Lanoha August Newsletter Header   

Dear Valued Lanoha Customer,


The summer of 2013 has in many respects been a carbon copy of last year. The small surplus of soil moisture we accumulated in May and early June has been depleted, and most non-irrigated areas are extremely dry and the plants are again showing the stress of heat, wind, and humidity, coupled with little moisture in the past 5-6 weeks. Traditionally the month of July brings fairly adequate rainfall, but these past two seasons, the opposite has occurred. The plants may be in even more jeopardy this season since they have not fully recovered from last year's onslaught of weather and drought.


Our landscapes have shown how stressed many of our existing landscape trees were when entering the late fall and winter of last year. Birch, in particular, were the worst affected of any of the deciduous trees. This tree has a very thin bark and multiple small stems with equally high numbers of very fine leaf cluster twigs that were vulnerable to the winter wind and sun during this past season when we again remained in a severe drought. Once the ground was frozen, the birch roots lost the ability to move moisture up through the trunk to the numerous twigs and stems that lost moisture daily. This severe drying resulted in many newly installed trees, as well as established trees, shocking many homeowners this spring with leaves developing on only a few of the lower branches and in some cases to have suffered so severe damage that the entire tree was dead. Please, do not think that we are saying that birch is a "bad" tree. It does have a very valuable place in our landscapes---especially in areas that remain moist most of the time. It is one of the fastest growing popular trees in the Midwest. What we should learn from this bitter experience is that birch, along with all shallow barked trees, should be sent into the time the ground freezes in the winter very deeply watered. This could never be accomplished with the normal turf irrigation that many homeowners assume is adequate moisture for a tree. Lawn sprinklers are intended for watering grass-NOT TREES! Deep watering with soaker hoses or stationary sprinklers are the two most commonly recommended methods of delivering deep moisture into the soil profile. This moisture should penetrate 10-12" deep, and sufficient time should pass for air to displace this deep moisture before another 10-12" deep soaking. It's almost impossible to say exactly how long it takes for this moisture depth to be created. Running a soaker or drip hose for 6-8 hours usually will get moisture down to the one foot depth-----but don't assume! Probe with a long slender rod or the longest screwdriver in your toolbox. Plunge it into the ground, and if moisture adheres to the shaft, the soil is moist and no new watering is recommended. If the probe pulls up with no moist soil attached, water deeply to the 12" depth. Water "schedules" are dangerous because humidity, wind, and sun exposure all factor into how quickly or slowly the water is displaced by air. No matter how great a tree we grow and install for you, that tree can't and will not survive in soils that are kept constantly wet or damp. Like we humans, living plants can't survive without air! Other shallow barked trees are sugar and red maples, locust, fruit trees, linden, and ornamental flowering crabs. This list includes the "back-bone" of many landscapes. Pick up a FREE INFORMATION GUIDE on protecting these valuable specimen trees from winter injury.



   2014 Best of Omaha voting has begun! 

  Lanoha Best of OmahaWe just want to take a quick moment to thank all of you who voted us as Best of Omaha for Landscaping last year. We truly appreciate you taking the time to do that! Nothing makes us happier than helping our customers find the perfect landscape solution and bringing their dreams to life!


Voting for 2014 has begun and goes through September 30th. We would greatly appreciate your votes again this year! Click the image above to go directly to our category to vote! 



  Mid-August is the ideal time to separate daylilies in the garden!

  Lanoha Dividing Daylilies and Hostas Mid-August is the ideal time to separate daylilies in the garden. This is especially necessary with the repeat bloomers such as Stella d'Oro, Happy Returns, Pardon Me, and other of the dwarf cultivars. If the clumps become too overgrown, they often disappoint the gardener by blooming only once and maybe a few scattered blooms later. These varieties should be divided every 3-5 years.


Division can be done several ways. The easiest method is to use a sharp shovel and remove sections from the outside ring of the plant's root system. Each clump should contain three to five fans. This method leaves the mother plant intact. A second method is to cut the plant down to 3-4 inches, dig the entire clump, and divide the entire plant into small sections. A garden fork, knife, or even your hands will separate the clump quite easily. Some very vigorous growers can be split so only 2-3 fans are in each piece. Separated in August, most new sections will bloom the following spring. Approach the separation of hosta clumps in the same manner described for the separation of daylilies.


