Shade, Semi-Shade and Sun

If you look out at your landscape, you’ll probably see all degrees of sun and shade.  There are lots of names of these levels of light, but shade, semi-shade and sun are good descriptors for most plants.   One of the most pertinent reasons for focusing on shade levels is that it really helps locate…

Get Rid of the Grass in Your Landscape

Really?  Get rid of it?  But, I’m a big fan.  I love the relaxing feeling I get when I mow the grass.  Yes, there are many benefits of turfgrass, were  outlined last week, but really, in the true spirit of the horticultural truism of “Right Plant, Right Place”, turf simply doesn’t belong in all parts…

Moles and Grubs

It’s been a good year for moles.  A nice amount of rain keeps soils moist and workable—the perfect environment to enable mole movement as they “swim” through the soil. Many people approach the problem of moles by focusing on grubs—that if the grubs are gone, then moles won’t be in the lawn. Though not accurate,…

Benefits of Turfgrass

In many gardening circles, lawns and turfgrass in general get a bad reputation.  For the most part, this is greatly undeserved.  Yes, if turf is misplaced or not cared for properly, it can be a liability rather than an asset in the landscape.  But before you write it off completely, consider the following:   *Oxygen…

Plant Groundcovers Under Shade Trees

Is the vegetation under your shade tree thin and lifeless?  If so, you may wish to consider planting a groundcover instead of turfgrass.  Periwinkle, English ivy, lamium, pachysandra, some cultivars of coral bells, ajuga, plumbago, euonymous, Virginia creeper and Hall’s honeysuckle are good options to consider.  The bottom line is Right Plant, Right Place, and…

Preemergence Herbicides for the Lawn – When, Where and How Much?

The traditional question for spring lawn management – when is the best time to put on a preemergence herbicide?  Also called “crabgrass preventer”, timing is important, but is not the only consideration.  In addition to timing, there are at least 5 others.   Target temperature – Since the weeds that are targeted with these products…

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…