2020 – The Year of Lantana

This year the National Garden Bureau  features Lantana as its annual flower of the year.  In the 18th century,  lantana was a popular greenhouse plant in Europe and breeding efforts were extensive, resulting in hundreds of available selections. The most commonly available species, Lantana camara, is a tender plant winter hardy to zone 8. Although lantana is not... Continue Reading →

Controlling Oystershell Scale in the Landscape

Oystershell scale is a very secretive little insect that usually goes unnoticed.  But despite it’s tiny size, this insect can cause significant damage in trees or shrubs.  Some gardeners aren’t even aware the insects are present as they prune out dead branches the insects have killed. If you had branches die on a rose, dogwood or lilac... Continue Reading →

Gardeners Are Optimists

For better or worse, another gardening season is over. This week, we could talk about reviewing your gardening year, selecting disease resistant cultivars, proper pruning, watering or mulching techniques, or keeping garden records of success or failures so next year’s growing season goes better. But sometimes, you just need a little commiseration to lighten your... Continue Reading →

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug is a nuisance as well as a destructive pest and, like its name implies, puts off a nasty odor when crushed. This nonnative invasive pest has been in Nebraska since 2012. The damage the BMSB causes is from its needle-like mouthpart that punctures, resulting in sunken bruised areas on fruits.... Continue Reading →

Oak Twig Girdler Causes Dead Twigs in Trees

Every summer an unusual type of insect makes an appearance in many landscapes.  Actually, there is a small group of insects, called twig girdlers or twig pruners, that cause similar damage in a variety of trees. But fortunately, these insects are not a serious problem and their activity doesn't have serious consequences for the trees. But... Continue Reading →

Time to Scout for Bagworms

If your landscape has a history of bagworm problems, it’s time to start looking for them. Nebraska Extension entomologist Jonathan Larson says “Bagworms are some of the best architects in the insect world. These caterpillars take materials from the plants they live in and construct a tough bag to dwell in as they grow.” The insects and... Continue Reading →

Wait to Control White Grubs

One of the most easily recognized insects in the home landscape is the white grub.  Almost every gardener has seen white grub larvae in the soil, while installing new plants or tilling the vegetable garden.  The term "white grub" actually encompasses the larval stage of several scarab beetles, the most common, and most damaging, being... Continue Reading →

Simplify Your Garden

During the busy summer season, our best spring intentions can fall by the wayside.  Weeds creep into carefully planted flower beds, trees and shrubs go un-pruned, and fruit trees don’t get sprayed- all for lack of time.  Does a beautiful landscape always require hours of intensive care to achieve and maintain?  Of course, some maintenance is a must,... Continue Reading →

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