Hort Day Podcast

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The Power Of Organic Farming In Iowa

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:53
Organic farming is on the rise in Iowa according to ISU Extension Organic Specialist Kathleen Delate. "Unique advantages associated with organic practices are pushing the industry forward," she says. Delate joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to talk about organic farming and how crop diversity can optimize profits during this episode of the show. By cultivating many different types of organic plants, she says farmers avoid the risk of growing just one or two failing crops. "Organic farms as a whole are much more diverse than our conventional corn, soybean farms," Delate says. Delate is also organizing the 2019 Iowa Organic Conference , which will take place on Nov. 24 and 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. The conference will focus on how crop diversity can lead to economic stability for organic farmers. Later on, Delate and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron answer questions from listeners regarding agriculture, plants and trees. Guests: Kathleen Delate ,

Preparing Plants For Winter

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 14:14
In order to thrive in spring, plants have to successfully transition through the long winter months, so prepping many types of plants and gardens ahead of time is a key step. On this edition of 'Horticulture Day,' Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron join Charity Nebbe to lay out the do's and don'ts of getting ready for winter. Steil recommends collecting and storing seeds, such as marigolds and zinnias, to plant in the spring. He also suggests piling up raked leaves to turn into a leaf mold over the course of, roughly, six months. The resulting leaf mold can then be spread as a beneficial mulch over challenging soil, Steil says. Jauron and Steil advise against clearing everything out of a garden before winter, and pruning should also be held off until later. The experts also answer calls and emails with questions about plants, trees, and lawn care. Guests: Richard Jauron, ISU extension horticulture specialist Aaron

Weather's Effect On Struggling Trees

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 13:01
Iowa's rapidly changing range of weather conditions can pose a challenge for many types of trees. On this weekly 'Horticulture Day' edition of Talk of Iowa , ISU Horticulture Professor Jeff Iles and ISU Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron describe the toll last winter and spring has had on many trees across the state. Since wet conditions promote a variety of tree diseases, Iles recommends planting trees that are known to withstand adverse conditions, such as choosing a bald cyprus tree for a flood plain. Later on, Jauron and Iles offer specific advice on taking care of the plants and trees in the lives of callers across Iowa. Guests: Jeff Iles, ISU professor of horticulture Richard Jauron, ISU extension horticulture specialist

Understanding Iowa Spiders

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 16:51
By mid fall, spiders gain their most visible presence as they reach full maturity, build larger webs, and prepare to lay their egg sacs for the spring. ISU Professor of Entomology Donald Lewis joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe for this weekly edition of 'Horticulture Day.' He shares facts, debunks myths, and offers words of appreciation about spiders. "All spiders are predators that are feeding on other critters: things that we don't want in the house, things we may not want in the garden," Lewis says. "We should love spiders, we should be grateful for the biological control services they provide." Lewis says some of the most common spiders found in Iowa are brown wolf spiders, orb weaver spiders, grass spiders, and cellar spiders, all of which are not harmful to humans. He says the most dangerous spider likely to be found in Iowa is the brown recluse spider, which can cause non-lethal necrosis from its venom. Black widow spiders are also rare but present across Iowa. Later on,

Prepping Gardens For The First Freeze

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 15:45
The first freeze of the season is expected to occur in Iowa this weekend, ushering gardens across the state into a new phase. Ajay Nair, ISU associate professor and extension vegetable specialist, and Richard Jauron, ISU horticulture specialist, join Talk of Iowa to discuss the best practices for preparing gardens through the upcoming dip in temperature. Nair says now is the last time to harvest any summer vegetables still growing in gardens, such as tomatoes or peppers. To prep for the next growing season, he also recommends cutting and tilling over the remains of vegetables plants and completely removing plants with blight or other illness. However, Jauron says strawberry plants do not have to be covered up yet to withstand the cold. They should be covered with straw once the temperature at night is consistently in the 20s, he says. Later on in this weekly edition of 'Horticulture Day,' the experts answer questions from Iowans about the problems facing their plants and gardens.

