June 10, 2016

Plethora of Peonies

Shows fernleaf peony bud amidst its trademark thin, pointed leaves

Peonies have been cherished by gardeners for centuries.  They were such prized possessions that early settlers took small plants with them as they traveled west in their covered wagons.  While most peony species are not native to the US, they have become the unofficial flower of Memorial Day.  

Emerald Ash Borer Update

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, and Lee counties

Emerald ash borer has been positively identified from a tree in central rural Louisa County. Iowa now has 32 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 June 1, 2016.

Home Demonstration Garden Field Days

Each year Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms plant seven demonstration gardens around the state to showcase home vegetable gardening. Field days provide opportunity for gardeners to learn about year’s garden themes - donating produce to food banks and planting for pollinators.
Locations and dates are listed below.  See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach news release from May 26, 2016, for more information.
2016 Demonstration Garden Field Days

Properly Handling Summer Lawn Care

With summer comes the need for lawn care and questions about mowing, irrigation, fertilization and insect control. Learn more about proper summer lawn care in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from June 2, 2016.

Dealing With Sycamore Tree Issues

The sycamore tree is one of Iowa’s largest trees, found mainly in the eastern and southern parts of the state. It’s a great tree to have on a landscape, but it can run into problems, especially loss of leaves this spring.  Learn more about sycamore anthracnose in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from May 25, 2016.

New PIDC Sample Submission Forms are Here!

The Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic is happy to announce we now have updated versions of all our sample submission forms that are now fillable PDF's!
The forms are available at the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Store or from the PIDC website at clinic.ipm.iastate.edu

Frequently Asked Questions about Peonies

Dusty peony leaves that are infested with powdery mildew

Peonies are wonderful landscape perennials.  They are admired for their elegant spring flowers and their longevity in the landscape. Below are a few commonly asked questions about the planting and care of peonies in the landscape.