Hort Day Podcast

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Updated: 1 hour 50 min ago

What Makes Something the "Bee's Knees" Anyway?

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 15:04
Got a "bee in your bonnet?" Fighting a major "computer bug" on your laptop? Insect-themed idioms have found a solid place in our everyday language, and on this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , we're finding out just how that came to be. This hour, Charity Nebbe is joined by Iowa State University Extension horticulture expert Richard Jauron and Iowa State University professor of entomology Donalod Lewis, who has written and researched on the topic of insects in language. In case you find yourself wanting to read more on the topic, below is the essay, " Insect-Infested Language , " originally published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Horticulture and Home Pest News. ----- Way back in 1999, our attention was focused on the “Y2K Computer Bug,” a reminder of a point known well to entomologists; that is, “bugs” are everywhere. Of course we see the real things throughout the landscape and garden but even more common are references and allusions to insects that pepper

Preparing Your Garden for Winter

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 12:36
I t’s early November and winter weather has arrived! On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulture specialists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes about preparing your yard and garden for winter. They talk co vering the strawberries, prepping the roses, and getting ready to fend off hungry bunnies. Later in the hour, Jauron and Haynes answer listener questions. Strawberries typically need to be covered with 4-5 inches of straw around mid-November. Perennials such as asparagus can be left alone until late March or early April. For roses, protection depends on the variety. "The shrub roses, those hardy roses, you really don't have to do much," Haynes says. "With the hybrid tea roses, what I usually recommend is tying up those canes a bit, putting a mound of soil or compost at the base of the plant, because that's what you're trying to protect... and then putting some straw or dried leaves on top of that." If you're still hoping to plant bulbs,

Tree Care: Pruning 101

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 11:58
Winter can be a sleepy time for gardeners, but it's a great time to start making plans for the trees in your landscape. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe gets the lowdown on tree pruning with Jeff Iles, professor and chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University. Later in the hour, Iowa State University horticulture specialist Richard Jauron and DNR Forester Mark Vitosh join to answer listener questions. Early winter is the ideal season to start looking at your trees with pruning in mind. As the leaves fall, you can see the full structure of your trees and assess any damage that may have occurred during the year. "The calendar isn't in our favor if we want to start doing a lot of work. Trees respond better to wounding, and of course pruning is a wound, when it's done in the late dormant season and even during the summer," Iles says. "However, we can go out and take stock of the woody plants in our yards and landscapes and make some

Planting Cover Crops in Your Garden

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 11:40
Planting a cover crop in your garden sounds like a wonderful idea, but for some of us, making it happen might be an unfamiliar challenge. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa , Iowa State University Extension O rganic Specialist Kathleen Delate joins host Charity Nebbe to talk cover crops for the garden and to give a preview of the 2018 Iowa Organic Conference. Later in the hour, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron joins to answer listener questions. This year the 18th annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held November 18-19 at the University of Iowa Memorial Union. "This year we're focusing on soils," Delate says. "Our keynote speaker will be Dr. David Montgomery, the author of the famous book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. " To keep Iowa's reknowned soil packed with nutrients, home gardeners and farmers alike can use cover crops to enrich their garden, particularly over winter. "Cover crops help break cycles of weeds, insects, and

How to Pick and Carve the Perfect Pumpkin

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 16:19
In search of the perfect pumpkin this fall? Never fear! We've got advice. During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Richard Jauron of Iowa State University Extension and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames about how to pick, carve, and create the perfect jack o' lantern this fall.

Flooding, Forests, and Fall Foliage

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 12:26
It may feel like we’ve jumped from summer straight into winter, but fall is here and the trees are trying to put on a show. On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with tree experts Jeff Iles and Mark Vitosh about fall color and how flooding impacts trees and forests. Later on, horticulturist Richard Jauron joins to answer listener questions. Weather patterns leading into fall can have a significant impact on fall foliage. Warm, sunny days and cooler nights are the ideal conditions for achieving vibrant color. "We're getting the cool nights but we're not getting those clear days," Vitosh says. Vitosh and Iles have seen vivid colors appearing on a few tree species so far this year but say that we have not yet reached the peak of fall color. If cold weather continues, t here's a risk that trees may lose their leaves before the golds, oranges, and reds have a chance to appear. "Strong winds could end the show prematurely," Iles says. With flooding

Squash, Sweet Potatos, and More for Your Late Season Harvest

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 15:29
With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, it’s time to start harvesting late season produce. It can be difficult to know when to harvest crops like sweet potatoes and winter squash, but Iowa State University Horticulturist Ajay Nair recommends paying close attention to the recommended harvest dates when you plant. He also says it’s very important to prepare your produce for storage. "If you want to store sweet potatoes for longer term storage… you need to start thinking about curing them. When you harvest you want to make sure you remove all the dirt and after that you put them in a room or expose them to conditions where the temperatures are 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain an 80-90 percent humidity. If we can keep those two conditions for 7 -10 days the sweet potatoes will be cured," Nair says. Nair says it’s also important to cure winter squash before storage, but they can be cured at a lower temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. On this Talk of Iowa, host

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