Residential Water Use Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Green Infrastructure

Landscapes which are sustainably designed, installed and managed provide us with many benefits. Sustainable landscapes conserve water, lower the rate and volume of runoff water from rain, snowmelt and irrigation, and help reduce the amount of pollutants reaching the surface and ground water. Read on to learn ways to design or change your landscape to achieve a sustainable landscape.

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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Mulch in the Landscape

pile of mulch

Mulch is very important to the overall health of our plants, but are all mulches created equal? Some may have more benefits than others and some may not be as helpful as we think they are.

Benefits of Mulch

Mulch, when properly applied, can provide a lot of great benefits to our plants, including:

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Getting Your Lawn Ready for Summer - Aeration

Lawn Aeration, Backyard Farmer, UNL

Many Nebraska soils have high clay and silt content making them prone to compaction. Foot traffic from both human and pets, equipment and vehicles are all common causes of soil compaction. Look for the following as signs of potential soil compaction in your landscape.

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UNL publications can help homeowners design and install a rain garden in their landscape

With time on your hands this winter you can dream about creating a beautiful and functional rain garden in your landscape this coming spring. A rain garden helps conserve water, reduce runoff pollution, and adds an aesthetic landscape feature to your home. You can do more than dream, you can use UNL Extension publication resources to design and install your rain garden.

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Improving Soil Structure for Increased Infiltration and Water Holding Capacity


Plant roots grow in soil pore spaces. Pore spaces are also where oxygen is found. Just as plant roots cannot grow without water, they cannot grow without oxygen. Soil pore space is important to plant growth and efficient water use.

Soils with good structure have adequate pore space making them well drained while still having good water and nutrient holding capacity. Ideal soils have 50 percent soil particles and 50 percent pore space. An important aspect of good soil structure is soil aggregation.

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