Master Gardener April 17-21


By Kathy Tando, Nebraska Extension Master Gardener

Monday 17 – Knowing the enemy is the first step to winning the battle. The battle all gardeners need to deal with is weeds. If you know the characteristics of the weed you are trying to control, you will know the best approach. Perennial weeds are best controlled in the fall where, and annual weeds and grasses respond best to spring control. The type of control also depends on the weed, so knowing the enemy helps you choose the best battle plan.

Tuesday 18 – Want instant color in your yard? Instant color is one of the real values of annuals over planting perennials. Most annuals bloom their hearts out from planting time until frost if cared for properly. It’s true annuals complete their life cycle in one season, which is why they are called annuals. However, they end their life in seed production and often put seeds down in the soil, which will re-appear next year. Want color now? Plant annuals!

Wednesday 19 – Did you know that some statistics say 16 percent of methane, a greenhouse gas, comes from rotting food in our landfills? Close to half of the waste comes from households. Many food scraps can be gold in the landscape if composted. Coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit, and vegetables provide nutrients back into the soil. Some foods like dairy and meat are not for the compost pile. The US Environmental Protection Agency has a great list to guide you.

Thursday 20 – I’ve talked about helping the environment by composting food waste instead of adding it to landfills. No space for a traditional compost bin? No problem. With a proper selection of food scraps, they can be added directly to your garden soil. Buried a foot or so into a bare spot next to your existing vegetation will break down supplying nutrients. Shredding or cutting into small pieces speeds up decomposition.

Friday 21 – Word is that, like everything, prices are going up in the nurseries. Maybe planting from seed might be a way to stretch your budget. You don’t have to have a greenhouse to start many seedlings, but choosing a sunny window area and using a seed planting medium might be all you need. But don’t want to mess with that. Many can be directly seeded in the ground. Read the seed label carefully, no matter which way you choose.