Set the new portions into a planting site that has the clay soil conditioned with perlite and Cottonburr compost. If you are doing only a few plants, a ready-to-use mix by Eko is a combination of the perfect soil conditioners for both daylilies and hostas. The crowns should be set level with the ground. For Perennials sprinkle Myke into the bottom of the planting hole. This beneficial bacteria should be used cup per a 12' diameter hole. For best results, set the separated roots in direct contact with the Myke to colonize roots and establish a blooming size clump in a short time. If you prefer, Superthrive may also be used in the water applied after the new plants are in place. Mulch with a thin 2" layer of hardwood mulch that is kept back away from the stems at least 2-3".  Keep well watered and stand back to watch how quickly these new plantings will begin a vigorous fall growth.



   Unique bark will add interest to any landscape!  
Lanoha Trees with Interesting Bark

One of the main attractions of the popular river birch tree is its exfoliating honey colored bark as the tree matures. There are other trees that can offer interesting and unique bark that will add interest to any landscape. The following trees are all available at the garden center outside nursery display area for your inspection and immediate installation.

  • Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress: This is truly a workhorse in the metro landscapes. We have used it to replace the declining scotch pine on our grounds plantings around the parking lot. You can see how beautiful and full the soft needles encompass the canopy of this unique tree. It is a deciduous evergreen-meaning it drops its entire needled canopy in the fall after the weather cools. The beautiful orange to brown show of color is always a real favorite of customers who see this specimen change from its summer sage green fronds (needle-like leaves) to its awesome fall show. It resists wind damage and is seldom affected by insects. Growing 40 feet by 15-20 feet wide makes it an ideal pyramidal specimen. It can easily be used where this shape is desired for screening, a specimen planting, or a street tree. A small 1" purplish brown cone accents the tree during the winter. The interesting reddish brown, fibrous bark peels or exfoliates in strips as the tree ages. This tree is one of our favorites. A large inventory of homegrown beauties are available for immediate enjoyment!
  • Quercus bicolor, Swamp White Oak: This stately and uniform oak will reach maturity at 45-50 feet tall and spread about 40 feet wide. This oak maintains an upright oval shape through early and middle age, but at maturity it is quite round. While it is drought tolerant and adapts to dry summer sites very well, it also will perform in moist to moderately wet, poorly drained soils. The Latin name bicolor refers to the distinctive two-colored appearance of the leaves. They are a dark leathery green on the upper surface and downy white on the underside. The dark green leaves change to shades of yellow, brown, and red in the fall. It retains its leaves throughout the winter, awakening the senses with a unique rustling sound in the winter breezes. This zone 4 hardy tree produces a 1" long bowl-shaped, cap covered, tan acorn that is favored by birds and other wildlife. White Swamp Oaks have superior transplant success. It was named a "great plant for the Great Plain" in 1999. The brownish black bark is rough and scaly even on young trees, becoming deeply ridged and furrowed with age. The bark just screams, "Come and feel my unique bark!"
  • Exclamation London Planetree (Sycamore): This hybrid selection of the London Planetree resulted from a controlled cross made at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois between an Oriental Planetree (naturally anthracnose disease resistant) and another anthracnose resistant American Planetree. The hybrid cross produced a uniform, upright-pyramidal habit tree which is conical in its youth. It develops a strong central leader and has attractive large foliage. It has dense branches with a moderately fast growth rate. It shows excellent resistance to sunscald and frost cracking. It is very hardy here in Nebraska. At maturity it may reach 50 feet tall with a spread of 30 feet. Its large maple-like leaves turn a warm yellow in the fall. It will grow in a wide range of soil conditions. In its finest form, it is a beautiful and imposing specimen tree. The outer bark peels away to create a mottled patchwork of tans, whites, grays, greens and sometimes yellows. The inner bark is usually very smooth. The exfoliating bark makes this one of winter's best showstoppers.
  • State Street Maple: This is a variety of maple not too well known to Nebraska homeowners. The tree is really amazing! It grows to a mature 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide in 25 to 30 years. It is a stronger-wooded substitute for silver maple or red maples where chlorosis may be a problem. It grows at a fast rate, but amazingly it is a long- lived tree. State Street has five-lobed thick dark green leaves that turn a pale golden yellow in the fall landscape. This tree was a 2011 'Plant of Merit' for an outstanding tree for the lower Midwest. It has no serious disease or pest problems. The mature warty gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape. It is one of the most adaptable shade trees on the market today!
   Let it be known that wood mulch is good for all trees and plantings! 
Lanoha Mulching

