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. 

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.

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.