Sarah Browning - Extension Educator

Sarah Browning - Extension Educator

Smart Gardening: Converting to No-Till for Home Gardeners

onion garden
I often hear from vegetable or flower gardeners who are unhappy with their soil quality. They routinely incorporate organic matter in the soil each fall, but are still disappointed with their heavy soil. Why aren’t they developing beautiful crumbly dark brown soil that’s easy to plant and great for vegetable root crops? Routinely tilling your garden soil each fall and spring could be the culprit.

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Boost Landscape Appeal with a Curb Strip Garden

Many urban landscapes have a forlorn narrow planting strip between the curb and sidewalk, otherwise known as a “hell strip”. Healthy curbside plantings help filter and absorb rainwater, preventing landscape fertilizers and other pollutants from entering storm drains.

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Managing Chlorosis in Trees

Chlorosis on a maple
Eastern Nebraska tends to have high soil pH, also known as alkaline soil, which can cause problems for some plants, like river birch, pin oak, big-leaf hydrangeas and blueberries to name a few. Alkaline soil changes the availability of certain plant nutrients in the soil, often making them less available, resulting in deficiency symptoms.

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Beneficial Fungi and Tree Health

Micorrhizae

Tree health is often a reflection root health. Good practices to improve root health include properly applied organic mulch, good water management to avoid overwatering but providing water as needed during dry periods, and avoiding root damage from construction or changes in soil grade. The Image shows thin white fungal mycorrhizae on the roots of a slash pine by Paul A. Mistretta, USDAForest Service, Bugwood.org

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Safe Winter Pesticide Storage

Store liquid and dry pesticides formulations correctly during winter.
As the growing season draws to an end and we put away our gardening equipment, it’s also important to store any remaining pesticide products properly to prevent contamination and maintain product effectiveness for next year. But even more important, being careless with pesticide storage is an open invitation to disaster, in the form of a pesticide poisoning or spill which could contamination ground or surface water.

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