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For Late Season Additions to Your Garden, Consider These Fun Fruits

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:49
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

Identifying Stressed Out Trees

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 14:01
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

Late Summer Lawn Care

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 15:57
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.

Jumping Worms Make Their Way to Iowa

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 14:32
Iowa has a new invasive species, the jumping worm , and it spells bad news for soil health. According to Iowa State University extension entomologist Donald Lewis, the worms have been in New England for a decade. They are also found in Iowa's border states, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. "It is an earth worm. It looks like all the other earth worms. A long tubular body, and lots and lots of segments, lots of wrinkles between the body. This one is darker. A mature earth worm has a collar or a ring around the body. In a regular night crawler and/or garden worm, that is a raised structure that is pink in color. On the jumping worm, it’s smooth, and it’s white. They writhe and squirm, and they jump. "When they are distributed, they will jump off the ground," Lewis says. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , Lewis talks with host Charity Nebbe about this worm that turns healthy soil into the consistency of coffee grounds. Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens also joins the show to answer

Bringing the Green Back to Your Lawn

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 12:51
Is your once uniform and lush lawn now looking rusty or being invaded by crabgrass? A wet June into a dry July may have you wondering how to make your lawn green again. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Jason Burns tackles lawn care with Nick Christians, turf grass expert and Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University. "Crabgrass is definitely the big issue this summer," Christians says. "It loves wet weather so the conditions have been perfect this year." This year's unusual weather has also caused an uptick in diseased lawns, which Christians says is typical of a very wet spring. There are a number of ways to treat your lawn before summer comes to a close, but if you're in despair over a diseased, too dry, or crabgrass-ridden lawn, Christian recommends waiting until around August 15th to establish new grass. Then, apply a pre-emergence herbicide the following spring to stop weeds in their tracks before summer. Later in the hour, Richard Jauron, Iowa

Planting the Rainbow in Your Vegetable Garden

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 12:30
Pink tomatoes, purple snap beans, yellow cauliflower, orange winter squash. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturalists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron about planting and harvesting a colorful vegetable garden. They also share information about the upcoming ISU Horticulture Field Days being held at demonstration gardens across the state. These field days will be free and open to the public, rain or shine. The theme for this year is 'planting the rainbow,' with all vegetables planted to be donated to nearby food pantries. "We wanted to showcase the variety of vegetables that are out there," Haynes says. "One of the best ways to showcase that variety is to say, you know, tomatoes don't have to be red, they can be pink, orange, or purple." "You can get green beans that aren't green, they can be purple or yellow, you can do the same thing with cauliflower where you can have brilliant purples or kind of an orangey yellow." Beyond beauty

Planting the Rainbow in Your Vegetable Garden

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 12:30
Pink tomatoes, purple snap beans, yellow cauliflower, orange winter squash. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturalists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron about planting and harvesting a colorful vegetable garden. They also share information about the upcoming ISU Horticulture Field Days being held at demonstration gardens across the state. These field days will be free and open to the public, rain or shine. The theme for this year is 'planting the rainbow,' with all vegetables planted to be donated to nearby food pantries. "We wanted to showcase the variety of vegetables that are out there," Haynes says. "One of the best ways to showcase that variety is to say, you know, tomatoes don't have to be red, they can be pink, orange, or purple." "You can get green beans that aren't green, they can be purple or yellow, you can do the same thing with cauliflower where you can have brilliant purples or kind of an orangey yellow." Beyond beauty

When to Trim Back Tree Branches

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.

When to Trim Back Tree Branches

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.

Mulch Ado About Nothing

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

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."

Biting Bugs Arrive With Summer

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

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.