Wow, it’s great to see the sun, feel the warmth and lose the heaps of snow in my front yard! Although 70 plus degrees in early March could result in problems later this spring, if plants come out of dormancy too soon. But, since there isn’t a great deal we can do about the weather, let’s... Continue Reading →
Conservation plantings of wildflowers and grasses may range in size from a few plants in a home garden, to extensive plantings on a farm or acreage. Usually these plantings are intended to create habitat for butterflies, pollinators, birds or other wildlife. But if the planting isn’t well-maintained, it’s benefits and beauty many decrease over time. ... Continue Reading →
If there ever was a year to try your hand at forcing flowering branches, this is it. Yes, this year, spring can come early to your acreage; best of all inside your home. How is this possible? Easy.
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 →
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 →
When you live on an acreage, you usually have lots of plants to prune. And, because it is an acreage, there are many other activities vying for attention such as broken fences, chickens that need to be fed, trees that need to be planted, grass to be mown, gardens to be weeded and water to be tested. However, if you take a few minutes to plan out the when, what and how, pruning can be easily accomplished.
I’ve always envied southern gardeners, and their ability to grow big, beautiful American holly trees. It would be so nice to simply walk to the backyard and snip a few branches with colorful berries for holiday wreaths or arrangements. During the holiday season, English holly (I. aquifolium) is popular in wreaths and greens, but unfortunately it also... Continue Reading →
Good tools make the work in my landscape much easier. I get the majority of my work done with just five tools, so if you have a gardener on your gift list consider one of these ideas. Hori-Hori - Garden or Soil Knife The tool that is absolutely indispensable to me is a Japanese... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
Now that trees have dropped their leaves, and fall leaf coloration is done, one of my favorite sights for late fall and winter is a crabapple tree loaded with fruit. Maybe it’s just that the leaves are gone and the fruits are easier to see, but it seems to me that some crabapples develop deeper, more... Continue Reading →
Diseases, insects, drought and age take a toll on windbreak plantings. Planting of all sizes, from a few trees on a city property to miles of trees around a farm, will eventually require tree replacement or renovation. Late fall is a good time to assess your windbreak and order trees for spring planting. Most windbreaks, even those with... Continue Reading →