Local Interest

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County (Week of July 26, 2021)

The size of the cicada killer wasp is alarming to many people, prompting phone calls and emails to Nebraska Extension Offices with questions of how best to eradicate them. The female, at 2 inches long and with three bright yellow stripes on her abdomen, is one of the largest insects in our landscape. The male is large too, though smaller than the female at 1-½ inches long, and is stinger-less. Both males and females are pollinators, moving pollen as they feed on flower nectar.

Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County (Week of July 19, 2021)

From its name, it would be nice if Colorado potato beetles were only found in Colorado but unfortunately, that is not the case. The CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a serious pest of potato and related crops in North America.  Recently, the CPB was found at the Growing Together Nebraska garden here in Fremont, feeding on the foliage of both potatoes and eggplant. This insect has a voracious appetite, eating leaves down to almost nothing, which in turn decreases yields.

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County (Week of July 12, 2021)

As difficult as blights are to manage in tomatoes, viral diseases are far worse. This is because there are no effective products to stop their spread.  To make matters even more challenging, virus infection is most often the work of sap sucking insects, such as aphids, thrips, and leafhoppers, that vector diseases. Insecticides to stop these insects provide limited results, often after insect feeding has already enabled virus spread to plants.

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County (Week of June 28, 2021)

By Kathleen Cue, Horticulture Extension Educator in Dodge County (Week of June 14, 2021)

Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are hard at work.

In Dodge and Washington Counties, Master Gardeners are working on food gardens. Growing Together Nebraska is a joint effort between Master Gardeners and Extension Nutrition Educators. Vegetables and herbs are planted, cared for, harvested, weighed, and donated to local food pantries. Donations are already underway, with the harvest of radishes and basil! A huge variety of vegetables have been planted, with tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and pumpkins (to name a few) eventually providing nutritious locally-grown food for the food insecure.

Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County (Week of June 7, 2021)

A recent discussion thread launched on the Shady Lane listserv by Justin Evertson of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum asked observers how trees in their landscapes weathered the negative double-digit cold of winter. Used to extreme cold conditions, native trees and shrubs weathered the tough winter best. Others (that were thought to be very cold hardy) lost all living canopy growth and are now sending out sprouts at the base. Still others are no surprise at all, such as the Japanese maple, a marginal species for this region at best, which had major dieback and/or outright death.

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