Let it be known that wood mulch is good for all trees and plantings. It provides the plantings with a constant supply of oxygen, keeps the soil at an even temperature, prevents weed growth, conserves moisture, and over time breaks down to add organic matter to the soil. A nice circle of 2-3 feet across can protect a tree from being injured with either a weed whip or lawn mower. The aesthetic value of mulch adds value to the landscape proper. A wood mulch depth of 2-3 inches over the entire root system of a tree is the suggested depth. Keep the mulch back at least 6 inches from the trunk of any tree, 3-4 inches away from shrubs and roses, and 2-3 inches back from the stems of perennials. You should always be able to see the root flare, the area of the trunk where it meets the soil line. This allows the tree to breath properly.


Too much mulch can damage a tree. Have you ever heard of a "mulch volcano?" It is the term being given to the pile of mulch around the base of a tree to form what looks like a volcano as it angles up the tree's trunk-sometimes a staggering 10-12 inches. Mulching in this manner will invite insects, disease, and small rodents, and cause cankers and splits on the trunk. Trees are covered with bark that is designed to protect the trunk. Bark performs best in the air and light. If you pile too mulch next to the bark, it will be exposed to darkness and constant moisture. Diseases develop best in dark moist conditions. Bark that is kept continually wet will rot and pop loose creating serious stress to the tree. Once the bark on a tree loosens, it stops being able to pull water and nutrients up into the canopy. A tree may survive for years, but it will eventually die if the bark loosens on the majority of its trunk. It is heartbreaking to see a specimen tree that may have grown for decades, decline after the addition of a mulch volcano next to its trunk.


Thick blankets of mulch may become matted and prevent water and air from getting to the roots. Roots need air to breath and excess mulch will suffocate tree roots. This imposing layer of mulch coupled with heavy frequent irrigation in clay soils causes any new roots a tree may generate to die within days. Trees send out warning signals such as: undersized leaves, a much lighter canopy of foliage, premature fall color, and complete defoliation by late summer. It is amazing how durable a tree can be, but any tree in this environment rarely survives more than a few years before developing girdled roots. The tree may break off in a storm or gradually become weaker until it fails to leaf in the spring and dies.




Lanoha Viburnum Dentatum 

Viburnum Dentatum, Autumn Jazz - Otherwise known as Ralph Senior is just one of the many viburnum varieties you'll find at Lanoha. Easily grown in well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, this low maintenance shrub will mature to 6-8 feet in height and width in about ten years. Late May the shrub is covered with creamy while, flat-topped flowers that are followed with clusters of blue-black, berry-like drupes that are quite attractive to birds and other wildlife. It is not unusual for fall migration birds to strip the branches clean. The multi-branched shrub provides good cover and nesting spots for many songbirds. The glossy dark green 4 foot leaves are rarely bothered by disease or insects. The kaleidoscope blend of yellow, orange, red, and burgundy fall foliage color promises to make this durable shrub a favorite. It is perfect for mass plantings, borders, living screens, as well as a specimen anchor to a mixed planting bed. The cold harsh winters of Nebraska will not affect this rugged performer, so stop in today to select from our amazing inventory of homegrown beauties.

Lanoha Dogwood Shrub  

Cornus alba 'Minbat' Baton Rouge Dogwood is a plant for all 4 seasons. White spring blooms are a butterfly magnet, followed by white berries that attract songbirds. This naturally compact shrub reaches 3-4 feet at mature height and the same in width. It could be pruned if necessary immediately after blooming in the spring. It is tolerant of both dry and moist planting sites. Its medium green pointy foliage transforms to a brilliant reddish purple in autumn. The real show is in the winter with its intense red stems making a spectacular display against a blanket of snow. It is very cold tolerant and does not winter burn. It will grow in full sun to part shade. It is a perfect planting for mass plantings, as a border, or as a focal point specimen.


