The Glories of May

garden lanscape toolsEvery year as May returns, Mother Nature gives us the return of sunny days and cool spring rains after a long Nebraska winter. May is also when many gardeners’ hearts seem to beat a bit faster because winter is gone and spring has returned.

Some parts of the year when I write articles or prepare comments for our radio shows I’m challenged about what to discuss but that is definitely not May. May is usually such a perfect time to accomplish so many tasks in our landscapes that the difficulty in May is deciding what not to talk about.

As I write this article Mothers Day is approaching and for many when we talk about Mothers Day we also talk about planting our Annuals. Over the years many gardeners have been taught to wait to plant their annuals until Mother’s Day. This way they know they are normally safe from the last chances of frost in eastern Nebraska. Even though this spring warmed up faster than normal whether you are planting a landscape bed, placing a hanging basket by the front door, or planting your pots on the patio, go right ahead and plant these beautiful plants for their wonderful color and interest all summer long. Mother Nature has turned the weather warm and it is now safe to plant your tender annuals.

Now, I don’t know about you but store bought vegetables just don’t have the same flavor and taste as those from our backyard gardens. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. can now be planted safely. And if you haven’t already, get your cool season vegetables planted quickly such as Broccoli, Snap Peas, Cauliflower, Lettuce, etc. They will grow better in cooler weather versus the heat of summer so the sooner they are planted, the better crop you will receive. Also remember that amending your gardens each year by adding compost, or some peat moss and manure then tilling in well before planting will give you better yields from your garden. And we recommend applying a coating of mulch around your vegetables to help hold moisture in and to help fight those pesky weeds in the garden.

Neddenriep, Shirley - Gardening - Nemaha CountyOnce your annuals and vegetables are planted consider adding perennials, shrubs and trees to your landscape. Planting now will give your new additions some time to settle into place before the full stresses of summer arrive. Daylilies to Iris, Lilacs to Viburnum, Lindens to Maples – May is a perfect time to plant your landscape. Make sure to plant interest for all seasons of the year versus just what is blooming now. And if you aren’t quite sure what to plant consider crafting a plan with a landscape designer. Experienced designers – like our team at Campbell’s – can offer recommendations in planting the right plants in the right locations that have color and interest as much as possible through the year. Let the experience of an expert make your planting and growing easier with a plan.

Now before you think May is all fun and sunny weather don’t forget to deal with weeds and insects. Pre-emergents like Preen can cut your weeding immensely and should be applied before new mulch is applied to your landscape beds. If you didn’t know this or forgot to apply then apply it right over your mulch as soon as possible then water it in well for best results. Also be ready to spray a bit of Round Up on those weeds the pre-emergent doesn’t control. And keep your eyes open so you are prepared to apply controls for infestations of Pine Sawfly, Red Spider or any of the other pesky insects preparing to attack your plants.

One final note for those of you near Lincoln who plant vegetable gardens. As you plant your garden, please consider planting an additional vegetable plant or two and donate the extra crop to the “Grow and Share” program between Campbell’s and the Lincoln Food Bank. Beginning sometime in late June to early July anyone can drop off extra produce in paper sacks Mondays and Tuesdays to either of our garden centers through the summer and it will be donated to the Lincoln Food Bank.

Overall, try to enjoy some of the great Nebraska weather we have in May, add some color and interest to your landscape through new plantings, and keep the Grow and Share program in your mind if you are close to Lincoln. May is such a great month in Nebraska, How can you go wrong?

 

Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of their two Lincoln garden centers or through their landscape design office. www.campbellsnursery.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/CampbellsNursery

Dill Cucumber Dip

Dill Cucumber Dip-MeredithIngredients

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons green onion, or ½ teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon hot sauce or horseradish

½ teaspoon garlic salt or ½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, cut in chunks, allow to drain (3-4 cups)

 

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients except the cucumbers in a food processor bowl. Pulse until well blended.
  2. Add the cucumber chunks and pulse until the desired consistency is reached (chunky or smooth).
  3. Store in the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.
  4. Serve as a dip for chips or veggies.

Note:  This recipe can be mixed up by hand.  Cucumbers would need to be finely chopped.

