Japanese Beetles 2018—Preparing for the Onslaught

Gardeners, plant aficionados and tree owners are battening down the hatches for the onslaught of Japanese beetles this growing season.  Here are some commonsense ideas for dealing with these voracious eaters. First, control measures for Japanese beetle (JB) grubs in the soil will help minimize damage to the turfgrass but does not create a force…

Crabgrass Prevention

If I had to think of ONE thing, just one thing that I get asked in the spring about lawns, it’s “when do I put on my preemergence for crabgrass?”.  In most years, people are antsy to put it on, partially because they have spring fever after a long, cold Nebraska winter and they’re really…

What Do Earth Day and Trash Have in Common?

April 22 marks Earth Day 2018 and in praise of all things nature, I’m not going to write about trees, flowers or gardens, but instead I’m focused on trash. Walking is my preferred method of exercise and I’m downright appalled at the amount of stuff left along streets and roads and collects in fields and…

What’s in My Tree?

Spring has finally sprung in the Omaha Metro area and many of us are taking full advantage of the warmer weather.  Leaves are just starting to pop on trees but this allows us time to notice and sometimes panic when we see something that doesn’t look quiet right. Take for instance the cover photo for…

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…

When to Plant Which Veggies

Especially in Nebraska, spring weather can be variable.  You might even say “very variable”.  Warm and cold, wet and dry and combinations thereof make for a challenging early planting season.  With this in mind as an overarching consideration, we still need to start somewhere, with some kind of guidance.  A basic planting schedule as 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…

Creating a Community Garden

A community garden is a collective place where local people grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for local people.  There are many types of community gardens, ranging from neighborhood gardens to child care center gardens to food pantry gardens, and everything in between. The reason community gardeners garden is varied, with access to fresh food,…

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…

5 Things to Know When Choosing a Spot for Your Vegetable Garden

Choosing the right place for your vegetable garden is an important first step in making gardening fun and productive.  Here are 5 simple things you can do when selecting a site. 1)  Vegetable gardens should be planted in full sun, but what exactly is “full sun”?  To be productive, vegetable gardens should receive 7 or…

In defense of Raised Beds

Why are raised beds a good option for gardening and why is the old practice of tilling up a spot in your yard bad? Learn a bit about soil structure and health in this rebuttal to an article demonizing raised beds in favor of tillage.