This year the National Garden Bureau features the sunflower as its annual flower of the year. Sunflowers originated in the Americas and domestic seeds dating back to 2100 BC have been found in Mexico. Native Americans grew sunflowers as a crop, and explorers eventually brought the flowers to Europe in the 1500s. Over the next few centuries, sunflowers became... Continue Reading →
Conservation plantings of wildflowers and grasses may range in size from a few plants in a home garden, to extensive plantings on a farm or acreage. Usually these plantings are intended to create habitat for butterflies, pollinators, birds or other wildlife. But if the planting isn’t well-maintained, it’s benefits and beauty many decrease over time. ... Continue Reading →
If there ever was a year to try your hand at forcing flowering branches, this is it. Yes, this year, spring can come early to your acreage; best of all inside your home. How is this possible? Easy.
Tree fruits look very appealing in garden magazines and catalogs. But not all tree fruits in the catalogs do well in eastern Nebraska. Important considerations to make sure trees thrive and produce well include winter hardiness, bloom time, disease resistance, growth requirements and regular maintenance. HardinessExtreme winter conditions are the biggest limiting factor for backyard... Continue Reading →
This is a great time of year for gardeners – the mailbox is full of seed and plant catalogs, and we get the joy of considering hundreds of new plants we could try in our gardens this year. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you peruse your catalogs and decide which plants... Continue Reading →
Justin Evertson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, plantnebraska.org Nebraska, like the rest of the Great Plains, is not well-known for its trees. After the retreat of the last Ice Age glaciers about 10,000 years ago, grasslands came to dominate the center of the continent leaving Nebraska only 3% forested at the time of settlement. Someone flying high... Continue Reading →
All pine trees have needles, but all needled evergreens aren't pine trees any more than all dogs are dachshunds. Telling pines, firs and spruces apart isn't any harder than distinguishing beagles, Bassett hounds or bloodhounds -- you just need to know how each one is distinctively different from the others. Step One: Look at the... Continue Reading →
As with overwatering, over fertilization is a common problem, so an important step in winter houseplant care is understanding whether your plant needs fertilization. Houseplants, like most other plants, need fertilizer containing three major plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). The amount and frequency of fertilizer required depends on the type of... Continue Reading →
When you live on an acreage, you usually have lots of plants to prune. And, because it is an acreage, there are many other activities vying for attention such as broken fences, chickens that need to be fed, trees that need to be planted, grass to be mown, gardens to be weeded and water to be tested. However, if you take a few minutes to plan out the when, what and how, pruning can be easily accomplished.
Last week we looked at using supplemental LED lights to improve the growth of your houseplants during winter. Two more factors playing a key role in winter plant success are humidity and fertilization. Humidity Many houseplants are native to tropical regions, being adapted to rainforest or riverside humidity levels. Knowing this makes it easier... Continue Reading →
A major challenge for good growth of houseplants indoors, particularly in winter, is poor light. Most homes are just too dark for plants to grow well in winter, especially those plants requiring high light. Signs your plants are not getting enough light are small leaves, long thin stems, failure of blooming plants to flower... Continue Reading →
I’ve always envied southern gardeners, and their ability to grow big, beautiful American holly trees. It would be so nice to simply walk to the backyard and snip a few branches with colorful berries for holiday wreaths or arrangements. During the holiday season, English holly (I. aquifolium) is popular in wreaths and greens, but unfortunately it also... Continue Reading →