Lanoha Summer Wine Nineback  


Physocarpus Opulifolius 'Seward' Summer Wine Ninebark is a neat compact branching shrub that will mature to 4-6 feet tall and with an equal spread. Small pinkish-white, five-petaled flowers form lacy clusters that are amazing against the deeply cut dark, purple-red leaves. Later, red seed heads form, beautiful in their own right, attracting song birds in autumn. Ninebark is named for its exfoliating bark which peels in strips to reveal several layer of reddish to light brown inner bark. The bark provides winter interest but is usually hidden by the foliage during the growing season. Summer Wine rarely sends up runners, confining itself to its original spot. It makes a beautiful focal point in a small garden, or can be used as a solid hedge of unusual color. It makes a beautiful contrast to white blooming perennials or a white 'Annabelle' hydrangea. It also looks amazing with red, shocking pink, or orange flowers around it. The foliage is great in cut flower arrangements; treat it like lilacs and mash the cut ends of the branch before putting it in the vase. In autumn, the leaves turn first orange, then burgundy before they fall. Care is minimal. Prune after the flowers bloom, but no later than mid-August as the flower buds for next year set in late summer. If it sounds like I am gushing - I am. This is an amazingly beautiful shrub that demands almost nothing in care.


   It's a fun time to garden!! 
Lanoha Fall Vegetable Gardening

If you have always thought that vegetable gardening was just for the spring and summer, stop in to the garden center in mid August to become acquainted with some of the most successful gardening possible---a fall vegetable garden.


The traditional garden seeds such as green beans, beets, lettuce, radishes, kale, peas, swiss chard, and a full offering of herbs will be augmented this season with husky garden transplants of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, kale, and a fresh crop of your favorite culinary herbs. It's a fun time to garden, the weather is cooler, insects and diseases are few, and the bounty of your fall garden will amaze you. No reason to let the soil just "sit" there all the rest of the season. If frosts come sooner than your crop is ready, the garden center carries "frost blankets" that will protect your crops so you can enjoy the healthy and fresh veggies that we all love. I picked fresh lettuce from my fall garden last year and amazed my Thanksgiving guests with "fresh Papillion" lettuce for our salad.


If you have "tired" patio pots that need a fresh new look, we will also have new crops of pansies, violas, dianthus, ornamental peppers, mums, flowering kale and cabbage, and asters to perk up the patio pots. Our home-grown mums are also available in large "instant impact" patio containers ready for any game day party you may be planning.   Remember football season is coming on fast. Pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, bales of bright wheat straw will help create a perfect fall display.   Grasses, sedums, coral bells, and a new shipment of great "twigs" will complete any fall display. Our creative staff will assist you in creating a special fall welcome to your home. Stop in or give us a call about the middle of August for the beginning of a great fall season.



   Plant this fall!  

Lanoha Bearded Iris  

A fabulous collection of award winning bearded iris will be available in mid to late August at the garden center. These hardy, long-lived perennials require a minimum amount of maintenance to deliver years of spring, and in some varieties, a fall blooming period. The flowers have six petals, three upright petals (called standards) and three hanging petals (called falls). A fuzzy line or beard runs down the middle of each fall.


Iris have thick, fleshy, underground stems (called rhizomes) that store food produced by the sword-shaped, semi-evergreen leaves. The rhizomes grow best when planted with about 1/3 of the rhizome above the soil line. Each year underground offsets develop from the original rhizome. Success with iris depends on keeping the rhizomes firm and healthy. In general, this is done by providing the rhizome good drainage while the feeder roots below remain moist but not wet. A full sun exposure is preferred. Good soil drainage is essential to prevent rhizomes from rotting. A tight clay soil will keep the rhizome too wet and it should have an ample amount of perlite and organic cottonburr compost worked into the planting site to the depth of at least 8 inches deep. Do not use manure or heavy wet compost when planting. If roots of the rhizome are shriveled, soak them in a water/ Superthrive solution for a few hours before planting. The Superthrive will plump the roots and assure planting success. Use 2 tablespoons of Superthrive in a gallon of water.


