Summer Watering for Trees

High temperatures and dry conditions have resulted in many lawns turning brown in the last few weeks, but all plants suffer during hot, dry conditions not just lawns. So far, we’ve had 24 days of 90+ degree heat this summer from June 1st to July 24th. Lancaster County had a rain deficit of 0.75 inches... 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 →

Trees & Shrubs Worthy of More Planting

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with trees and shrubs as well as with other things. One person may see a maturing blackhaw viburnum as a beautiful multi-season plant, while their neighbor is annoyed with its poky branching and pungent flowers. We don’t all like or dislike the same things, and certainly... Continue Reading →

7 Garden Gaffes to Avoid this Year 

What’s the difference between a new gardener and an experienced one? The experienced gardener has killed way more plants - or so the saying goes!   Even armed with a substantial amount of knowledge, gardening is still a highly trial-and-error venture. Sometimes that’s on purpose, as gardeners try new plants in their gardens. Sometimes it’s... Continue Reading →

Pruning Fruit Trees vs. Shade Trees 

If you haven’t pruned the trees in your landscape yet, now is a good time to get it done. Today, let’s look at the differences between pruning fruit trees and shade trees. Our end goals and pruning strategies are very different between these two tree types.   Apple trees in an orchard demonstrating standard central... Continue Reading →

Spring Pruning – Questions & Answers

Last week we looked at winter drought and watering. But many gardeners also have questions about spring pruning. Specifically, is the time to prune affected by warm winter conditions? Here are a few pruning -related questions I have received lately.   Will early pruning cause fruit tree leaf and flower buds to develop earlier and... Continue Reading →

Benefits of Snow 

We’ve had our first taste of winter but while opinions may vary on the desirability of snow - particularly the amount that falls! - snow actually has several benefits for landscapes and gardens.   “Blanket of Snow” Image by Pixabay Soil InsulationThe term “blanket of snow” is a good description for snow’s insulating effect for... Continue Reading →

Master Gardener Volunteers  

2022 Master Gardener Program Now Accepting Applications Winter is a time many people prefer to stay indoors, enjoy a good book, a crackling fire in the fireplace and a hot cup of cocoa, giving little thought to the outdoors or their landscape.  But gardeners know winter is a time to dream and plan for next summer’s gardens.  For Nebraska Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers, winter is... Continue Reading →

Choose a Locally Grown Christmas Tree

Nebraska has more than 20 tree farms in central and eastern Nebraska that grow and sell Christmas trees.  A variety of tree species are available, including Scotch, Austrian, Red and White pine; Colorado blue and Norway spruce; and Balsam, Concolor, Cannan, Fraser and Douglas fir, so you can find your ideal holiday tree.   Choosing a... Continue Reading →

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