2021- The Year of Perennial Hibiscus

So far this spring we’ve looked at the National Garden Bureau Plant of the Year categories for annual (sunflowers), perennial (monarda) and vegetable (garden beans). The last one we’ll discuss is the “shrub” of the year, which really isn’t a shrub – at least not in Nebraska. It does have woody stems, but they die down to... Continue Reading →

Gardening in the Time of Covid

(Written spring 2020) You know that feeling. That glorious feeling of running your hands through the dirt. Feeling the earth connect with your body. Nature and you. Happiness and peace of mind overtake you as you shake off the cares and strife.      It’s not just connecting with nature gardening gives you. It is the feeling... Continue Reading →

Lawn Tips for Late Winter

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 →

2020- The Year of Monarda

Monarda is a genus that has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb. As the common name Bee Balm implies, it has also been used to soothe bee stings.  But did you know the Oswego Indian tribe used this plant to make an herbal tea and they taught the early American settlers how... Continue Reading →

Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants

Most gardeners are aware that soil preparation is important in a new landscape with poor or compacted soil, but when spring fever hits it’s easy to start planting as soon as the weather warms up. Putting in the time to ready your soil makes a big impact, though, and will make a difference in the... Continue Reading →

2021- The Year of Garden Beans

There are many species of beans in cultivation around the world, yet it is the common garden bean, Phaseolus vulgaris that takes on celebrity status as National Garden Bureau’s vegetable focus for 2021.  One of the earliest cultivated plants, garden beans can trace their beginnings to Central and South America. Vining or climbing beans were an original... Continue Reading →

2021- The Year of Sunflowers

This year the National Garden Bureau  features the sunflower as its annual flower of the year.  Sunflowers originated in the Americas and domestic seeds dating back to 2100 BC have been found in Mexico. Native Americans grew sunflowers as a crop, and explorers eventually brought the flowers to Europe in the 1500s. Over the next few centuries, sunflowers became... Continue Reading →

Forcing Flowering Branches

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.

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 →

Tips for Buying Seeds

This is a great time of year for gardeners – the mailbox is full of seed and plant catalogs, and we get the joy of considering hundreds of new plants we could try in our gardens this year. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you peruse your catalogs and decide which plants... Continue Reading →

Nebraska’s Unique Native Trees

Justin Evertson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, plantnebraska.org Nebraska, like the rest of the Great Plains, is not well-known for its trees. After the retreat of the last Ice Age glaciers about 10,000 years ago, grasslands came to dominate the center of the continent leaving Nebraska only 3% forested at the time of settlement.  Someone flying high... Continue Reading →

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