Dig a shallow hole large enough to accommodate the rhizome. Form a mound of amended soil in the center for the planting base. Spread the roots around the mound, fill with the amended soil, and use the Superthrive/water mix to settle the soil site. Be sure to pick up a FREE planting guide on bearded iris at the Information Center.



   One of gardening's biggest misconceptions!   

Lanoha Thatch in Turf  

The question of what causes thatch continues to be one of gardening's biggest misconceptions. Thatch is the "build up" of dead turf-grass tissue derived from grass stems, roots, and lower blades. It is found between the crown of the grass plant and the soil. It is NOT caused by not bagging grass clippings or by mulching mowers!  


When sod is laid over a hard clay's final grade, the turf stresses almost immediately on the "cement-like" soil. Rooting is difficult and some grass plants die within days or weeks. Most newer lawns are poorly rooted even after 3-5 years and have severe thatch! Every season we see dozens of turf samples with 3" deep or more thatch.


Sod producers grow the dark emerald green, thin bladed, and superior disease resistant cultivars of bluegrass and fescue. The thick cell walls of these cultivars are high in legnin which gives them excellent traffic tolerance and stem strength. This same thick cell wall resists decomposition if a plant dies. The build up of this resistant tissue becomes almost like sedimentary rock and very detrimental to healthy turf.

Turf with harmful levels of thatch feels underfoot like extremely plush carpet. Some of the negative effects of such thatch are: poor water penetration and fast run off, increased fungus activity, areas that "scalp" when mowed, short term results from fertilization, and poor control from insecticide application.


For years, power raking was considered the best approach to thatch control. Today, we realize core aeration is a far superior method. Deep core aeration done in a double or triple pass pattern in spring and again late summer/early fall-is the best way of exposing the thatch layer and opening the soil for treatment.


The time to begin a program of thatch breakdown is in mid to late August. Aerate and apply a unique all natural granulated humate material called "Natural Guard Soil Activator". Think in terms of this product as composting the thatch. In addition to reducing the thatch, it improves the structure of hard clay soil. It should be used in conjunction with your fertilization program.


Outstanding results occur when "Activator" is used with an organic fertilizer such as Pro Rich or Milorganite. The organic "Activator" works best when soil temperatures are warm. It can be used with your favorite turf fertilizer such as Lanoha's Premium Lawn Food. If thatch is over one inch thick, use this special activator both spring and early fall for at least 2 to 3 seasons. After that, thatch should have shrunk to an acceptable " or less. A maintenance program of a single application every year should be adequate.  


Unsure if your lawn has thatch? Please bring in a sample 10-12 inches square of sod with the soil attached and we will analyze it for you and answer any questions you may have.



  • TURF THAT LOOKS STRESSED FROM SUMMER HEAT AND FUNGUS SHOULD BE AERATED AND OVER-SEEDED BETWEEN August 15th and September 15th. Use only premium seed. Inexpensive bagged seed often contains thousands of undesirable grass seeds in every pound. Lanoha's "Best of the Blues" blend of premium disease resistant bluegrass cultivars is 100% weed free! Pick up your FREE fall seeding guide at the Information Center.
  • Early preparation can reduce the chances of insects hitchhiking indoors on plants that have been on the deck or patio. Whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, and scale are insects that can become real problems unless they are controlled before returning the plants indoors. A granulated soil insecticide should be worked into the soil several times 3-4 weeks apart. It is not too soon to begin this immediately. The foliage should also be sprayed weekly with Ferti.lome's Triple Action Plus to help ensure the plants are insect free before they are moved in for the season.
  • If container plant material is not planted immediately after purchase, the pots may need to be watered 2-3 times a day, and the plants should be set in a shady protected area until installed.      
  • Make sure to feed all roses for the final time this growing season during August. This last feeding will keep them blooming profusely into fall and prepare their roots for winter survival. This includes all shrub roses as well as teas, floribunda, and climbers.
  • August is the perfect time to plant all nursery plants---trees, shrubs, roses, perennials, and groundcovers. NO REASON TO WAIT!!!


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