Tag Archives: planting

Your Garden Glory

April 9, 2015 by

Originally published in March/April OmahaHome.

Mother nature is warming things up outside, which means it’s time to dig out those boots and gloves and get to work preparing your garden and outdoor living spaces for those heady, bountiful days to come. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Indoor Prep Work

To kick-start your spring color, cut branches of forsythia, crabapple, and spirea to place in a bucket of cool water inside. Leave in a cool area of no more than 60 degrees until buds show color. Snip and display in your favorite vase for an instant, preseason pick-me-up.

Grab some paper cups and your kids or nearest tiny relative and show them the wonder of starting seeds. Their eyes will delight in the wonder of the bursting of that first tiny sprout. Ideal veggies for home germination include basil, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chives, leeks, peppers, and tomatoes. Make your own seed-starting mix with a blend of equal parts perlite, vermiculite and peat. To neutralize the acidity of the peat, add ¼ teaspoon of lime to each gallon of the mix.

Clean up the Clutter 

Around the third week of March, clean your lawn of any debris like rocks and sticks (or annoying blow-away garbage from your neighbors, as is all-too-often the case here in the big O). Prep the beds by removing winter mulch. Prune fruit trees, shrubs and ornamental trees before buds begin to break. Later, prune spring flowering shrubs as soon as they finish flowering.

Early Spring Planting

Cool season veggies, like peas, onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces can be planted now. Just make sure not to work the soil when wet. Raspberries should also be planted in early spring as soon as the soil is dry and workable.

Survey the Scene

Check conifers and broadleaf evergreens for signs of winter injury. To control aphids, apply a soil drench treatment of imidacloprid on deciduous and evergreen trees. A March application will be effective against insects and will last all year.

Spread the Love, Garden-Style 

Share with your friends by dividing perennials before spring growth has begun. Who doesn’t
love the gift of greenery?

Keep a Record

Pick out an adorable journal that expresses your inner gardening diva and keep a record of all of your gardening information. Make a list of each item you have planted in the garden, and create a schematic to remember where everything is. Make sure to include seed companies, plant name, variety, planting date, and harvest date. Maintain a record of how well each plant does during the growing season. If any variety is prone to disease, record what was used to treat the problem. You will thank yourself next gardening season for keeping these handy records at your fingertips.

Thank you Berry Much 

Give established strawberry plants a dose of fertilizer before new spring growth starts.

Make Your Beds

Mama told you that if you make your bed you’ll have a great day. Transfer that wisdom to your garden by picking out flats of your favorite bedding plants such as begonias, geraniums, lobelia, busy lizzie, petunias, rudbeckia, California poppy, antirrhinum, and cosmos.

Revive Bulbs

Soak any bulb-like plants that are starting to shrivel. Put them in water for a short time to allow for plumping. Weed out dead blossoms from spring-flowering bulbs. Discard any rotted bulbs among your dahlias, gladiolas, elephant ear, caladium, tuberous begonias, and cannas.

Fixer-Upper 

Check your deck and lawn furniture for needed repairs or re-painting to make sure that your outdoor living space is ready for all of that entertaining you resolve to do this year. Search for the perfect
outdoor party treats on Pinterest. Bring on the guests!

For the Birds

Birds will now start looking for places to nest, so set those birdhouses out and keep an eye out for your newest fine-feathered friends to come calling.

Mid-Spring Mulching

Applying mulch now will cut down on your summer weeding time. The best mulches are compost and rotted wood chips. Buy only what you need. A yard of mulch will cover 300 square feet when spread an inch thick.

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Cultivating Your Vegetable Garden

May 25, 2013 by

Sustainable vegetable gardens are a great way to encourage organic living. When beginning yours, plan for year-round growth. Keep a gardening log to record tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way; it can help you determine what may or may not work for next year. It’s also a good idea to educate yourself at your local nursery or farmers market about proper care and growing techniques.

Thanks to Mother Nature, almost every vegetable has at least one companion plant that helps protect it from pests and insects. For example, marigolds repel beetles, nematodes, and rabbits. Dill and parsley attract “garden heroes,” like spiders and ladybugs, that love to eat garden pests. And while most people know that herbs, such as basil and chives, make great additions to your fresh dishes, others such as yarrow and lavender protect plants from moths.

Here are more tips for maintaining your vegetable garden in the summer months:

JUNE

All warm-season plants should be in your garden now. Remember to water weekly and pull weeds when they sprout. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac (almanac.com), “By keeping your plants well-watered and fertilized, they will quickly fill in spaces instead of weeds.” Start seedlings for broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage now so they’ll be ready for fall. Use nine-cell containers that can be watered from the bottom. Then, transplant to bigger containers 1-2 weeks later, or when sprouts begin to appear.

