Mower Preparation

It’s been sitting in the back of the garage all winter, collecting dust, possibly rusting, probably caked with debris – the lawn mower.   In many cases, homeowners simply add gas, pull the rip cord and start mowing without much thought given to the equipment.  This is unwise, as mowers are investments with prices ranging…

Lawns in the Shade? Really?

Are lawns supposed to be in the shade?  No, not really.  Yet, as you gaze out the window at your landscape, even in winter, many lawns are covered in shade.  Even in winter, even without tree leaves to cast a shadow.  How did this happen?   First, how it happened.  The most likely scenario is…

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…

Falling Leaves

I love fall. It is my favorite season of the year. When I was a kid I loved walking to school so I could kick the leaves on the sidewalk. The sound and feel of the leaves crunching under my feet and the smell it generated was pure bliss. Then I grew up, got a…

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…

Weed Musings

In the midst of September, if weed management isn’t on your autumn to-do list, it definitely should be. Fall is the best time to be applying herbicides to perennial weeds. Why is this so? As plants ready for winter, sugars produced in leaves are transported to the roots for storage.  With herbicide applications, the plant’s…

It’s Time to Fertilize

Is your lawn a bit lackluster?  After a long summer of bugs and fungus, it could be.  September is an ideal time to feed turfs, because the cool nights and warm days favor its growth and development.  Because bluegrasses naturally send out more rhizomes in fall than in summer, lawn recovery is enhanced with fall…

Lawn Renovation

Have the heat and bugs ravaged your lawn?  If so, lawn renovation is in order.  It’s a multi-step process and now is the time to get started.  In fact, it can be thought of as a set of “cookbook instructions”, however, the risk is that one or two steps will be overlooked.  If this happens,…

Lawn Sprinkler Gaps

“So, Rocky, what do you see in my sister?”  “Well, Pauley, it’s like this.  I got gaps, she got gaps, but together, we got no gaps.”  Unfortunately, just like two of the actors in the movie Rocky, all lawn sprinkler systems have gaps; gaps in coverage; aka uneven application patterns. If you ever doubt this,…