We may not be able to do yard and garden work now, but we can attend classes for learning, meeting and sharing with other gardeners, and to learn about Nebraska Extension resources. This year, it will be an opportunity to be one of the first to use our new classroom at 2715 13th St.

For 2018, we have classes on tree and perennial flower selection, growing herbs, disease management, wildlife control, vegetable gardening, extending the growing season, landscape management, fruit and vegetable insects, tree issues like the emerald ash borer and shrub pruning.

Following are the dates and speakers for these learning opportunities in Columbus. For a flyer to learn more and to register for one, two or more classes, call Nebraska Extension in Platte County at 402-563-4901; email kfeehan2@unl.edu or visit our website at www.platte.unl.edu.

We kick off the year on Thursday, Feb. 1, with a great class. Todd Faller of Faller Landscape in York will share information about his favorite trees for Nebraska. Stephanie Hitz, also with Faller Landscape, will teach about growing and using herbs; and I will provide information on tree care.

On Feb. 8, I am excited to have Jenni Harrington with Harmony Nursery Daylily Farms near Bradshaw teaching about daylilies and her favorite perennials to plant in Nebraska. Terri James, UNL horticulturist, will also be teaching that day.

On Feb. 13, plant pathologist Kyle Broderick from "Backyard Farmer" will cover "rots and spots" (diseases) in the landscape and their control using integrated pest management.

On Feb. 20, Extension educator John Porter, our urban ag program coordinator in Omaha, will teach vegetable gardening, providing information on soil preparation, mulching and more.

The always popular and fun to listen to Dennis Ferraro, UNL professor and herpetologist, will cover wildlife biology, management and control in lawns and landscapes on Feb. 27. I guarantee you will be entertained and will learn a lot.

Have you ever wished you could harvest fresh vegetables earlier and later in the season? On March 6, how to extend the garden season will be taught by Tim Dungan, UNL horticulture graduate student.

I am also happy to share that Kim Todd, "Backyard Farmer" host and UNL landscape design professor, will be teaching our class on landscape management, along with Terri James, on March 13. On March 15, I will teach about identifying, managing and controlling fruit and vegetable insects.

Last year, I taught a class on tree issues, covering the emerald ash borer, wind damage and more. Due to the popularity of that class, and its timely nature, I will teach it again on April 17 at 7 p.m. And on May 7, I will hold a free shrub pruning demonstration at 6 p.m. on the north side of Scotus.

The Thursday morning classes are held from 9 a.m. to noon. For those classes, our speakers join us in Columbus. For most of the Tuesday evening classes, held from 6:30 to 9 p.m., speakers come to us live via ZOOM.

As you can see, there are many learning opportunities coming up. The cost for most of the classes is $10 each. If you see some topics of interest, call the Extension office at 402-563-4901 and ask for a flyer; or go to our website at platte.unl.edu for a copy.

While walk-ins are welcome, if you are registered we are able to contact you in case of class cancellation.

Kelly Feehan is a UNL Extension educator-horticulture.

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