Poison Hemlock 

There has been great concern in recent weeks from home gardeners about poison hemlock, also known as poison parsley. Botanically known as Conium maculatum, poison hemlock is blooming right now with large flat clusters of white flowers so can be easily spotted.   Poison hemlock is native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It was... Continue Reading →

Thinning Tree Fruits

Fruit trees in the home orchard often set abundant crops if spring pollination conditions are good and most home gardeners do not thin fruit trees enough or at all. Only 10% of peach flowers are needed for full crop set and peaches are particularly prone to branch breakage under heavy crop load.   Very heavy fruit loads... Continue Reading →

Weird Squash – Pollination Gone Wrong?

The growing season is in full swing and gardening questions abound! Including questions about pollination and its effects in the vegetable garden, so here is a quick look at pollination and how it will - or won’t - affect the plants in your garden.    Can pumpkins be planted near cucumbers, or will they cross pollinate... Continue Reading →

Pruning Lilacs 

The common lilac is a tough, reliable shrub that may reach a height of 15-20 feet. Plants begin forming flower buds in fall, which overwinter, then bloom in late spring, which makes pruning a challenge since most woody plants are pruned during the dormant season. How and when should plants be pruned to keep them... Continue Reading →

Plan for Late Summer Color with Asters

Late summer and fall can be a dreary time in the landscape, with little else but coreopsis and Black-eyed Susan blooming. So it's a good idea to plan, and plant, now for color in your fall gardens. Asters are an excellent plant to add for additional fall color. Two species of aster, which are both... Continue Reading →

Making a Compost Bin

Starting a compost pile can be as simple as piling yard waste up in a free-standing pile. But to save space in smaller landscapes, hasten decomposition and keep the yard looking neat, create a composting structure. Composting structures can be made from a variety of materials and be as simple or complex as desired.  ... Continue Reading →

Spring Lawn Questions

This spring, some of our lawns look beautiful and others are showing some winter damage. The dry conditions we experienced from September through March have caused patchy grass death in some locations, as in the picture above taken the first week of May 2022 near Hastings. Damage is especially common on south or west facing... Continue Reading →

Aminopyralids: Restrictions for Grazing, Compost and Manure

Article written by: Jennifer Weisbrod – Assistant Extension Educator, Leslie Johnson - Animal Manure Management Extension Educator, & Melissa Bartels - Extension Educator The prices of synthetic fertilizers have increased significantly over the last year, leaving growers and even homeowners facing the decision of finding alternative sources of nutrients. One great option is the use... Continue Reading →

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