 

Yield:  4 cups

Recipe source:  Nancy Krueger, Firth, NE.

Hot time in the Summer…

DSCN3721When it comes to Nebraska weather, we all tend to forget how quickly our feelings can switch. Why, only six months ago many of us probably could be heard complaining about how cold it was outside. Many pleaded for Mother Nature to give us a bit of warm weather to remind us spring would soon return. But, once spring arrived for those of us around Lincoln we soon were asking Mother Nature to stop raining after giving us the wettest May on record. And, don’t forget that a few years agowe were entering the begining of the Drought of 2012. The soil was parched, plants were withering, and many lawns were turning brown. It seems like many years Nebraska weather can be similar and quite different at the same time.

While this spring and early summer have been enjoyable with at times cooler temperatures, there isn’t anything quite like summer in Nebraska. The old adage “If you don’t like the weather – wait five minutes – it’ll change” certainly comes to mind. Every year though Mother Nature eventually turns up the heat and sends us more normal summer weather and that normal weather will drive many of us into the cool respite of air conditioned houses and outside searching for shade to avoid the heat.

July and August for many is a time for vacations, celebrating the Fourth, and enjoying the sweet taste of vegetables from our vegetable gardens. For those of us in the nursery industry we spend our time helping clients try to keep their landscapes and gardens looking their best. For some that could mean dealing with disease and insects, while for others it could mean assistance with caring for their plants, and for others installing new plantings. Yes, I did say planting.

Neddenriep, Shirley - Gardening - Nemaha CountyWhile the summer is not a time to “plant and forget,” it can be a great time to plant. Many have extra time and possibly some help from kids out of school or are simply spending more time at home caring for their kids over the summer. While some days bring terrible heat, most summer mornings or early evenings usually bring moderation to the heat making it actually enjoyable to be out working in our landscapes and gardens.

When we talk about planting in the summer, it is with some understanding and care. Simply put, people who plant in the summer usually tend to care for their plants better than those who wait for fall. The nicer weather in spring encourages people to believe that Mother Nature will take care of new plants without our help. We see our plants standing strong and tall and mistakenly believe that we won’t have to do much because the plants are looking great. However, with our Nebraska summers we need to make sure we care for our plants, whether we planted them last fall, this spring, or this summer. Keep an eye on any plant younger than about 12 months, ensure you water them about once or twice a week and you should do fine.

For those who are itching to add a few plants or simply have finally found time to work in the landscape, summer planting can be rewarding and offer great success with proper care. A young plant, whether it is planted in the cool spring or the hot summer, simply needs a bit of assistance to make sure it survives until it can set its roots and begin caring for itself. How long this takes will depend on the plant. Check with your local nursery professional for specific care instructions for your specific plantings.

When it comes to caring for your older plants while they should not need as much supervision don’t worry if they aren’t looking as good as they did in the spring. A bit of timely watering, maybe some trimming to shape the plant, and a bit of mulch to help hold the moisture around the root system can do wonders to help them through the summer. With a bit of care, plants showing stress in the heat should perk right back up and yes, even thrive, in our challenging summers.

  1. Keep watching for insects and disease in your turf and plants. The added stress of summer heat can make any problems they cause affect your plants even worse.
  2. Check your turf for grub issues. Consider applying preventative treatments if you’ve had grub issues in the past. Otherwise keep an eye out for damage then treat ASAP.
  3. Watch your watering! It’s just as easy to over water your plants as it is to under water. Best results are with watering at least a day or two apart that are applied slowly and deeply to encourage plants to establish vigorous root systems. Aim to water for longer duration but less frequently for best results.
  4. Dead head old blooms as needed to encourage plants to re-bloom faster or to give a cleaner appearance on plants done blooming for the season.

Keep an eye out for fungus. With higher humidity this time of year, we are seeing fungal issues. Use preventatives if you are worried as prevention takes half the material and effort as attempting to cure will take

DSCN4290Now when we talk to clients about summer plant care the first thing we mention is to try to walk the landscape at least once a week even in the heat. Check for weeds, look for insect or disease issues, and generally try to catch problems before they can get out of hand. A bit of work in the heat could solve a problem with minimal effort versus waiting until the weather is cooler but now the problems have grown and it might take lots of work to get things back in shape. Many of our clients usually do this walk around when they mow their lawn.

