Plants & Pests With Nicole

April 2023

Important Dates

April 4, 6:30-8pm: 'Water Dogs Spring Series: Session 1' for EMG Volunteers via zoom.

Register at

April 10: Nicole on KWBE radio interview at 8:30am

April 12-17: Nicole out of the office

April 14-July 28 and September 8 & 15 Yard and Garden Live 10-11:30am on KUTT 99.5 FM or online. For the guest schedule and more information, visit:

April 28th: Arbor Day! Plant a Tree!

May 2nd, 6:30-8pm: 'Water Dogs Spring Series: Session 2' for EMG Volunteers via zoom. Register at

Spring is here! But don't get to excited YET!

Spring is officially here now, but don’t get too excited with your spring lawncare projects. It is best to wait until April before overseeding or reseeding a lawn. When the time has come, overseed with the same type of grass that is already growing in the lawn, or use 100% Kentucky bluegrass or 100% tall fescue or a mix of these 2 types. Fertilization does not need to be on the lawn until the end of April and you can wait until it greens up to see if the early season fertilization is necessary.

If you overseed the lawn this spring, do not use a crabgrass pre-emergence herbicide because it will destroy the desired grass seed as well. Crabgrass preventer on established lawns should be applied when the soils are consistently at 55-60 degrees F.

Visit to see your current soil temperature.

Mowing is not needed prior to turfgrass greening up and starting to grow. The first mowing should take place when green grass is tall enough to require mowing. Mow at 2.5” to 3.5” for the entire growing season, returning clippings to the lawn. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the total canopy height at one time.

Spring Yard Cleanup to-do list

Now that spring is officially here, we can really start to think about outdoor activities. Don’t get ahead of the weather though, that could cause more harm than good or cause us to have to do more work later. I thought I would help you with your to do list and when to do those things.
Reminder: When we see henbit blooming this spring, it is too late to spray it for management, it will die with the summer heat and the seeds are already set at that point for next year. Treat it in the fall with 2,4-D later in the fall after it has emerged or with a pre-emergence herbicide in early fall.

**REMINDER: 2,4-D products can be used in the spring, but better control will come in the fall for broadleaf weeds like dandelions. Only use 2,4-D products when temperatures for 72 hours is below 85 degrees.

Time to plant trees!

Arbor Day is April 28th! When planting a tree in your landscape, be sure to dig the hole twice as wide and only as deep as the root ball of the tree you are planting. Make sure you add a 2-3 inch deep layer of mulch at least 2 feet wide around the trunk of the tree. Also, make sure you keep the tree well-watered. There are many great tree species to choose from Nebraska, for more information on many great trees, visit:

Starting Seeds Program @ Tall Tree Tasting

If you missed my program @ Tall Tree Tasting, you missed a great time!

Who would have guessed wine & planting seeds went together so well!?

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About Nicole

Nicole Stoner is the Horticulture Extension Educator located in Gage County, serving Southeast Nebraska. Nicole's focus areas include trees, shrubs, lawns, gardens, and insects. Nicole obtained her Master's Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Horticulture with a minor in Insect Science, she also has Bachelor's Degrees from UNL in both areas. Nicole is also an ISA Certified Arborist and has her Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ).