This is an exciting year at the Home Demonstration Gardens at several ISU Research Farms. Not only are we growing several different varieties of new or unusual annuals and vegetables, but several Deans and Directors of Agriculture and Extension will be participating in the field days. The Deans and Directors will discuss George Washington Carver's influence on agriculture.
The Home Demonstration Gardens are located at 8 research farms across the state. At the Allee Garden in Newell, heirloom vegetables, flowers, and herbs are being grown organically. The remaining 7 gardens feature new or unusual flowers and vegetables that might work well in your garden. The plant materials and garden design are the same for each of the 7 gardens. Every year there are a few exciting themes in the garden to entice gardeners to visit our field days. This year's themes at the home demonstration garden include:
- Giant Tomatoes - We are growing 7 varieties of tomatoes noted for their extra large fruit. One variety, 'Delicious', holds the record for a 7lb 12oz tomato.
- White Marigolds - We are comparing 4 varieties of marigolds that are noted for their white- to cream-colored flowers. In addition, 'French Vanilla' is one variety that is advertised as having fragrant, vanilla-scented flowers.
- Wave Petunias - We are growing several colors of the new wave petunias in the garden this year. This series of petunia is noted for its spreading habit and low maintenance.
- George Washington Carver - The Carver plant collection includes peanut, cowpeas, edible soybean, and sweet potatoes. These are common southern veggies that can perform nicely in Iowa gardens as well.
Other annuals and vegetables in the garden this year include a wide variety of peppers, eggplant, summer and winter squash, okra, dwarf sunflowers, and several other of flowering annuals.
All of the field days are scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. Locations of the farms are available at your local county extension office and on the farm pages on our website . Following is a list of dates and farm sites with home demonstration gardens. Also included is the closest town to each farm site.
Come join us at one of the garden field days and maybe you will find some nice ideas to take home to your garden. We hope to see you there!
This article originally appeared in the July 2, 1999 issue, p. 90.
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