July 1, 2016

Care of Plants Growing in Containers


Growing plants in containers has rapidly increased in popularity in the last 15 to 20 years.  There are a number of reasons for growing annuals and vegetables in containers.  Container gardens are an excellent way to grow vegetables when suitable garden sites are unavailable.  Container gardening allows individuals to beautify patios, porches, balconies, the front steps, and other areas around the home.  Container gardens also provide individuals with physical limitations an opportunity to grow flowers and vegetables. 
 

Properly Watering Your Garden


Spotty rainfall so far this summer has left some home gardens parched while others are soaked and soggy.  See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from June 16, 2016 for information on the special care and watering needed to create a bountiful harvest of vegetables, especially in the hot summer months. 

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Washington and Van Buren County, Iowa

Emerald Ash Borer Detections in Iowa. Winneshiek, Allamakee, Bremer, Black Hawk, Boone, Story, Dallas Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Johnson, Cedar, Dubuque, Clinton, Scott, Muscatine, Louisa, Marion, Mahaska, Keokuk, Montgomery, Union, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren, and Lee counties

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been positively identified in Brighton (Washington County) and Birmingham (Van Buren County). Iowa now has 34 counties with confirmed infestations of this exotic pest that kills ash trees and is considered one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America. See the map below. 
 
Read more about this most recent discovery and confirmation of infestation in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from July 1, 2016.
 

Maple Leaf Abnormalities


There is much to enjoy about maple trees in the home landscape but bumps, spots and growths on the leaves are not one of them.  See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from June 23, 2016 for information about galls, fungi and scale that may appear on maples.

Mushroom Identification, What to Know Before Collecting Them

Mushroom samples in plastic baggies

The ISU Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic provides mushroom identification* as part of our diagnostic service.  However, most of the specimens we receive are not diagnosable because the specimens arrived without a submission form, or the enclosed form may be missing useful pieces of information relevant to the identification, or the specimen was missing parts, or it suffered in transit.

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - July 1, 2016

Map of distribution of Japanese beetles in Iowa as of July 1, 2016

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Visit the PIDC's Facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures.

European Paper Wasps Are Widespread

European paper wasp missing a large portion of its abdomen

Four, short years ago we announced we were watching the spread of another invasive into the state of Iowa.  The European paper wasp, Polistes dominula, was first reported in the US in 1978 near Boston, but it was slow to gain our attention until this decade.  In August, 2012 we reported it as relatively new to the state.  Now, in July, 2016, it seems to be everywhere and in some areas it is the only wasp seen around the house.