Hort Day Podcast

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Updated: 28 min 38 sec ago

Protecting Your Winter Garden

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.

Finally, an Insect-Free Garden

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 16:27
It got cold last week, and suddenly the world outside is insect-free. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with her guests about how insects survive the winter, and why they show up so quickly when the warmth returns. Guests are Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron, ISU Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis, DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh, and ISU Professor of Horticulture and organic specialist Kathleen Delate.

Reflecting on the Growing Season

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:00
With the impending frost Iowa is about to receive, the growing season has come to an end. The season ending means that astute gardeners should take this time of year to reflect on what did and didn't work in their gardens. Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University Jeff Iles reflects on the diversity of plants outside his home. "I look at my yard now because things are kind of bare looking with all the leaves gone, and I think, 'What could I add next year that might pay some dividends?" Iles says. "I think we neglect our conifer friends. I'm always pushing for the greater use of conifers for the Iowa landscape. You might consider where you might use an evergreen, so don't forget our conifer friends!" On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Iles, and Iowa State Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron, and they reflect on the growing season and take questions from listeners.

Keeping Your Plants Alive During Harsh Winter Months

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 12:58
With the cold winter months just around the corner, many Iowa gardeners are wondering how to best prepare their plants for the impending frosty weather. In order to prevent the deaths of numerous different plants, precautions must be taken, and Ajay Nair of Iowa State University Extension has advice for gardeners to resist soil erosion during the winter. "Don't leave the soil uncovered," Nair says. "We want to cover the soil so soil particles do not move. You could put mulch material, you could spread compost, and that helps to keep the soil in its place. I would also like to add cover crops. If you decide to plant a cover crop this time of the year, cereal rye is a good option. See what your acreage is, get a little bit of seed, spread evenly, and simply rake it in and water." During this hour Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Nair and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames about keeping gardens healthy during the winter months, and they take calls from listeners.

Keeping Your Trees Healthy During Autumn

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 12:42
With autumn underway, plants and trees are beginning to change their shape, many shedding their leaves preparing for the cold winter months ahead. These changes bring difficulties to those who would like their trees to remain picturesque during these months, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestor Mark Vitosh advises the proper way to keep them healthy during these dry months. "If you have trees that you've planted within the last couple years, over the next month, if it continues to stay dry, give them that water every week or so, getting it good and soaked in, just around the root bulb," Vitosh says. "Soak them right until we start to get really cold, so that when they freeze, there's some moisture there, and it's not too dry." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Mark Vitosh and Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about how to best care for the plants in your yard during the autumn and winter months, and they take

Bury Your Bulbs in October

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 15:47
Right now we’re anticipating the rich yellows, oranges, and reds of fall, but it’s also time to start thinking about the pinks, purples, and whites of spring. In this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by horticulturists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron. They talk about planning and planting spring blooming bulbs. Jauron says the coming weeks are the best time for planting any type of bulb. "Basically, October is the best time, but you can do it as late as mid to late November if the weather is permitting. The main thing is they have to be in the ground before it freezes." Haynes and Jauron also answer listener questions and emails.

Tips to Control Broadleaf Weed Sprawl

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:55
Growing season is nearing its end, but plants in the yard and garden remain busy nonetheless. Specifically, broadleaf weeds can pose a problem for homeowners during this time of year. Iowa State University professor of horticulture, Nick Christians, has some tips about controlling broadleaf weeds. "Don't go too early with your broadleaf weed controls," Christians says. "You don't have to be in a big hurry; a lot of people are, and they're out there in late August, early September. I recommend waiting until late October, into early November. Some of the really hard-to-kill weeds are best controlled with late applications." On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Christians and Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialist Richard Jauron about maintaining your lawn this time of year. They also take calls from listeners.

Getting the Most Out of Your Late-Season Produce

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:04
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

Painted Lady Butterfly Population Boom

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 09:11
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.

Fixing Your Late-Summer Patchy Lawn

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:29
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

The Garden Benefits of the Praying Mantis

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:14
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.