It’s planting season, at least if you’re starting your vegetables and flowers from seed.
“It’s about the right time for most things we grow, like tomatoes and peppers,” said John Porter of the extension of Nebraska in Douglas-Sarpy counties. “It’s usually 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.”
Porter said the extension office has great online resources if you’re a beginner. You can find a starter video at go.unl.edu/startseeds. Gardening webinars are available at go.unl.edu/grobigredtube. Find the first steps towards the vegetable garden on byf.unl.edu/first-steps-vegetable-gardening.
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You don’t need anything fancy to start with seeds. Although many people put their seeds in small cell containers, Porter said an empty yogurt or cottage cheese container works just as well.
Just be sure, he said, not to cut corners on the seed starting soil. It is sterile, so it protects your seedlings from disease.
“A lot of people try to use regular potting soil,” he said.
Once your seedlings produce their second set of leaves, they will need to be planted in their own container with regular potting soil to finish growing before moving them outside.
Do not overwater the seedlings once they emerge.
“They don’t like to sit in the water. It displaces oxygen in the soil and it leads to root rot, and it will kill your seedlings faster than anything,” Porter said.
If you don’t have time to start your seedlings now, Porter says there’s no rush. Tomatoes can be planted throughout June.
For frost hardy plants such as spinach, lettuce, peas and onions, they can be directly sown outdoors when the soil temperature reaches around 45 degrees, which should be within the next few weeks.
You can get a general idea of the ground temperature around Omaha from the Extension Office weather station at mgextensionwx.com.
John Fech from the Extension Office has some ideas if you’re itching to get out there and do something — anything! – in this hot weather.
Use a pitchfork to work compost in the vegetable patch.
Notice any thinning areas of the lawn and plan to overseed in about a month. Wait for grass seedlings to green before overseeding.
Although leaves are still not present on shade trees and shrubs, this is a good time to notice defects such as crossed limbs, broken limbs, closely growing limbs, and insect-infested limbs. .
“If you can reach the tree branches from the ground, the owners can do the pruning themselves; if not, it’s best to hire an NAA or ISA certified arborist,” Fech said.
Summer flowering shrubs such as summer clethra, blue mist spirea and rose of Sharon can be thinned now by removing the oldest stems at ground level. This will increase airflow through the shrub and reduce leaf disease.
Orchid show next weekend
The Greater Omaha Orchid Society is hosting the largest exhibition and sale of orchids in the area next weekend at Lauritzen Gardens.
Admission to the show is free with paid admission or membership to Lauritzen Gardens. Show times are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Interest in orchids continues to grow and the orchid show is the greatest opportunity for the curious and obsessive to experience a wide variety other than the phalaenopsis from the grocery store,” said Christy Musgrave.
Musgrave, the owner of the Plant House, said there was always a wide variety of exotic orchids at the show and other interesting plants.
Each of the plant vendors at the show set up a display in addition to their sales tables for the enjoyment of the public. This is a learning opportunity for anyone interested in orchids and other tropical plants.
The Maison des Plantes will focus this year on lithophytes, including many orchids.
Musgrave said lithophytes are an interesting group of plants capable of living primarily on rocks. Other plants in this group include bromeliads such as Tillandsia (air plants), many ferns, mosses, lichens, begonias, and a wide variety of succulents. Bonsai cultivation is often done by growing on rocks.
“Whether you’re an enthusiastic hobbyist or an aesthetic admirer,” Musgrave said, “The Omaha Orchid Society Show and Sale is a great way to say ‘Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring’.”
Benson Garden Raises Funds
Benson Community Garden is delighted with the response to its request for help in rebuilding the wooden borders around its garden plots.
Organizer Kurt Goetzinger said he needed $2,300 to complete the work, but was given $2,900, which will also allow him to put a new roof on a shed on his 60th Streets property. and Lafayette.
“The gardeners are all so excited,” Goetzinger said.
They are always looking for 4 x 4 inch pieces of lumber to provide fencing.
The Benson Community Garden began in 2011 as a place where individuals and families could come together to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Volunteers constructed a fence and 36 individual plots from lumber donated by a fencing company in Omaha.
Over the years, the garden has grown to include a pollinator garden, a pantry, a common space for gatherings, and a stage for live music performances and movies.
Having a wooden border around gardeners’ plots shows the size and square footage of the gardening space, helps keep the rows tidy with a walkway between them, and helps conserve water.
Those interested in helping can go to
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