Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes
You hear these terms – “the dead of winter” and “dead to the world”, but what do they really mean? In most cases, they’re exaggerations or synonyms for other situations; in this case, really cold weather with no end in sight and really, really tired.
In the plant world, the question of “is this plant dead?” comes up quite frequently, especially in winter, and especially with broadleaf evergreens such as arborvitae, yews, holly, boxwood and Oregon hollygrape.
Fall is a great time of the year. Trees develop beautiful fall colors, and then those leaves fall to the ground. Tree leaves are fun to play in as a kid and most everyone loves the crunch sound under your feet as we walk over fallen leaves. However, leaves should not be left on the lawn. This can be damaging to turfgrass and to surface water. It is best to use leaves or remove them.
There is still time to plant shade trees this fall, but know that fertilization and the addition of root stimulant products have been shown to have little or no effect on how quickly a tree establishes.
However, the unnecessary use of these products could lead to an increase in nutrients in surface water that can impair water ecosystems. Fertilizer and root stimulant products are not recommended unless a soil test indicates they are needed.
With Nebraska’s weather extremes, many of us have spots in our landscapes that need to tolerate periods of wet feet as well as periods of drought… quite a challenge!
The type of wet conditions also varies. A wet, poorly drained site is different than a moist site with good drainage. Wet, poorly drained soils have low oxygen content since the pore space is full of water. For most plants good root growth requires a careful balance of moisture and oxygen; and many plants that like moisture cannot handle standing water. Below are some plants that can tolerate moist to wet soil.
You see a bright shiny package at the garden center saying that it can help you have the most bountiful garden ever, the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, your plants will have miraculous growth, or it will supply every element on earth to make sure that your plants are living their best life. It’s got what plants crave….It’s got electrolytes! You reach out to grab that package and ……. Woah! Pump the brakes! Do you know if your plants even need to be fertilized? Are you just falling for that shiny marketing, or do your plants really need added fertility to grow?