Husker Hort

A Nebraska View of Horticulture


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Don’t Throw in the Trowel On Your Garden

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Cool season crops. Photo from hortupdate.unl.edu

While some gardeners are ready for the gardening season to be over, others are raring up for another round.  If you are one who isn’t quite ready to throw in the trowel, now is the ideal time to start thinking about that fall vegetable garden.

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To-MAY-to or To-MAH-to?

Blossom end rot on tomato. Maintain consistent moisture, try mulching tomatoes first. Don’t reach for the Epsom salts.

Whether you pronounce it to-MAY-to or to-MAH-to, either way you say it they are both delicious.  Tomatoes are grown in over 86 percent of home gardens in the United States, but there are many common diseases and problems that can plague tomatoes.  With a little help, you can keep your tomatoes in tip top shape.

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Mother’s Day and Veggies?

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A few frost tolerant plants in a container.

Mother’s Day has come and gone and you know what that means.  No, it is not time to stop being nice to Mom, it’s time to start planting those tender vegetable crops in your garden.  Knowing what, when, and how to plant can offer many rewards in the long run. Continue reading


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Selecting Plants Made Easier with AAS

Seed and plant catalogs have started piling up on excited gardener’s tables everywhere. Thumbing through the catalog, how do you know which of the latest and greatest plants are really good and which ones are duds? There is someone who has already taken on that difficult task for us.

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All-America Selections have done the dirty work for you.

One organization was founded to truly help make the difficult task of making selections easier. All-America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization that tests new plant varieties across the nation and lets home gardeners know which new cultivars are truly improved. They test new, unsold cultivars then pick out the outstanding plants. The first AAS winners in 1932 were announced a year later, after the results were tabulated from the first trial. Today the winning plants must still follow a strict set of criteria, but they are available for sale the year they are announced as the AAS winners, so the 2016 winners are available in 2016. Continue reading


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The Perfectly Picked Poinsettia

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Poinsettia

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it is time to decorate for the holidays. No holiday decorating would be complete without poinsettias in the house. These plants are a part of most holiday traditions, but do you know what it takes to pick out the best one and makes it last long into the new year? Continue reading


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Fall Garden Clean Up

The presence of frost usually means that your vegetable garden is either limping toward the finish line or has completed production for the year. Fall is the pgarden cleanuperfect time to clean up the vegetable garden and its tools to prepare them for next year. Continue reading


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Never say never…

I had never been a fan of Brussels sprouts. The only ones I had growing up were bitter, mushy, frozen balls of nasty (can you tell just how much I didn’t like them). I grew up in a house where you took as many bites of a vegetable for every year old you were, Brussels sprout days were really rough.

Enough about my childhood, fast forward to this spring. While shopping for transplants for our garden, there where the dreaded sprouts in the nursery. I let our 2 year old son help me pick out what veges we would grow in our garden and you guessed it, he picked the Brussels sprouts.

Not wanting to dash his dreams of growing the veges he picked out, we got the sprouts. I feel that it is important for my child to grow the vegetables we eat so he can make the connection between the garden and what is on his plate… SO we got the Brussels sprouts.

In terms of vegetables, they are one of the easiest ones I have grown. The only issue we had were the cabbage worms, which were fairly easy to control.

I was told the key to Brussels sprouts was to wait until after the first frost before picking the tiny cabbages. After our first frost, we picked a few sprouts.

The good news about these vegetables is that they can handle the cool temperature until it drops into the 20’s , extending the harvest.

With the impending polar vortex and drop in temperatures, the time had come to harvest the plants.

I removed the sprouts from the stalks, took off the outer leaves, then placed the sprouts in salted water. This is just in case I wasn’t as good at cabbage worm control as I thought.

I consider our Brussels sprout experiment a success. My son might not love them yet, but I have to say they are not as bad as I previously thought. I am having fun trying the sprouts in different recipes.

So never count any vegetables out, and never say never.

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