Pruning Yews – Shearing or Thinning?

Ok, so it’s time to prune yews…how do you know?  Just look at the shrub/hedge.  At this time of year, you’ll see lots of lighter color shoots at the ends of the stems.  If you want to keep the size the same, (and most of us do), now is the time.  So, how to do…

Japanese Beetles—They’re Colorful, They’re Hungry and They’re Here

The most important thing to understand about Japanese beetles is their feeding doesn’t kill trees, shrubs and flowers.  Granted, it isn’t fun to see the lacy leaves they’ve created, but pesticide management options require thought and planning before you set out for revenge. Systemic insecticides, for instance those containing the active ingredient imidacloprid, are taken…

Echinacea tennesseensis

As I write this I am far behind on my daily to-do list and was wondering what I should blog about this week.  Over the weekend I was walking through our pollinator garden and was admiring the coneflowers that are currently blooming.  We all know and love the purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea and is probably one…

Turf Care Under the Hot Sun, Part 4

Parts 1-3 of this series have dealt with considerations of watering, mowing and fertilization that greatly impact turf performance in hot summer weather.  The final segment, part 4, deals with several random strategies that will help lawns and other turf areas grow well.  These common sense management practices are as follows:   *Designate “hydrozones” in…

Grasshoppers

They are cute.  They are little.  So what is the big deal if there are lots of grasshoppers?  These seemingly innocuous little guys and gals can be quite harmful to our landscape plants and vegetable gardens.  As grasshoppers grow, their appetites become larger, making the damage they do even more severe. Floating row covers and…

Turf Care Under the Hot Sun, Part 3

Parts 1 and 2 of this series have encouraged readers to water and fertilize less than in spring and fall, which dovetails nicely with the topic of part 3, which is to mow less often.  Reducing mowing frequency is important as the process of mowing creates openings in the ends of grass blades, allowing them…

Herbicide Damage to Vegetable Plants

Twisting, curling, and cupping of leaves are often symptomatic of herbicide damage on vegetable plants. The culprits that most readily cause this type of damage include 2,4-D (used to kill broadleaf weeds in lawns and pastures), dicamba (lawn and crop broadleaf weeds) and picloram (pasture broadleaf weeds). These herbicides are plant growth regulators, killing weeds…

Oakleaf

Hydrangea quercifolia or Oakleaf Hydrangea is a small deciduous shrub reaching about 6′ tall about the same if not more in spread.  Growing in full sun to full shade this North America native shrub is a consistent bloomer and easy to care for.  What I find appealing to about this plant is the lack of…

Turf Care Under the Hot Sun – Part 2

My GROBigRed post in the first week of June introduced the concept of caring for turf under hot, sunny conditions, and focused on efficient irrigation practices.   Here’s an excerpt to set the stage for this week’s post – “In summer, in Nebraska, it’s hot.  So hot that caring for turf requires a full set…