Master Gardener tips for the Panhandle – Week of August 1, 2022

By Elaine Pile, Nebraska Extension Master Gardener

Drifting Pesticides

Drifting may be okay for a tumbleweed, but it’s not okay when spraying pesticides of any kind. When spraying pesticides, the size of the droplets can affect how much drift may occur. Using a hand pump sprayer and pumping it up to full pressure creates smaller droplets. If you refrain from pumping it up to full pressure, the droplets will be larger. Larger droplets are less likely to drift. Remember, when spraying pesticides, avoiding drift is critical to protect surrounding vegetation. 

Reading and Understanding the Label

Do you read labels? When applying pesticides, reading and understanding the label on the product is important. Labels include an ingredient statement, precautionary statements, environmental hazards, physical and chemical hazards, signal words relating to the degree of toxicity, personal protective equipment to use, statement of practical treatments and directions for proper use, storage and disposal of the product. REMEMBER, the label is the law!

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush is the perfect name for this shrub – butterflies love it! Large varieties grow up to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Smaller varieties grow only 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Give your butterfly bush good drainage. Flowering stems are branched, and the center one usually blooms first. Remove it as soon as it fades, so the side branches will take off and bloom. Your bush will soon be covered with butterflies from summer to fall!

Getting a Bang for Your Buck

Do you want a lot of bang for your buck? Then shrub roses are your answer! Shrub roses come in various sizes and habit, so you can find one that is perfect for your garden. The best bonus is shrub roses put on a big show of blooms in spring and keep flowering in waves until frost. Some, such as Morden Sunrise, have a wonderful scent. Deadhead to the next three or five leaf joint to encourage re-bloom.  Now, enjoy the fruits of your labor!!!  

Late Season Rose Care

With the extreme heat we’ve had this summer, it’s hard to imagine fall is coming. It’s time to turn our thoughts to late season rose care. The last rose fertilization should be done before August 10.  Later fertilization produces succulent new growth which may not harden before winter. Also, avoid deadheading roses after August 10 to help them harden off. This practice produces lovely rose hips, giving the roses winter interest. Care now ensures great results next spring!