Soil Tests

T’is the season when many gardeners are thinking about soil tests.  Especially in instances when plants won’t grow, won’t flower or won’t respond to our best efforts, soil tests can be the logical next step. Bear in mind, however, that while the soil test results contribute to an overall understanding of the health of the…

Seeding Lawns in Spring

Winter has been harsh this past year, hasn’t it?  For most of the people I talk to during the week, the answer is a strong “Yes!”.  Perhaps it’s just the spring fever, but we certainly have had a seemingly large number of cold and windy winter days.  All of this undesirable weather has left many…

Fields of White & Gold

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” A.A. Milne Who doesn’t love dandelions?  They are the most well recognized flower anywhere you go.  Kids love them and enjoy watching the delicate seeds drift in the wind.  Well, when you grow up and have to deal with them in the lawn it becomes…

4 Step Lawn Care Packages – Good Idea?

You see them in just about every hardware store, garden center and mass merchandizer – 4 step lawn care packages.  They are usually comprised of A preemergence herbicide and fertilizer combination for spring A weed and feed herbicide and fertilizer combination for early summer or early fall An insecticide product for summer and A winterizer…

Weed Appreciation Day—In Praise of Dandelions

Weed Appreciation Day is March 28 and in recognition of this important day, I’m writing about the common dandelion. The dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, is a cool season perennial, having some of the first leaves to develop in early spring.  Leaves can be used in salads and are high in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamins…

Fairy Rings of Turfgrass – A Folktale?

If ever there was a name of a malady of turf that inspires a bit of folly and a lot of frustration, it’s fairy ring.  Pertinent to property owners due to this being National Folktale Week, the name was inspired by the “tale” that fairies used to dance in circles above the turf and soon…

Water – Ground and Surface

With a tip of the cap to National Groundwater Awareness Week, the landscape and gardening industry must do their part to prevent groundwater and surface water pollution on the properties we manage.   At first, this topic may seem kinda nebulous, almost begging the question of “how does my garden or lawn contribute to water…

My Favorite Garden Books…a Series of Sorts

When I go to a garden book, it’s usually to find an answer about specific features of a plant.  With that in mind, it’s no wonder that my favorite book is actually a series of books, connected in one way or another to the University of Illinois.  As you read down through the list, sometimes…

Dreamin’ of Green Grass

I’ve been fortunate over the years to travel to other states to learn about various aspects of tree and turf care and transfer the technology and research results to the residents of Nebraska.  It’s amazing how many similarities there are.  Sure, the plants are different, and the care is a bit unique, but fertilization, pruning,…

Ice Melters in the Landscape

In Nebraska, ice melt product application is a necessary evil, however steps can be taken to minimize damage to landscape plants.

The Dirt on Dirt

So what is it with dirt anyway?  Dirt, otherwise known as soil, is either greatly loved by gardeners or the source of endless complaints. In recognition of World Soil Day, let’s tip our hats to this much maligned, often disrespected, contributor to plant growth. One clear thing about soil—if it’s a healthy soil, then there…