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When to Trim Back Tree Branches

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 15:22
Two people lost their lives on July 3 rd when a large Oak tree branch fell on them as they were watching fireworks in Rock Island, Illinois. While there’s likely no way to know if the accident was preventable, it’s a tragic reminder that we should all be aware of the health of the trees in our landscape. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Iles, professor and chair of Iowa State University's Department of Horticulture, about trees. “I think an annual inspection [of your trees] is always a good idea,” Iles said. “Whenever we have strong winds, that is a good time to reassess.” Iles cautions that trees do not always have obvious signs of damage or warning signs for possible loose limbs. Later in the show, Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture specialist, joins to answer listener questions.

Registration Open for Master Gardener Training

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:11
The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required, as the training program equips participants to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices.

Yard and Garden: Tomato Pest and Disease

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:20
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable crop in Iowa - popular with gardeners, green caterpillars and growing season plant diseases. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists describe the symptoms and management of common problems found in home gardens.

Yard and Garden: All about Sweet Corn

Yard and Garden News - Tue, 07/03/2018 - 13:58
Sweet corn fresh from the garden or farmers market makes a tasty addition to a summer picnic. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips for harvesting and storing sweet corn, and examine some of the pollination and disease issues that can impact yield.

Updated Greenhouse Pest Management Manual Available

Yard and Garden News - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:20
An updated version of the Category 3 Greenhouse Pest Management – Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator Manual (CS 0015B) is available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The newly revised publication covers the plant pathogens, insects, mites and weeds common in Iowa’s greenhouse settings and the strategies used in managing these pests.

Yard and Garden: Control Turfgrass Invaders

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 09:47
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists suggest ways to keep crabgrass or yellow nutsedge from reducing the aesthetic quality and vigor of the home lawn.

Ames Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Is Aug. 6

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 06/27/2018 - 14:13
The ISU Extension and Outreach annual Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Aug. 6 will feature research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, nonprofit organizations and Master Gardeners.

Yard and Garden: Crabapple Tree Fungus

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:15
While the ornamental crabapple tree is a common landscaping choice for homeowners, it is not unusual for trees to fall prey to an array of diseases and pests. Fungus problems are common. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on caring for crabapple trees.

Mulch Ado About Nothing

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:11
On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, about how you can use mulch in your garden this summer. "Mulch has a lot of good characteristics to it and good advantages in a garden," Naeve says. "Most of us think, oh I want to mulch to keep the weeds down... but it also helps conserve soil moisture." Mulch can also be used to regulate soil temperature and can reduce fruit and vegetable spoilage by keeping produce away from the soil. Different types of mulch should be used in different parts of the garden. "As far as woodchips, I probably wouldn't use those in a vegetable garden," Jauron says. "I would prefer to use things that break down more quickly like straw, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and use the wood chips around ornamentals, trees, shrubs, perennial beds, more permanent plantings."

Mulch Ado About Nothing

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:11
On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, about how you can use mulch in your garden this summer. "Mulch has a lot of good characteristics to it and good advantages in a garden," Naeve says. "Most of us think, oh I want to mulch to keep the weeds down... but it also helps conserve soil moisture." Mulch can also be used to regulate soil temperature and can reduce fruit and vegetable spoilage by keeping produce away from the soil. Different types of mulch should be used in different parts of the garden. "As far as woodchips, I probably wouldn't use those in a vegetable garden," Jauron says. "I would prefer to use things that break down more quickly like straw, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and use the wood chips around ornamentals, trees, shrubs, perennial beds, more permanent plantings."

Yard and Garden: Summer Care for Roses

Yard and Garden News - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 16:25
Gardeners successfully grow a wide variety of roses in sunny Iowa garden areas. Follow these tips on deadheading, watering and Japanese beetle removal to keep roses attractive throughout the summer.

Extension Offers Resources for Times When Extreme Weather Strikes

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:11
As Iowans deal with extreme heat, flooding, drought, hail and tornadoes, they have resources available from ISU Extension and Outreach to reduce the personal impact.

Produce Safety Field Days Scheduled for Summer

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:55
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in partnership with the Iowa Farmers Union and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, will host a series of produce safety field days this summer focused on the Food Safety Modernization Act and horticulture best practices.

Improve Lawn Care with Turfgrass Management Calendar

Yard and Garden News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:56
A well-timed plan, and the ability to stick with the plan for several years, is critical to being able to improve the health and appearance of a yard. A new extension publication provides a management and action plan that runs from March through November, giving instruction for yard maintenance activities for spring, summer and fall.

Biting Bugs Arrive With Summer

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:52
Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs — gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. Lewis says that the biting black flies, also known as buffalo gnats, that bothered much of Iowa in late spring are thankfully gone, as their lifespan is only three weeks. Tick populations appear to be about average this year. The mosquito population level is lower than usual, but we may still see a surge in mosquitos as the summer continues. "It depends on the weather to come," Lewis says. Later in the hour, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron joins the conversation and answers listener questions.

Biting Bugs Arrive With Summer

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:52
Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs — gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. Lewis says that the biting black flies, also known as buffalo gnats, that bothered much of Iowa in late spring are thankfully gone, as their lifespan is only three weeks. Tick populations appear to be about average this year. The mosquito population level is lower than usual, but we may still see a surge in mosquitos as the summer continues. "It depends on the weather to come," Lewis says. Later in the hour, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron joins the conversation and answers listener questions.

Yard and Garden: Maintaining a Strawberry Bed

Yard and Garden News - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 12:47
Fresh strawberries, a favorite of almost everyone, are relatively easy to grow and hardy throughout Iowa. Learn how to maintain productivity of a home garden strawberry planting.

Two Counties Earn Master Gardener Search for Excellence Award

Yard and Garden News - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 10:32
The Pocahontas County and Webster County Master Gardeners have received the 2018 Search for Excellence award for their work in their communities. The Search for Excellence award is given annually by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program.

Strawberry Beds, Patches, and Harvests

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:35
Ripe strawberries right out of the garden are one of the joys of summer. It's important to know how to select strawberry varieties, harvest the fruit, and even—after a few good harvests—renovate an old strawberry patch. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Denny Schrock, State Master Gardener Coordinator, has some suggestions for growing the sweetest fruit. " If you’re doing the June bearing variety, you want to plant those 18 to 24 inches apart," Schrock says. " If you have good Iowa loam, you should have a good crop of strawberries." But it pays to wait. According to Schrock, strawberries need time to become established. " The first season is the establishment season," Schrock says. "Typically, by your second year of growing you’re going to have a good full crop." But strawberries can't grow indefinitely. Over time, fungus and insects can wreak havoc on a strawberry patch. Gardeners can revitalize the soil with techniques like solarization, for instance. Often, however, going back to

Strawberry Beds, Patches, and Harvests

Hort Day Podcast - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:35
Ripe strawberries right out of the garden are one of the joys of summer. It's important to know how to select strawberry varieties, harvest the fruit, and even—after a few good harvests—renovate an old strawberry patch. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Denny Schrock, State Master Gardener Coordinator, has some suggestions for growing the sweetest fruit. " If you’re doing the June bearing variety, you want to plant those 18 to 24 inches apart," Schrock says. " If you have good Iowa loam, you should have a good crop of strawberries." But it pays to wait. According to Schrock, strawberries need time to become established. " The first season is the establishment season," Schrock says. "Typically, by your second year of growing you’re going to have a good full crop." But strawberries can't grow indefinitely. Over time, fungus and insects can wreak havoc on a strawberry patch. Gardeners can revitalize the soil with techniques like solarization, for instance. Often, however, going back to

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