The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Katie Markheim
Nebraska Extension Master Gardener 

Master Gardener Tips for the Panhandle


Labels are the Law

Both FIFRA and the Nebraska Pesticide Act state that the label must be followed when making a pesticide application. Each product label has specific information regarding use to reduce risk to the applicator, other people, nontargets and the environment. Some products may require additional data collection or training before applications. Others may require site investigation using FieldWatch, DriftWatch or BeeCheck. Read and follow the label every time you use a pesticide. It’s the law.

Right Plant, Right Place, Right Time

A landscape is an investment of time and money that can be a beautiful, functional and satisfying living space. Considerations when creating your outdoor space include:

Site preparation

Plant Selection by hardiness zone

Planting season

Spacing in the landscape

Planting depths

Watering habits

Staking, protecting and mulching

These are aspects of integrated pest management and a great way to ensure the growth and longevity of your investment.

Moles, Voles and Gophers…Oh My!

These burrowing rodents look harmless, but beware, they may be damaging your lawn, garden, tree plantings or forage crops.

They adversely affect turf and crops by directly feeding on roots, stems, and leaves; by exposing plant roots to drying; and burying plants with excavated soil. Management is most effective when using a combination of controls such as trapping, exclusion, fumigants, repellents or reducing food sources.

Peppers in the Flower Pot, Say What?

Many vegetables have ornamental as well as food value and can be used as ornamentals where space for a traditional food garden is limited. They can be incorporated as decorative container plantings in outdoor living spaces, big or small, even in floral arrangements for a creative flair. Use these vegetables as ornamentals: peppers, kale, ornamental corn, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, okra, even tomatoes!

Remembering Your Roots

When choosing landscape plants, it’s easy to get distracted by the natural beauty offered at first site. Remember to check those roots! Purchase plants with healthy root systems.

If plants are in containers, pull them out to observe the presence of healthy white or light-colored roots. Check for spiraling, girdling, or circling roots. This can be corrected at planting by scoring the sides and bottom of the root ball.

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Nebraska Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.


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