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Yard and Garden: All about Milkweed

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 05:03

Some milkweed species are attractive additions to home landscapes, and monarch butterflies like them too. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists on selecting and establishing milkweed.

Master Gardeners Offer Three Winter Webcasts

Yard and Garden News - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 05:20

The ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will host three Growing Season webcasts this winter, covering the topics of starting vegetable seeds and growing transplants, managing volunteers, and building food security partnerships.

Yard and Garden: Get a Start on Geraniums for Summer

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:11

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on starting geraniums from seeds and overwintering for summer planting.

New Year's Resolutions for Your Garden

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 13:21
The harsh winter weather is upon us this January, and many Iowans are left longingly looking at their outdoor gardens buried in snow wondering what they can do to stay busy during the winter months. While some may opt to visit Iowa's many wonderful indoor botanical gardens, another option is to create a similar atmosphere within your own home. Assistant director of Reiman Gardens, Aaron Steil, has suggestions how to create a humid atmosphere for plants to grow. "One of the big challenges at home is humidity," Steil says. "The way we heat our homes dries the air out, and the air this time of year naturally has a lot less moisture in it. If you can figure out how to add humidity to the home, and spraying water in the air doesn't work; you need to use a humidifier, then that's the hardest part." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Steil and Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about indoor botanical gardens in the area, their own New Year

Acreage Management Improved through Small Farms Conference

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:16

The third annual Iowa Small Farms Conference, Feb. 10 in Ames, will address topics such as farm finances, hops production, gardening, wildlife habitat and beekeeping.

Yard and Garden: Winter Care for Houseplants

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:11

Giving houseplants special care and attention during winter will help keep them growing and vibrant. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists answer questions about the care of specific houseplants.

Yard and Garden: Keep Amaryllis Plants Growing

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 12/20/2017 - 04:31

Amaryllis plants are a fun, festive addition to the holiday season. But what should be done with them after they’re finished flowering? Can they and paperwhite narcissus bulbs be forced to bloom again?

Winter Plants and Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 13:05
The plants outside are starting to change their shape and color. Given that the trees have shed their leaves and the ground is too frozen to plant almost anything, many Iowans are left twiddling their green thumbs wondering how they can manage to plant anything in this weather. Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, suggests planting some holly. "The one that we see, as far as decorations, the shiny green one, doesn't do well in Iowa," Haynes says. "The Meserve Holly, which does have that English Holly dark green leaf and bright red berries, is hardy into Canada. We also have a holly that is a deciduous holly called Winterberry that sheds its leaves and shows you the berries, which is absolutely beautiful as well. Both of these do well in Iowa." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Haynes and Iowa State Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about plants to grow in the winter, gifts to give the gardener in your life, and

Master Gardeners Work to Decrease Food Insecurity

Yard and Garden News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 02:52

Master Gardener volunteers donated produce grown in 15 counties as well as demonstration gardens from six Iowa State research farms as part of the Growing Together initiative. The total donation came to 74,841 pounds of fruits and vegetables that went to more than 75 locations across the state.

Yard and Garden: Caring for Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:21

Winter is the perfect time to focus on indoor plants. A number of plants thrive indoors and don’t require much attention.

Care for Indoor Plants During Winter Months

Yard and Garden News - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 03:23

Indoor plants don’t grow as much during the winter, meaning they require less maintenance.

Yard and Garden: Planting and Growing Holly Varieties in Iowa

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:43

Holly is a decorative and festive part of the holiday season, and quite a few varieties are available. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists discuss the history of this seasonal favorite and offer tips on selecting hollies that perform well in Iowa.

Caring for Christmas Trees and Holiday Plants

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:57
With the holiday season just around the corner, many living rooms will soon be filled with towering Christmas trees and holiday plants like poinsettias. Many Iowans have questions about how to care for these plants, and DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh has advice for those who would like to keep their trees properly hydrated indoors. "Get it in water right away, even if you're not going to put it up," Vitosh says. "What I always tell people is if you put it up Sunday afternoon, before you go to bed, check that water. You should have a basin that should have a quart of water per inch diameter. And keep that going and keep checking, because in the first couple days, it's going to drink, drink, drink." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Vitosh, and Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about caring for holiday plants, and they also take calls from listeners.

Pesticide Applicator Course Offered at Fruit and Vegetable Grower Conference

Yard and Garden News - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 03:12

The Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Conference is approved as a continuing instruction course for fruit and vegetable commercial (Category 1D) and private pesticide applicators. The conference will be held Jan. 25-26, 2018.

Yard and Garden: Bugs in Holiday Plants

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 07:49

The holiday season is here, and with it comes festive holiday plants. However, these plants may bring along uninvited guests – insects and other pests. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on dealing with bugs on holiday plants and related issues.

Protecting Your Winter Garden

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 14:09
It’s mid-November, and winter weather is already upon us. Many Iowans want to know how to prepare their yard and garden for winter. Winter garden care involves covering strawberries, prepping roses, and getting ready to fend off hungry rabbits. Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames has advice for those who want to protect their strawberries. "Strawberries need a little protection, especially for their flower buds this time of year," Steil says. "So putting down a nice, about four inches of straw or chopped-up corn husk, can work really well to help protect those flower buds through the winter months." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Steil and Iowa State Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about caring for your winter garden, and they take calls from listeners.

Yard and Garden: Construct a Homemade Christmas Wreath

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:58

One way to make the holiday season memorable is with a wreath, and a fresh, homemade wreath can really brighten a gathering. Making a wreath isn't as difficult as you might think.

Campus Class Brings Master Gardener Trainees Together

Yard and Garden News - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:33

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program hosted two classes on the Iowa State campus in Ames this fall as part of its annual Master Gardener training course.

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Decatur County

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 03:15

A highly destructive beetle that targets and kills ash trees, the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Decatur County. EAB was first discovered in Iowa in 2010. Now 53 counties in Iowa have been confirmed with the presence of EAB.

Yard and Garden: Harvesting and Storing Root Crops

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:24

With hard freezes and continuing freezing overnight temperatures now the norm, most garden crops have been harvested. But a few root crops remain, and with good reason. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists answer questions about the right time to harvest and properly store root crops.

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