July 12, 2002
This spring the Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic received several samples of turfgrass with Ascochyta leaf blight. The disease can occur on many turfgrass species.
Look for large areas of straw-colored turfgrass. Individual blades usually die back from the tips and have a pinched appearance right above the green area of the leaf. Sometimes the infection can start in the center of the blade forming a straw colored band.
If your vegetable garden didn't turn out quite as you had planned this year, have no fear. The time for planting a fall vegetable garden is here. While tomatoes and peppers thrive in the summer heat, many crops prefer the cooler weather of fall. Cool season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce, may bolt (go to seed) or become bitter in summer making them prime candidates for fall gardening. To get started you'll need seeds and a calendar.
Now is the time of year when many pin oak (Quercus palustris) trees start to show their true Iowa colors. Unfortunately, those colors don't include dark green. Yellow or lime green are typical colors associated with pin oaks in Iowa. The pin oak performs poorly in most Iowa soils especially in areas where the topsoil has been removed, which exposes the clay subsoil. A typical Iowa soil has a pH higher than the optimum range for pin oaks, which prefer a well-drained soil with a pH between 5.0 to 6.5.