Possible Causes of Sudden Wilt and Death in Tomatoes

Nothing is more disappointing to the home vegetable gardener than to raise a tomato plant, finally have it loaded with fruit, when suddenly it wilts and dies.  What could be the problem?  Possible causes include lack of water, fungal wilt diseases, tomato spotted wilt virus, walnut toxicity and stalk borers.    Lack of Water. Tomato plants require approximately 1... Continue Reading →

Spring Freeze Damage in Home Landscapes

Unseasonably warm, mid-70 to nearly 90-degree temperatures in early April lured trees, shrubs and perennials out of dormancy. Many trees and shrubs have been blooming for the last two weeks, only to be threatened by normal late April frosts.   April 14-15, Lincoln nighttime temperatures dip to 27°F and 26°F degrees, respectively.  April 19-22, had nighttime temperatures of 31°F, 32°F, 29°F and 23°F degrees, respectively.      Gardeners always have concerns... Continue Reading →

Early Season Disease Control in the Home Orchard

Fruit trees are blooming, or will soon be, marking the beginning of another growing season. Many diseases become active during blooming, so it’s time to protect your trees and ensure a good harvest. Brown Rot After harvesting, gardeners are often disappointed to find their apricot, peach, cherry or plum fruits quickly develop a soft fuzzy brown rot. This is caused by a very common... 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 →

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 →

Summer Berries – Gooseberry

Gooseberry is another great fruit for the home garden.  The genus Ribes is home to both gooseberries and currants, so these two plants are closely related. Both are hardy and productive.  One way to distinguish gooseberry from currant, is the arrangement of fruits.  Gooseberry produces single fruits, or small clusters of 2-3 berries, from leaf... Continue Reading →

Summer Berries – Serviceberry

Whether for fruit production, habitat or beauty, serviceberry is an excellent addition to any landscape.  You might know these plants by other names such as Juneberry, named for the month when fruits ripen, sarviceberry, and shadbush referring to the plants bloom time "when the shad (river herring) run". There are about twenty plant species within... Continue Reading →

Summer Berries – Raspberry & Blackberry

The popularity of home vegetable gardening has certainly been strong this year, continuing a trend that started 10-15 years ago. But this year's shelter-at-home practices encouraged an even larger group of new gardeners to try their hand at home food production.  Similarly, there is a growing interest in home fruit production.  Aside from strawberries, there... Continue Reading →

Espalier: Create Living Art with Form and Function

An old horticulture practice of controlling plant growth in a flat plane against a solid surface or trellis has merit in today’s smaller landscapes. This is the art of espalier, pronounced ess-PAL-yer, or ess-PAL-yay. The word espalier is French, but is derived from the Italian word spalliera meaning “something to rest the shoulder against.” The... Continue Reading →

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