JULY

If you have summer squash in your garden, harvest when they grow to eight inches. Fertilize tomatoes and peppers lightly, and water the garden in the morning or later in the afternoon to prevent evaporation. Also, make sure to stake the taller plants to encourage growth and protect them from falling over during any summer storms. You can now begin sowing all your seeds for your fall garden: beets, carrots, collards, kale, radish, snap beans, turnips, and winter squash.

AUGUST

Continue to harvest your fruits and veggies every few days—this will promote production well into fall. This is a good time to begin canning. In fact, can everything you can! Let your tomatoes ripen on the vine. If any green tomatoes fall, store them in a paper bag with an apple to help them ripen. Keep planning for your fall garden and watch for pests and diseases. And don’t forget to share your harvest with friends, family, and neighbors! Backyard parties under summer skies are always better with fresh vegetables on the grill anyway.

It’s Not Too Late to Water!

December 25, 2012 by

Omaha’s thousands of trees are in danger. This summer’s unprecedented heat and drought have put even mature, established trees in peril. Trees cannot endure a period of extended drought without help. If trees are not rehydrated soon, they will not be able to survive the winter, let alone fight off insects and disease next year. If the Ash Borer reaches Omaha, our ash trees may be unable to take up the nutrients they need to fight the insects.

As early as August, many trees in Omaha began “shutting down” in an attempt to conserve water. When this happens, growth ceases and plants prematurely lose their leaves. Trees already have next year’s buds. The drought not only affected last year’s tree quality, but has the potential to significantly affect trees’ appearance this year. This drought is unprecedented to our generation. Most trees have not experienced summer conditions like this before.

There’s still time to save Omaha’s trees. It’s important that tree owners take the initiative to water trees. It’s a misconception that large trees have roots deep enough to get to underground water. The majority of feeder roots are actually in the top 12-16” of soil. Established trees (5 years and older) are best watered with soaker- or drip-irrigation hoses. A regular hose running at a trickle is much less effective, as the water often runs beyond the target zone and pools in unhelpful areas.

Water should not be targeted against the trunk of the tree. Tree trunks can become subject to disease and insect problems if moisture is concentrated next to the trunk. A tree’s “root zone” actually spreads 2 to 3 times wider than the tree’s canopy. Water must be applied directly to this target area. Watering for short bursts can lead to additional drought damage. Shallow watering forces oxygen out of the soil and results in oxygen starvation of a tree’s roots. What our trees need now is consistent, deep watering.

Trees need 10 gallons of water for every inch of diameter of trunk, measured 2 feet up the trunk of the tree. For example, a 7-inch diameter tree requires 70 gallons of water in each section of the root system covered by the soaker hose or stationary sprinkler. A hose open at half pressures takes five minutes to produce 10 gallons of water. Therefore, each section of a 7-inch diameter tree’s root zone must be watered for 35 minutes. It may take several days of watering to cover the entire root zone.

If there’s no rainfall, trees should be watered once a week during the growing season, continuing on a regular basis until rain returns. The arrival of winter does not mean it’s time to stop watering. Winter drought can affect both evergreen and young hardwood trees. Water once or twice per month between October and March on warm days as long as the ground is not frozen.

The best time to water is at night between 9pm and 8am, as trees refill water reserves during the night hours. Watering at night allows for effective use of water with less loss from evaporation. This assures that more water moves into the soil and tree. The second-best time to water is late afternoon.

The best way of knowing if you’re getting water deep enough into the soil is to use a screwdriver. It should glide through the soil in the area you just watered to the depth of at least 8-10 inches with little or no resistance. Don’t be surprised if you hit concrete-like soil about 3-4 inches down. Water in shortened sessions until able to get water to penetrate. Don’t be surprised to find the soil almost repelling the water until sufficiently hydrated.

Younger trees require a similar approach for watering, but the root area is much less. A tree needs about one year per inch of trunk at planting time to establish a root system. It’s very easy to overwater the soil surrounding a newly installed tree. The root mass and a few inches beyond are critical areas during the tree’s establishment period. Every year, roots expand into the surrounding soil, creating a wider area to be hydrated in dry periods.

Here at Lanoha Nurseries, we are happy to answer questions and walk tree owners through the watering process. We care about all trees and want to ensure that Omaha’s trees stay safe and healthy.

Call to speak with a Lanoha professional at 402-289-4103 or stop in the Garden Center at 192nd and West Center Road.