The Omaha-World Herald has hosted several online chats for gardeners seeking expert advice, with the most recent focusing on this spring's goofy — and extreme — gardening conditions.
We're sharing some of the answers — summarized and categorized — from University of Nebraska-Lincoln horticulturists Kathleen Cue and Mary Anna Anderson in the hope that they will make your gardens more beautiful and bountiful.
» Planting calendar: Soils should be warm enough to plant your warm season crops — such as beans, peppers and tomatoes — this weekend. However, waiting another week won't hurt. Chard will probably still do well if planted this weekend, but it's getting a little late to plant spinach and lettuce.
(A word to the wise: This weekend holds the potential for severe weather, including potentially strong winds and damaging hail. Monitor forecasts in case you need to bring potted plants inside or otherwise protect fresh plantings.)
» Dandelions: Yes! They are everywhere. A cool season perennial, they've flourished this spring. Pre-emergence herbicides will prevent seedlings from emerging from the soil but do nothing for established plants. For the mature plants, a combination herbicide containing 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop will work.
» Zoysia: While zoysia loves heat, last year's extended drought killed zoysia in many lawns. Patches that are still brown aren't dormant, they're dead. There isn't anything that can be done to encourage the dead grass to grow. Now is a good time, though, to take plugs from the live areas and plant them into the bare ones.
If you have questions of your own, please join our next gardening chat with UNL Extension horticulturists at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Questions can be posted starting at 1 p.m. that day.
For information about how to access the chat or to submit questions in advance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-444-1102.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1102, email@example.com