As you walk your landscape keep an eye out for insects eating on foliage, red spider on evergreens, the jalapeno shaped husks of bagworms on evergreens, turf damage from grubs or webworms, and fungal issues on roses, turf, or other plants. Most problems, if noticed before too much damage occurs or pests are allowed to get out of control, can be controlled with timely treatment. While many chemicals are labeled for many plants and pests do always follow label directions and consult a nursery professional with questions and to get help picking the right control for your situation.

As long as you are able to check on your plants once or twice a week through the summer and add a bit of water as needed, and possibly deal with a problem before it gets out of hand, you should be able to keep your plants growing well and looking good even in the heat of summer.

Overall Mother Nature can be our best friend or worst enemy. Which one we believe she is all depends on what she brings us each day, and I for one have said a few choice words about her already this year. However, if we are there to care for our plants here and there, the summer time in Nebraska can be an enjoyable and often fulfilling time in the landscape.

 

 

Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of their two Lincoln garden centers or through their landscape design office. www.campbellsnursery.com.

 

The Glories of May

Every year as May returns, Mother Nature gives us the return of sunny days and cool spring rains after a long Nebraska winter. And for many gardeners May is also when our hearts seem to beat a bit faster because winter is gone and spring has returned.

Some parts of the year when I write articles or prepare comments for our radio shows I’m challenged about what to discuss but that is definitely not May. May is usually such a perfect time to accomplish so many tasks in our landscapes that the difficulty in May is deciding what not to talk about.

As I write this article Mothers Day is approaching and for many when we talk about Mothers Day we also talk about planting our Annuals. Over the years many gardeners have been taught to wait to plant their annuals until Mothers Day. This way they know they are safe from the last chances of frost in eastern Nebraska. Even though this spring has been a bit warmer a bit faster than normal whether you are planting a landscape bed, hanging basket, or pots on the patio, go right ahead and plant these beautiful plants for their wonderful color and interest all summer long. Mother Nature has turned the weather warm and it is now safe to plant your tender annuals.

vegetable gardenNow, I don’t know about you but store bought vegetables just don’t have the same flavor and taste as those from our backyard gardens. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. can now be planted safely. And if you haven’t already, get your cool season vegetables planted quickly such as Broccoli, Snap Peas, Cauliflower, Lettuce, etc. They will grow better in cooler weather versus the heat of summer so the sooner they are planted, the better crop you will receive. Also remember that amending your gardens each year by adding compost, or peat moss and manure then tilling in well before planting will give you better yields from your garden.

Once your annuals and vegetables are planted consider adding perennials, shrubs and trees to your landscape. Planting now will give your new additions time to settle into place before the stresses of summer arrive. Daylilies to Iris, Lilacs to Viburnum, Lindens to Maples – May is a perfect time to plant your landscape. Make sure to plant interest for all seasons of the year versus just what is blooming now. And if you aren’t quite sure what to plant consider crafting a plan with a landscape designer. Experienced designers – like our team at Campbell’s – can offer recommendations in planting the right plants in the right locations that have color and interest as much as possible through the year. Let the experience of an expert make your planting and growing easier with a plan.

garden lanscape toolsNow before you think May is all fun and sunny weather don’t forget to deal with weeds and insects. Pre-emergents like Preen can cut your weeding immensely and should be applied before new mulch is applied to your landscape beds. If you didn’t know this or forgot to apply then apply it right over your mulch as soon as possible then water it in well for best results. Also be ready to spray a bit of Round Up on those weeds the pre-emergent doesn’t control. And keep your eyes open so you are prepared to apply controls for infestations of Pine Sawfly, Red Spider or any of the other pesky insects preparing to attack your plants.

One final note for those of you near Lincoln who plant vegetable gardens. As you plant your garden, please consider planting an additional plant or two and donate the extra crop to the “Grow and Share” program between Campbell’s and the Lincoln Food Bank. Beginning sometime in late June to early July anyone can drop off extra produce in paper sacks Mondays and Tuesdays to either of our garden centers through the summer and it will be donated to the Lincoln Food Bank.