The Science Behind Autumn's Colors

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 11:50
Iowa's over one billion trees will soon break out with red, orange, yellow, or brown leaves, depending on the species. On this edition of ‘Horticulture Day,’ Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to breaks down how, when mand why the colors of fall emerge. The annual changing of the leaves is quickly approaching, according to Vitosh. Vitosh says trees usually turn around the middle of October, give or take about ten days depending on factors like weather conditions. Clear days and nights speed up the processes that lead to fall colors. Later on, Vitosh and Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron answer questions from calls and emails about a wide variety of trees and plants. Guests: Mark Vitosh, Department of Natural Resources Forester Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist

Landscaping With Native Plants

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 13:37
Landscaping with plants native to Iowa is beneficial for the environment, but it comes with its own unique set of challenges. On this weekly edition of 'Horticulture Day,' Iowa State University Associate Professor Cindy Haynes and DNR Forester Mark Vitosh give advice on choosing the right plants for crafting native gardens and landscapes. Later on, they answer a variety of questions from callers about gardens, grasses, plants, trees and more. Guests: Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University Mark Vitosh, Department of Natural Resources Forester

Planting Trees In Autumn

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 16:14
Early autumn can be an excellent time for planting trees, according to ISU Horticulture Professor Jeff Iles. On this edition of ‘Horticulture Day,' Iles and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames join host Charity Nebbe to give tips on planting healthy trees and shrubs. Iles says that trees are now entering their prime root growth period. However, he advises against transplanting trees already in the ground at this time of year. Later on, Iles and Steil answer calls and emails with questions about a wide range of plants and trees. Guests include: Jeff Iles, Professor and Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Aaron Steil, Assistand Director of Reiman Gardens in Ames

Coexisting With Wasps

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 14:30
On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa , Iowa State University Entomologist Donald Lewis makes the case for the importance of wasps in Iowa's ecosystem, despite their unpopular presence. He provides information on social wasps, which congregate in colonies and spend their summer gathering other insects as food for offspring. In the late summer season, these wasps reach their peak population and become more visible as they seek out sugar and moisture, Lewis says. "[Wasps] are great biological controls as predators eating other insects, especially eating some of the pests out of our gardens and landscapes," Lewis says. "We should leave them alone. We should tolerate them for the benefits they provide and if they would just nest far away from my front door I would coexist with them very easily." Later on, Lewis and Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron answer questions from callers about the range of plants and insects in their lives. Guests:

Late Summer Lawn Care

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 17:09
This weekend is the ideal time to improve lawns before fall, according to Iowa State University Extension Turf Grass Specialist Adam Thoms. He recommends core aerating and applying a fall fertilizer soon to set up for a greener lawn next year. Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh also join Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe on this edition of "hort day." Guests Include: Adam Thomas, Iowa State University Extension Turf Grass Specialist Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Horticulture Extension Specialist Mark Vitosh, Forrester, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Ailments Plaguing Oak Trees

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 16:53
Although oak trees are uniquely suited to the Iowa climate and landscape, many suffer from a variety of ailments stemming from insects, fungal problems, and disease. On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, the director of the Insect and Plant Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State University, Laura Iles, explains common effects of insects on oak trees. She says that after dry weather lace bugs can contribute to the yellowing of leaves. Lace bugs can be identified as black spots underneath yellow leaves, but Iles says it isn't a major concern and recommends not worrying. Lina Rodriguez Salamanca, a plant pathologist and diagnotician at the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, discusses fungal problems affecting oak trees. She says she has seen a lot of Botryosphaeria Cankers, which cause the ends of branches to turn brown. According to Salamanca, there isn't much to do besides properly mulching and pruning the tree. However, Salamanca recomends waiting until winter to cut branches to

How To Grow Hibiscus Flowers In Iowa

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 14:01
Hibiscus blooms can be big and showy, or small and delicate. Growing hibiscus can be an easy way to add a little bit of exotic beauty to your yard or garden. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe and Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, chat about how to grow sun-loving, flowering hibiscus plants in Iowa. Hardier hibiscuses do well in well-drained soils outdoors. They die back during the winter and come back during late spring. Tropical hibiscus can survive on a patio in the summer, but need to be brought indoors in September. Haynes recommends checking them for insects before bringing them in. Our horticulture experts also answer questions from listeners. Guests include : Richard Jauron: Extension Horticulture Specialist at Iowa State University Cindy Haynes: Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University

Cultivating Plant And Tree Collections

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 09:30
On this edition of Horticulture Day on Talk of Iowa, h ost Charity Nebbe and Michael Dosmann, Keeper of the Arnold Arboretum, discuss how plant collections are cultivated and evolve. They converse on starting and maintaining museums of trees, such as the Brenton Arboretum in Dallas Center, Iowa that has been developing for just about 20 years. Dosmann says the need for plant exploration and collection has never been greater, since he says one out of five plants globally are threatened with extinction. "Some of these plants are blinking out in front of our eyes," Dosmann says. "And so a lot of botanical gardens around the world are mustering resources to go and botanize and explore some areas of the world and collect seeds and bring them back into cultivation just in case they blink out of existence in nature." Later on, horticulture experts answer questions from callers regarding their plants and gardens. Guests include: Michael Dosmann: Keeper of the Living Collections at Arnold