Gardening Projects

What really sets Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners apart from garden clubs is their dedication to learning Best Management Practices, the cornerstone of what the land grant university has to offer, whether it is an invasive insect, a tough weed to manage, or a proven plant variety to try. This dedication to learning shows in the…

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…

Beyond the flower

Sometimes I get too caught up in flowers. One of my goals is to have something in bloom every month of the year in our yard. A worthy challenge. Flowers speak to us. They make us happy, they bring us joy and yes, frustration. We often get so caught up in the flower that we…

American Robin

Nothing says spring like the American robin. Most years my mom and I will call each other when we see our first robin. There is something uplifting about seeing them. Maybe because they singal the end of winter and the promise of spring. American robins can be found throughout most of North America from the…

Follow-up Care For Newly Planted Trees – Fertilization

Like water, fertilizer or added nutrients are needed in greater supply by turfgrasses than trees in the landscape.  If mulched properly and growing on decent soils, the majority of newly planted trees don’t need any supplemental fertilizer.   In fact, applying fertilizer soon after planting can be counter-productive, especially if it contains nitrogen as well as…

Caring For Newly Planted Trees – Pruning

Like staking, pruning is an “as needed” procedure, although the need in the first year is not great.  In fact, because young trees need every leaf that they can get their chloroplasts and vascular bundles on, pruning should be avoided in most cases.  If branches are removed at planting time or shortly after, the tree…

Falling Leaves

I love fall. It is my favorite season of the year. When I was a kid I loved walking to school so I could kick the leaves on the sidewalk. The sound and feel of the leaves crunching under my feet and the smell it generated was pure bliss. Then I grew up, got a…

Follow Up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Mulching

Mulching If a little is good, much more is better is not a good mantra for mulching.  For the overall sense of proper mulching technique, take a cue from Mother Nature.  In a forest or natural setting, you’ll commonly see a 2-4 inch layer of fallen leaves, stems, fruits and bark, often referred to as…

Follow up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Staking

Staking is an “as needed” procedure, generally not automatically recommended for tree planting for two reasons.  The most obvious is that it takes time and costs money for the materials.  Secondly, it is highly desirable for new trees to develop a strong network of lateral roots, which can be limited by staking.   Even though…

Follow-up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Watering

When a tree fails, it is sometimes difficult to determine the cause.  In many cases, it is due to a failure to spread the roots out in the planting hole or simply planting it too deeply.  Doing so leads to girdling or lack of an adequate amount of oxygen, resulting in death.  Other than the…