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Water & Environment Programming

We provide research-based programs and educational materials to help you understand the value of Nebraska's natural resources and the value of good stewardship to ensure sustainability of those resources.  More information.

Fall Watering Aids Tree & Shrub Health

Image of burning bushBy Sarah Browning and John Fech, UNL Extension Horticulture Educators

Many homeowners haven't thought much about drought this year, however, conditions in Nebraska have ranged from abnormally dry to exceptional drought all year, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In fall, warm dry days with cool nights usually lead to great fall leaf coloration, but dry late summer and fall conditions have a downside, too. Extremely dry conditions result in root death, and a corresponding death of branches and foliage. But perhaps more important, even moderately water-stressed plants are more susceptible to attack by secondary pests, such as insects or disease pathogens.

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Mulch 101

Image of a well-mulched treeBy  John C. Fech, UNL Extension Horticulture Educator, and ISA Certified Arborist

For many gardeners, applying mulch is standard procedure... like brushing your teeth.  But before you jump the gun and mulch away,. it's important to survey your landscape needs. Instead of merely tossing bark nuggets to and fro, ask yourself the question, "Why do I want to mulch this flower garden, this strawberry patch, this veggie garden?"  Think about moisture retention, weed suppression, cooling or warming the soil, and of course, its appearance.

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Now Available

Water Wise: Drought Effects on Turf in the Landscape, G2191
Periods of drought can damage turfgrass. Through careful selection of turfgrass species and irrigation, turfgrass can remain healthy.

Water Wise: Managing Low-Capacity Private Drinking Water Wells During Drought, G2188
Groundwater from aquifers supplies almost all household water use in Nebraska’s rural areas. When groundwater levels decline during a drought, efficient water use and good management of groundwater are particularly important.

Water Wise: Water Conservation In The Home, G2190
Efficient water use is important during periods of drought. Selecting water-efficient appliances and keeping fixtures in good working order can reduce the amount of water used in homes.

Ethanol use in Small Engines

Bioenergy Friday Web Seminar

Friday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. CST
Presented by Ed Brokesh, Kansas State University.

Ethanol gasoline blends of 10% are ubiquitous. Yet questions and rumors abound about how ethanol blends affect small engines. This presentation will discuss how ethanol blends are different than 100% gasoline and how these changes impact small engines. In particular this presentation will cover the combustion process and how ethanol blends function in small engines. If you have ever wondered about how ethanol impacts your small engines this presentation is for you.

Program Link

Image of lawn mower