Double Trouble

Visit any of your favorite garden centers and you will see new introductions of old familiar favorites.  For instance the purple coneflower is no longer purple.  It comes a range of colors from red, yellow, orange, green, and white.  You will even find cultivars where the traditional cone has been modified into flower petals often…

Caterpillars on Coneflowers

The silvery checkerspot caterpillar, Chlosyne nycteis, can be found right now, happily munching away on the leaves of sunflower, aster, Echinacea, goldenrod and Rudbeckia.  The checkerspot caterpillar has branched spines on its back that are black in color. Sometimes the caterpillars will have an orange stripe or two.  Depending on weather conditions, there will be…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Winter Water

The weather the past few days in the Omaha Metro area has been fantastic!  If you had a chance to get out this past weekend I am sure you saw people taking full advantage of the weather.  Many of us went for a walk or took down Christmas decorations on the house.  But how many…

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Winterize Garden Tools

Garden tools are important – they make the job easier, and they’re not inexpensive.  If you’ve been gardening for a while, or even just taking care of the lawn and a few perennials, you’ve probably accumulated a collection of several important pieces.  A few minutes of care will pay dividends.   No matter the tool…