Newly Planted Trees, Shrubs, Perennials – Aftercare

You’ve installed some new trees, shrubs and perennials…now what?  In order to keep them looking great, there are a few simple care steps that should follow planting, especially in June.   A thorough soaking of water, followed by moisture monitoring. Nothing special here; use a sprinkler can to place water evenly throughout the entire root…

Going Soft

After cleaning up the damage to my plants from the hail storm on May 28th I didn’t cut back the damaged flower spikes to my German iris.  Not sure why I didn’t.  Probably because the flower stalks had injury but they didn’t seem to need immediate care. However, making that deceisoin I probably did more…

Unwanted Grass

Grass is usually a good thing; in lawns that is.  However, if you’ve got grass anywhere else – a veggie garden, a flower bed, in groundcovers – then it’s a weed.   Grass can get to the unwanted location through bird transfer, through misapplied seedings or through spreading.  The rhizomes pictured here show this undesirable…

Containers…Everything is a Container!

Just about any item can be a vessel for plants, from wash tubs to whiskey barrels to cast aside footware.  All that is required is a side wall and a drain hole, which can be fabricated if need be.  Once the imagination has run wild about what could be, it’s important to focus on fine…

Hail of a Day

For many of us in the Omaha area we woke up early May 28th to a thunderous roar of hail.  Depending on the location in town the size of the hail stones ranged from pea to quarter sized.  Our back yard it was quarter sized and lasted for about 10 minutes. Large leafed plants took…

You Can’t Plant That Here aka Right Plant, Right Place

I see it every day.  Wrong Plant, Wrong Place.  Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard.  Maybe job security.  Maybe just (as the Spanish speakers say) “así es”, or “it is, what it is”.   On a recent trip, in a location known for “good horticulture”, I ran across some good, er, bad examples.  There were trees…

Tangled Roots and Potting Soil

Getting annuals, veggies and perennials off to a good start in container gardens is crucial to their success.  This starts with choosing well branched, stocky plants and examining the roots. First, gently squeeze the pot between your hands or fingers and then tease the root mass out.  Inspect the roots.  They should be white, bright…

Dwarf Witch Alder

Choosing a shrub can be difficult. It is best to choose a plant that will be allowed to grow and will not need routine pruning.  Most shrubs are picked for their color, shape, size, or another attribute.  However, they are often put in the wrong place.  Shrubs should be allowed to grow with out having…

Pruning Hydrangeas

I’ve been planning to write a blog this month on pruning hydrangeas.  Why?  We get lots of questions on doing so, as it’s a bit confusing, and they certainly look better and are healthier if they are pruned, and pruned correctly.  This morning, lo and behold, a wonderful article on this subject came across my…

Other Iris

Most of us at some point in time have grown German iris or bearded iris?  What about Iris reticulata, I. histroides, I. cristata?  All three of these iris are considered species types and do well in the the Omaha Metro. Iris reticulata also goes by Dutch iris and is grown from a bulb unlike their…