April 22, 2016

How to Protect Pollinators in Urban Landscapes and Gardens

A new 30-page pamphlet is now available from Michigan State University that will help gardeners and others in urban settings identify how they can protect and increase populations of pollinators.  Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes for the U.S. North Central Region is available online in PDF format for free viewing and downloading.

Diagnosis of Spruce Problems Requires Good Samples

Example of a poor spruce sample. Has few needles

During the spring, evergreen diseases begin to show symptoms in Iowa and throughout the Midwest. One of these common diseases is Rhizosphaera needle cast which affects coniferous trees, especially spruce. It is time to get out and look for this disease especially if you have Colorado blue spruce trees.

Donation Gardening Project Aims to Bring More Produce to Food Banks

The realities of hunger in Iowa, how to work with food banks and pantries, and food safety in a donation garden are some of the topics recently studied by Master Gardeners.  Learn more about efforts to help Iowans make healthy food choices and how donation gardening can put more fresh fruits and vegetables into the food pantry system in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from April 11, 2016.

Proper Iowa Mowing Practices

Mowing height and mowing frequency are common concerns that can have a dramatic impact on your lawn's health and vigor.  Learn about these and other proper mowing practices in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from April 20, 2016.

Control of Ground Ivy in Lawns

Ground ivy in bloom covering a yard

Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is a common weed in many lawns.  Ground ivy is a low-growing, creeping, invasive perennial.  It spreads by seed and the vining stems (stolons) which root at their nodes.  The leaves of ground ivy are round or kidney-shaped with scalloped margins.  Stems are four-sided.  Flowers are small, bluish purple, and funnel-shaped.  Ground ivy thrives in damp, shady areas, but also grows well in sunny locations.  A member of the mint family, ground ivy produces a minty odor when cut or crushed.  Ground ivy is also known