Local Interest

Garden Update
Week of July 4, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

When Plants Defend Themselves

There is a great line in the first Jurassic Park movie when Ellie, the character played by Laura Dern, says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Plants can be pretty but will defend themselves if threatened.”  Assuredly, not all plants are sweet and accommodating. Of course, there are plants that throw in their lot with humans, giving people fruits and vegetables for food, fiber for textiles, and medicines for health. We manipulate plants to get what we need, and we aid their survival by saving seed and propagating plants.  It begs the question, though, are we manipulating plants or are they manipulating us?

Garden Update
Week of June 27, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

Now is the time to...

Put down grub control to manage grub damage in lawns. The end of June/beginning of July is the window to complete this task, when grubs are small and more easily managed. 

Stop using herbicides to manage nutsedge.  Nutsedge has tiny growths at the end of roots, called nutlets, that will begin growth when the parent plant is killed, making for even more plants. 

Move potted violas and pansies to a shaded location to continue to enjoy their blooms, especially when spent blooms are removed.

Garden Update
Week of June 20, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

 National Pollinator Week

 It is estimated that just 1-2% of insects cause problems to human health, crops, and structures. For some, “bugs” is a derogatory term that signifies unclean conditions and a messy household.  For the roughly 98% of insects that don’t fit into this description, it is a giant leap forward to recognize the importance of pollinators during National Pollinator Week.

Garden Update
Week of June 13, 2002
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County 

Why Lion’s Tailing is Bad for Trees

Lion’s tailing to reduce wind resistance or to have enough sunlight for a thick lawn beneath trees is a detrimental practice that reduces tree structural stability. Lion’s tailing is pruning in the extreme, removing a tree’s lower canopy and inside branches, leaving just a cluster of leaves and twigs at the end of large branches.

Garden Update
Week of June 6, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

National Herbs and Spices Day

June 10 is National Herbs and Spices Day. Avid gardeners know that herbs and spices lend excellence to food, add nutrients to our diet, and are easy to grow.

Herbs are those flavorful leaves we add to dishes while spices are the seeds. Take cilantro as an example.  The leaves are chopped, minced, or added whole to salsas, dips, soups, and salads. The seeds, known as coriander, can be harvested and used whole, or ground into a fine powder. Both the leaves and seeds come from the cilantro plant, but the leaves are considered an herb and the seeds a spice.

Garden Update
Week of May 30, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

Poison Hemlock

Poison hemlock should be handled with extreme caution because of the poisonous alkaloids found in all parts of the plant, including the seeds, flowers, and roots. While not native to the North American continent, poison hemlock has spread beyond its European origin to much of the Central Great Plains. Historically, poison hemlock is infamous as the plant thought to have killed Socrates. 

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