With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, late season vegetables are ready for harvesting. Knowing when exactly to harvest specific vegetables is a problem for many people, but Iowa State University Extension specialist Linda Naeve has advice for those curious about winter squash. "Winter squash is interesting because it has a very firm skin, so when the fruit becomes full-sized, do the finger nail test. If you can't really penetrate the skin with force, it should be nice and firm. Also, on many winter squashes, that stem should be dried, fairly woody. The vine may be starting to die down, but not necessarily," Naeve says. "The best time to harvest winter squash is right before frost, and the reason I say that is, if the vines are still alive, the bugs, the insects, the beetles will move right near the squash. And if your vines are already died down, you might start to see that, so I'd get them out of the garden right away." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks
Fall can be a great time to plant multiple types of spring-flowering bulbs, and daffodils are an excellent choice. However, several steps must be followed to ensure their success in spring. What needs to be done?
Painted lady butterflies are having a really good year, according to Nathan Brockman, entomologist and curator of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens. Brockman conducts an annual survey of butterflies, and he's seen a lot of painted ladies recently. "Last year, one week we saw 12, one week we saw 21; but when we did our survey this week, we saw 747 individuals on the gardens' ground." On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , Charity Nebbe talks with Brockman, as well as Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens; Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialist; and Mark Vitosh, DNR district forester.
Fall is an excellent time to apply broadleaf herbicides to lawns, but take care to do it properly and effectively. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists can help answer questions about the right time and methods
It can be very frustrating when the picturesque, cloudless blue summer sky is undercut by a patchy, dead-looking lawn. In these last days of summer, it's common to assume that a discolored lawn is dead, but Iowa State University Extension Turfgrass Specialist Adam Thoms recommends inspecting the lawn more closely before assuming anything. "One of the great things to do is to actually get out and pull on the lawn, especially if the grass is still yellow looking. If it pulls right out in big chunks in your hand, it's probably dead. If there's still some resistance, it's probably coming back," Thoms says. "With the rains we've had throughout Iowa the last couple weeks, most of the grass, if it's going to come back, is starting to green up. If it hasn't shown signs of life, it's probably dead." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Adam Thoms and Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about seeding, re-seeding, core aeration and other late
One of Iowa's largest and most recognizable insects is the Praying Mantis. Contrary to their predatory nature and creepy appearance, the Praying Mantis is actually beneficial to the garden, and according to Entomologist Donald Lewis, they can't really hurt you. "I was just checking to see how strong the grip was on the Praying Mantis' front legs, and got my fingertip into the jaw part of where the two pieces of the leg come together, and the spines actually broke the skin," Lewis says. "They're quite strong, and the spines are quite sharp. Whether there was a lasting effect, I lost a drop of blood for the benefit of scientific discovery, but it was no big deal." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Donald Lewis and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron about the Praying Mantis' effect on the garden and its life cycle, and they also take questions from listeners.
The Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station will host the Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demonstration Day Sept. 12. The event will offer information and training for turfgrass management on golf courses, sports fields, and home lawns and landscapes.
The 50th anniversary of Iowa State University’s Horticulture Research Station will be celebrated Sept. 16 at the farm near Ames.
Summer is winding down and fall is almost here. That means it’s time to start focusing on plants that rebloom during colder months, like the amaryllis or the Christmas cactus. They often require specialized care to reach their full potential.
As fall approaches, it’s time to start thinking about germinating seeds for the upcoming growing season. Starting them outdoors and then transferring inside can lead to good results. How can this be accomplished?
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is reviving its Community Tree Steward program, a seven-meeting course designed to train community members on proper selection, care and maintenance of trees.
Overseeding is one way to improve an existing lawn that is in poor condition. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on how to overseed, what seed to use and how to ensure good germination.
Home gardeners can successfully grow grapes in Iowa’s climate. Grapes can flourish in a backyard garden or a vineyard, but obstacles like insects and knowing the proper harvest time can keep them from reaching their full potential.
New forestry resources are available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to assist with emerald ash borer management decisions. ISU Extension and Outreach has released three new publications to assist in making informed decisions about hiring arborists and selecting replacement trees.
Fruit trees can provide an abundance of nutritious, high quality, fresh fruit during the growing season. However, it can be difficult to know when to harvest fruit such as plums, apricots and peaches for full flavor and value.
On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturists Richard Jauron of Iowa State University Extension and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens. Tomatoes are relatively easy to check for ripeness, but other garden fare can be tough, especially with underground vegetables. For new potatoes, Steil says that you need to wait until the tops dieback. "Some of us are starting to see that already especially with the hot weather we've had this summer, but usually it's first part of August when potato tops start to brown and dieback." He says to check the potato skin for firmness. "If you can scrape it off really easily with your finger it is not quite ready yet." Jauron and Steil also answer listeners questions about their lawn and garden.
Trees add value and beauty to any landscape, and can provide shade, protection and much more. When they’re afflicted with unknown ailments, there’s natural reason for concern.
An invasive beetle that kills ash trees, the emerald ash borer, has been confirmed in Ringgold County, making it the 52nd county in Iowa where this highly destructive insect has been found.
To some visitors, the corpse flower smells more like garbage than rotting mammal. The rare Sumatran plant, also known as Titan arum, is believed to be the first corpse flower of this variety to bloom in Iowa. Titan arum was expected to blossom last week, but the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden says scorching temperatures of high 90s likely delayed the plant’s unfurling. Cooler weather has arrived and the garden's staff says the corpse flower opened and began emitting its infamous stench sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 am on Tuesday. "It kind of comes in waves," explains the garden's curatorial horticulturist Derek Carwood. "This morning for example, we were doing interviewers. It would be fine and smell great just like the conservatory usually does. And then all of the sudden you’d hit that odor and it would, you know trash or diapers or rotten cabbage would come through. It hits you pretty hard." Titan arum evolved its redolent reek to attract carrion beetles for pollination.
The videos, part of the UNKNOW How-to series from ISU Extension and Outreach, are designed as an introduction for people who want to get into aquaponics.