Overall, try to enjoy some of the great Nebraska weather we have in May, add some color and interest to your landscape through new plantings, and keep the Grow and Share program in your mind if you are close to Lincoln. May is such a great month in Nebraska, How can you go wrong?

 

Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of their two Lincoln garden centers or through their landscape design office. www.campbellsnursery.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/CampbellsNursery

Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

CHeddar Pinwheels

Ingredients

6 ounces wagon wheel pasta (any pasta will do, but kids love novelty pasta)

1 heaping cup very small broccoli florets

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 small garlic glove, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces thick-sliced ham, cut into small cubes

1 scant cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

2 scallions, sliced (optional)

 

Directions

1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

2. About 30 seconds before pasta is done, add the broccoli florets and corn kernels. Cook for 30 seconds and then drain to a colander. Run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking. Keep pasta in the colander while making the dressing.

3. Whisk together the garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

4. Add the well-drained pasta, broccoli and corn to the bowl, along with the other salad ingredients. Toss together.

5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

Yield: 4 (1 1/2 cup) servings

 

The Glories of May

Every year as May returns, Mother Nature turns nice and gives us bright sunny days and cool spring rains. And for many gardeners May is also when our hearts seem to beat a bit faster because winter is gone and spring has returned. Although this year it has taken a bit longer to reach the warmth.

Sometimes when I write articles or prepare comments for our radio shows, I can get stymied about what to discuss. Not in May. May is a perfect time to accomplish so many tasks in our landscapes that the difficulty in May is deciding what not to talk about.

69030_10151437601418878_1316210820_nMothers Day is approaching, and to many when we talk about Mothers Day we also talk about planting our annuals. Many people will wait to plant their annuals until Mothers Day to be safe from the last chances of frost in Nebraska. Even though this spring has been cooler and wetter than normal whether you are planting in a landscape bed, hanging basket, or pot on the patio, go right ahead and plant these beautiful plants for their wonderful color and interest all summer long.

Now, I don’t know about you but the store bought vegetables just don’t have the same flavor and taste as those from our backyard gardens. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. can now be planted safely. And if you haven’t already, get your cool season vegetables planted quickly such as Broccoli, Snap Peas, Cauliflower, Lettuce, etc. They will grow better in cooler weather versus the heat of summer so the sooner they are planted the better crop you will receive. Also remember that amending your gardens each year by adding compost, or peat moss and manure then tilling them in well before planting will give you better yields from your garden.

Once your annuals and vegetables are planted consider adding perennials, shrubs and trees to your landscape. By planting now you give your new additions time to settle into place before the stresses of summer arrive. Daylilies to Iris, Lilacs to Viburnum, Lindens to Maples – May is a perfect time to plant your landscape. Make sure to plant interest for all seasons of the year versus just what is blooming now. And if you aren’t quite sure what to plant consider crafting a plan with a landscape designer. Experienced designers – like our team at Campbell’s – can offer recommendations in planting the right plants in the right locations that have color and interest as much as possible through the year. Let the experience of an expert make your planting and growing easier with a plan.

Now before you think May is all fun and sunny weather don’t forget to deal with weeds and insects. Pre-emergents like Preen can cut your weeding immensely and should be applied before new mulch is applied to your landscape beds. If you didn’t know or forgot to apply then apply it right over your mulch as soon as possible then water it in well for best results. Also be ready to spray a bit of Round Up on those weeds the pre-emergent doesn’t control. And be ready to apply controls for infestations of Pine Sawfly, Red Spider or any of the many other pesky insects preparing to attack your plants.

One final note for those of you near Lincoln who plant vegetable gardens. As you plant your garden please consider planting an additional plant or two and donate the extra crop to the “Grow and Share” program between Campbell’s and the Lincoln Food Bank. Anyone can drop off extra produce in paper sacks Mondays and Tuesdays to our garden centers through the summer and it will be donated to the Lincoln Food Bank.

Overall, try to enjoy some of the great Nebraska weather we have in May, add some color and interest to your landscape through new plantings, and keep the Grow and Share program in your mind if you are close to Lincoln. May is such a great month in Nebraska, How can you go wrong?

Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of their two Lincoln garden centers or through their landscape design office, www.campbellsnursery.com or on Facebook