Bitterness in Cucumbers & Zucchini

Summer is in full swing and so is harvest in the vegetable garden with the first summer squash, zucchini and cucumbers. In many small towns, soon you won’t be able to leave your car parked with the windows rolled down or you might come back to find the front seat full of zucchini or cucumbers!   ... Continue Reading →

Let’s Not Share Our Corn with an Earworm!

Sweet corn season is here, and there's nothing like eating freshly harvested ears – unless you find a worm when peeling back the husks! That unwanted intruder is usually the corn earworm.  IdentificationThese caterpillars vary widely in color and may be green, brown, pink, black or various shades between these colors, with light and dark... Continue Reading →

Lonely Trees – how to help and how not to

        In our modern landscapes, trees often get planted as lone individuals surrounded by a sea of lawn. This is less than ideal for trees—and vice-versa. Trees typically grow in forests where little grass is present. When trees are placed in lawns and those lawns are excessively fussed over (and we Americans love to fuss... Continue Reading →

Severe Summer Storm Aftermath

In mid-June of 2021, many parts of Nebraska received sixty, seventy and eighty mile per hour winds that caused major damage to a variety of trees, especially Bradford pear, elm, cottonwood, river birch and silver maple. Normally hardy trees were damaged as well; in most cases the ones that had poor branch angles, co-dominant leaders and cracks were especially harmed as well as those planted too deeply.

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 →

Delphiniums – A Beautiful Garden Flower

  There is no other flower that creates the feeling of an “English” or cottage garden, more than delphiniums. Delphiniums are majestic plants with their long, colorful flower spikes making spectacular additions to a perennial garden.  The name delphinium is derived from the Greek word delphis, which refers to the dolphin-shaped flower buds before they... Continue Reading →

Aphids in Shade Trees and Ornamental Plants

This spring, there have been many questions about something sticky falling from trees. There are a couple possibilities for this phenomenon, but a common culprit this year seems to be a higher than normal number of aphids.   Aphids are very small soft-bodied insects, typically 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length. They have a mouth like a straw, which is inserted into plant leaves or... Continue Reading →

Time to Scout for Bagworms

If your landscape has a history of bagworm problems, it’s time to start looking for the next generation of young insects. They will soon be hatching.  The insects and their cocoons can be hard for gardeners to spot since they look so much like a natural part of the plant. Many people don’t realize the pointed oval... Continue Reading →

Oh, the Humility (of gardening)

BENEFICIAL LANDSCAPES, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum         As gardeners, we make decisions every day about what stays, what goes and what will take its place. Being faced with constant predicaments means we’re bound to get it wrong some of the time; in fact, the longer someone’s been at it, the more embarrassing notches go on the... Continue Reading →

Plants for Sandy Soil

If you’re sitting on sandy soil and don’t have a flower garden, it’s well worth starting one. The rest of us—who sigh with disappointment every time we read “must have well-drained soil” in a nursery catalog—can’t let you waste this opportunity that’s lying at your feet.        Sand, the largest of soil particles (and the only... Continue Reading →

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