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August blooms

At this point in the acreage landscaping season, reflection on the developments of the year and a look forward to the fall is called for. Many facets should be considered, including the following.

  • SUN/SHADE: To determine the right plant for the right place, choose shade loving plants for areas that receive less than 2 hours of direct sun each day and sun-loving plants for sites that receive 6 or more hours of direct sunlight. If plants are struggling, replace or re-locate them.
  • WOOD CHIP MULCH conserves soil moisture, reduces weed seed germination and provides a good growing environment for plant roots. A two to three inch layer is appropriate for most woody plants. Shredded corncobs, newspapers, grass clippings and the like are useful in the veggie garden.
  • TURF provides a quality recreational surface, reduces soil erosion, reduces stormwater runoff and recharges groundwater supplies. Reconsideration of the size of the turf area is wise at this point of the season.
  • Incorporating COMPOST into soils creates a suitable growing medium for roots, improves the water holding capacity, increases porosity and boosts the microbial population. As new plantings of ornamentals and fall vegetable gardens are planned, take advantage of the benefits of compost.
  • Drought tolerant PERENNIALS live from year to year, require minimal maintenance and offer seasonal blooms. Acreage landscapes offer plenty of room for a diversity of perennials.
  • GROUNDCOVERS are low growing plants that offer choices for sites where most other plants will not grow well, such as in heavy shade and full sun. Groundcovers may be a better choice than turf in these areas, as well as on slopes.
  • Well placed ANNUALS provide splashes of color that maintain seasonal interest and focus attention on important garden features. Annuals usually require more maintenance and care than groundcovers and perennials, but provide appeal that cannot be matched by other plant groups.
  • SHRUB ROSES are easy to care for, provide height variation and season long appeal in the garden. Hybrid tea roses provide high quality blossoms and fragrance, but frequent pruning and pest control is usually required to be landscape assets.
Lamium is a great shade groundcover
John Fech
John Fech
Extension Educator - Horticulture
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.

Contact John at:
Douglas/Sarpy County Extension
8015 W Center Road
Omaha, NE 68124-3175
(402) 444-7804

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