2021- The Year of Garden Beans

There are many species of beans in cultivation around the world, yet it is the common garden bean, Phaseolus vulgaris that takes on celebrity status as National Garden Bureau’s vegetable focus for 2021.  One of the earliest cultivated plants, garden beans can trace their beginnings to Central and South America. Vining or climbing beans were an original... Continue Reading →

2021- The Year of Sunflowers

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 →

Selecting Fruit Trees for Eastern Nebraska

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 →

Tips for Buying Seeds

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 →

Pine Trees or Evergreens?

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 →

Success With Houseplants – Fertilization

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 →

Success with Houseplants – Humidity

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 →

Bush Cherries – A Game-changer for the Home Orchard

Cherries have been a favored fruit for centuries, eaten by people since before recorded history.  Sweet cherries, Prunus avium, are native throughout most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa. Naturally, they have been used extensively in holiday cooking through the years.  But tart cherries, Prunus cerasus, are the most common and well-adapted cherry grown... Continue Reading →

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