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 →

Getting Your Lawn Ready for Summer – Aeration 

Many Nebraska soils have high clay and silt content making them prone to compaction. Foot traffic from both human and pets, equipment and vehicles are all common causes of soil compaction. Look for the following as signs of potential soil compaction in your landscape.  Areas where water puddles after rain Tracks or pathways where grass growth is sparse  Hard packed soil at garden gates, edges of driveways... Continue Reading →

Little Bluestem the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year 

The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) is a professional horticulture trade organization dedicated to improving the perennial plant industry by providing education to enhance the production, promotion and utilization of perennial plants.    The 2022 perennial of the year is little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, and its’ ornamental cultivars.    For those who enjoy the subtle beauty of Nebraska’s native grasses,... Continue Reading →

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