Winter brings food scarcity, which makes the home landscape a target for rabbits. Rabbits can severely damage trees and shrubs unless homeowners are proactive, which makes protecting them before winter arrives a major priority.
The 2019 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Garden Calendar showcases the beauty that can be found in gardens in backyards and public spaces. This annual favorite is now available.
We expect oaks, maples and sycamores to change colors and shed leaves each autumn, but many are surprised and concerned when evergreens begin to shed needles. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists answer questions about evergreens, shedding light on what’s natural and what needs attention.
ISU Extension and Outreach will host a short course Nov. 5 designed to highlight the importance of crop, environment and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels.
A trio of publications available through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers instruction for using pesticides to homeowners and commercial greenhouse employees alike.
With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, it’s time to start harvesting late season produce. It can be difficult to know when to harvest crops like sweet potatoes and winter squash, but Iowa State University Horticulturist Ajay Nair recommends paying close attention to the recommended harvest dates when you plant. He also says it’s very important to prepare your produce for storage. "If you want to store sweet potatoes for longer term storage… you need to start thinking about curing them. When you harvest you want to make sure you remove all the dirt and after that you put them in a room or expose them to conditions where the temperatures are 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain an 80-90 percent humidity. If we can keep those two conditions for 7 -10 days the sweet potatoes will be cured," Nair says. Nair says it’s also important to cure winter squash before storage, but they can be cured at a lower temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. On this Talk of Iowa, host
Perennials such as tuberous begonias, gladioli, cannas and dahlias are an integral part of many home landscapes. They put on excellent displays of color until a killing frost. Unfortunately, they will not survive our harsh winter weather outdoors and must be dug in the fall and stored indoors through the winter months.
Actively growing crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kale, need to be monitored for pests who still have time to cause damage before harvest.
The end of the growing season is in sight, but there's still time to add more plants to your landscape! On this edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Aaron Steil, Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens in Ames, and Patrick O'Malley, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist , about late season planting and unusual fruit crops. We usually think of spring when we think of adding new foliage to our gardens, but there are a number of factors that make fall a great time of year for planting, too. "This time of year the soils are a lot warmer, so you can get a lot better establishment of new growth after you've planted," Steil says. "It's also a good time of year because the soil moisture and weather conditions are more favorable." Pawpaw, persimmon, honeyberry, and other niche fruit bearing plants might not yet be on your radar, but can make excellent additions to many Iowa gardens. While delicate fruit trees like peaches and apples do best planted in spring, O
Horticulturists with ISU Extension and Outreach share information about adding trees with colorful fall foliage to home landscapes.
The emerald ash borer, a destructive insect that attacks and kills ash trees, has been detected for the first time in Grundy County. There are now 65 counties in Iowa with confirmed infestations.
Mums offer gardeners a wide range of colors and flower forms and only require moderate maintenance. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists tell how to get the most enjoyment out of mums.
This summer we’ve seen below average temperatures, above average temperatures, very dry conditions, and flooding. The weather has been stressing a lot of people out and it’s taken a toll on some trees. On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks to Jeff Iles, professor and chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Mark Vistosh, DNR forester, about how to identify when your trees might be struggling. Vitosh says that most trees probably aren't showing signs of stress just yet: it takes about a year for trees to reflect conditions from the previous season. "If it grew [well] this year, it had a good growing season last year," he says. Next year, however, you're likely to see the impacts of this summer's unpredictable weather. "Trees remember," Vitosh says. "If they're working hard to replace what they had before, they're stressed." A more immediate concern is the impact of flooding, which can weaken roots and down otherwise healthy
Bulb forcing can bring the bright colors and fragrances of spring indoors during winter. Tulips can be forced indoors from December through March, if steps are taken in the fall to prepare the bulbs.
Proper lawn care in fall helps ensure an attractive, healthy lawn next season. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists share tips on fall lawn care practices, including controlling broadleaf weeds, mowing, fertilizing and aerating.
If you’ve been struggling with a patchy lawn all summer, the time to act is now. On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Extension turf grass specialist Adam Thoms about seeding, re-seeding, core aeration, and other late summer tasks. Thoms says that Mid-August through mid-September is the ideal time to seed your lawn because the fall weather makes it hard for weeds to germinate. "With the cooler nights, crabgrass is slowing down," Thoms says. Before seeding, be sure to aerate using either a machine or handheld aerator. Then, between now and September 15th, Thoms recommends fertilizing your freshly seeded lawn to keep it well-nourished. "The best defense against weeds is a healthy yard." Later in the hour, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron joins Thoms to answer listener questions.
https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/2171A new, updated guide has been added to the ISU Extension Store. “Insect Galls on Trees and Shrubs” (ENT 0039) has been revised by extension entomologists, complete with color photos and descriptions.
Raspberry plants are relatively easy to grow, and are hardy and productive in most of Iowa. However, several insects also like raspberries. ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists share tips on controlling these uninvited guests.
Seeds germinate fast when the soil is already nice and warm, which makes late summer a good time to rejuvenate lawns and plant fall vegetable crops of spinach, lettuce, peas and kale. Or plant a new tree.
The edible part of the potato is the underground swollen stem known as a tuber – which varies in size, shape, color, storability and culinary uses according to cultivar. ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists explain potential potato skin problems and management of the issues causing them.