Virtual Learning Series Sessions and Recordings

Over the past several weeks and for the next several weeks, we’ve been sharing gardening knowledge through the GROBigRed Virtual Learning Series live zoom sessions with our colleagues across the state. Each session consists of a short expert presentation and time to ask questions and discuss what’s going on in the garden. The expert presentation…

Lawn Renovation – First Steps

We’ve been dealing with the “Dog Days of Summer” for a couple of weeks now.  One of the things that go with this time of year are bad looking lawns, many of which need lawn renovation.  Mid-August is the time for step 1 of that process.  Steps 2 to 8 should take place in late…

Yellow Nutsedge

“What is this grass growing in my flower bed?” is a question I hear quite often now.  Rolling the stem between my fingers quickly determines this isn’t grass at all but the infamous yellow nutsedge.  Sedges are grass-like perennials that have triangular shaped stems.   If they grew at the same rate as turfgrass, many lawn…

Don’t Plant This at Home

The common phrase – “Don’t try this at home” refers to all sorts of actions from pro wrestling to theatre and even television shows such as America’s Got Talent.  The common thread to all of these is an element of danger, or at least something more exciting than common sense and safety.   Don’t try…

Leaf Scorch

The hot, dry days of July are more than a discomfort to many shade trees.  Leaf scorch, which is a non-infectious disease is evident throughout the Midwest.   Leaf scorch is first noticed as a yellowing or bronzing of the tissue between the veins or along the margins of leaves.  Trees are more susceptible if…

Deadheading

No, this is not an article on the trials, exhilarations and tribulations of The Grateful Dead.  It’s about dead flowers.  Dead flowers should be removed from annuals, perennials, bulbs and shrubs as soon as possible to prevent seeds from forming.  As far as the plant is concerned aka if the plant had a mind with…

Freeze Damage to Spruce

Many spruce trees in the area are looking rough. Beyond the usual injury from spruce spider mites and Rhizosphaera needle cast, spruce trees have serious dieback, not only individual branches but in some cases, the top has died. Drooping clusters of brown needles and streaks of white sap on branches and trunk indicate freeze injury….

Surface Roots Under Trees

Trees are great – they produce shade, create framing for a house or building, provide shelter for songbirds, slow down the wind and snow and so many other benefits…but they can create a few problems, one of which is surface roots.   Surface roots are not to be taken lightly – they create a tripping…

The Rain Barrel

A recent brief rain burst, depositing just .2 of an inch in my rain gauge, put 12 gallons of water in my rain barrel. That’s the beauty of collecting rainwater from a roof—a small amount adds up quickly. If you’ve been considering installing a rain barrel, here is a push to get you started. While…

Three Perennials to Try

With more people working remotely this year we have received an abundance of calls this summer.  Callers are looking to spruce up their flowerbeds.  Some just wanted something new.  Others were wanting to expanding gardens.  Here are a few plants that are well known but often not used. Astrantia (as-TRAN-shi-a) or Mastewort is a perennial…