Leaf Scorch

Leaf scorch, also called sunscald, is the bronzing of leaf surfaces and crisping of leaf edges.  Even plants that are well-adapted to our climate can be scorched.  Plants have amazing resiliency, especially when Mother Nature eases them into changing seasons.  But taking into consideration a spring like this one—cold and rainy—then an abrupt change to…

Early Summer Stress

What happened to spring?  We know that Southeast Nebraska and Southwest Iowa can have some challenging weather to contend with, but this caught us all off guard.  We are getting calls asking how this will affect our landscape plants and what can be done to mitigate damage.  We experienced record heat over Memorial Day that…

Calibrachoa

2018 is the Year of the Calibrachoa according to the National Garden Bureau, a non-profit green industry group based out of Chicago.  Each year, the NGB touts an underutilized or novel plant that has big potential in the garden world and this year is no different.  If you’re wondering about the name, you may have…

The Hard Truth about Rocks at the Bottom of Planting Containers

As we get our containers ready for planting our amazing annuals or that coveted tomato plant, conventional “wisdom” dictates we must first add an inch or so of gravel.  Problematic? You bet! Rocks in the bottom of containers do not contribute to better draining soils and healthier plants.  Instead, plant roots encounter saturated soils that…

Garden Gnome

Garden gnomes.  Are they cute or whimsical or just a waste of space?  I for one, think they are adorable and should grace any garden.  They have been around for centuries some literature date them back to the 1600’s but they didn’t hit mainstream until German 1800’s. Phillip Griebel popularized these mythical creatures in Germany…

Denver Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of the top 5 botanical gardens in the US and often referred to as an oases in the city, the Denver Botanical Garden is a must on your places to visit.  This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are talking about vacation destinations. I had the pleasure of visiting the Denver Botanical…

Pumpkins-on-a-Stick

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkins, but have you ever grown pumpkins-on-a-stick?  “Pumpkin” is a bit of misnomer because these are actually eggplant.  The flavor of this eggplant is quite bitter and is used in Asian dishes, but this doesn’t preclude using it for arrangements. The color of pumpkins-on-a-stick is outstanding and they make a great…

Goofy Gorgeous Gourds

Along with pumpkins, corn shocks and mums, gourds are symbols of autumn.  Their quirky sizes, shapes, bumps, and lumps are fun and their color makes them terrific additions for fall décor. Gourds belong in the Cucurbitaceae family, which means they are related to cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash, melons and pumpkins.  Gourd seeds can be directly…

Tobacco budworm

The heat of the summer is stressful and this year is no exception.  If you planted geraniums or petunias you may have noticed the flowers have gone missing.  It would be easy to blame the Japanese beetles for this because they like everything.  However, this is not the case.   If you take a good…

Hand Picking Japanese Beetles

If you have a small Japanese beetle invasion, or you’ve decided not to use an insecticide, there are some tips you can utilize when hand-picking them. First, the JB response to disturbance is to drop straight down from the plant.  You can position your bucket of soapy water beneath the branch you’re tapping and use…

National Pollinator Week: Soldier Beetles

What a happy combination—soldier beetles and butter daisies! The soldier beetle, Chauliognathus spp., is a ½ inch long insect that gets its name from its wing covers, which resemble a uniform. It may remind you of the lighting bug, and rightly so, since they are related. Both the larvae and adults of soldier beetles feed…

Right Plant, Right Place

By now, many garden enthusiasts are familiar with the phrase, Right Plant, Right Place (RPRP).  Yet, still many others are not.  Our Master Gardeners talk with them every day.  Whichever camp you fall into, a brief primer can be helpful.  RPRP is a guiding principle whose only goal is to achieve success with every tree,…