Nebraska Extension in Stanton County

Local Interest

Saving Seeds

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 Long before the advent of seed catalogs, gardeners saved seed from their prettiest, tastiest and most promising flowers and vegetables of the gardening season, discarding the seeds from the blah, the unattractive and the poor producers.  In essence, gardeners have helped mold the shape of gardening selections, making them some of the earliest purveyors of genetic modification.

 Today, the farm-to-table movement has generated new interest in the time-honored practice of seed saving. Before starting seed saving, there are two concepts that are worth knowing and understanding.

Fall Garden Clean Up

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that can be true. 

 Plant stems act as a catch-all, collecting leaves, twigs and other bits of organic debris around the crown of perennial plants. This mulch layer protects the crown and root system from weather extremes, making them more winter-hardy.

The Benefits of Fallen Leaves

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

 It’s too bad autumn’s fallen leaves are seen as a nuisance, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. In truth, they are a boon to landscapes, serving as mulches, benefiting soils, and boosting our compost piles. Not only are leaf piles fun to jump in and make for great leaf fights, by using leaves, we keep this resource out of landfills.

By Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator Kathleen Cue

 

They are cute.  They are little.  So what is the big deal if there are lots of grasshoppers?  These seemingly innocuous little guys and gals can be quite harmful to our landscape plants and vegetable gardens.  As grasshoppers grow, their appetites become larger, making the damage they do even more severe.

Floating row covers and screens can work as exclusion devices to protect plants but bear in mind that grasshoppers can chew through floating row covers and screens made of nylon (not metal screens, thank goodness).  Exclusion devices will need to be removed so bees and other pollinators can pollinate vegetable plants.

Herbicide Damage to Vegetable Plants

By Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator Kathleen Cue, Dodge County

 Twisting, curling, and cupping of leaves are often symptomatic of herbicide damage on vegetable plants. The culprits that most readily cause this type of damage include 2,4-D (used to kill broadleaf weeds in lawns and pastures), dicamba (lawn and crop broadleaf weeds) and picloram (pasture broadleaf weeds). These herbicides are plant growth regulators, killing weeds by stimulating excessive growth and exhausting the plant’s carbohydrate reserves. When vegetable plants are exposed to smaller amounts of these herbicides, then distortion of growth results.

By Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator Kathleen Cue

 Leaf scorch, also called sunscald, is the bronzing of leaf surfaces and crisping of leaf edges.  Even plants that are well-adapted to our climate can be scorched.  Plants have amazing resiliency, especially when Mother Nature eases them into changing seasons.  But taking into consideration a spring like this one—cold and rainy—with an abrupt change to record heat, then scorched plants are to be expected.

 Plants don’t have to be in the sun to suffer from scorch. Hosta, which likes and appreciates a shady location, will be scorched by high temperatures.

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Nebraska Extension in Stanton County

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Experts at Nebraska release estimated 2019 crop production budgets
Nov 14 – Experts from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln have prepared 78 budgets on 15 crops, predicting price expectations for input costs for 2019. Read more
2019 crop production budgets now available
Nov 14 – Experts from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln have finished preparing 78 budgets for 15 crops estimated for 2019. Read more