June 22, 2005

2005 Home Demonstration Garden Field Days

Below are the dates and locations for the upcoming Home Demonstration Gardens at nine Iowa State University Research Farms this summer. The themes for the garden include: a continental garden focusing on where plants like tomato, pepper, petunia, etc. were domesticated; types of summer squash; types of marigolds; basil varieties; and annual black-eyed Susan or rudbeckia varieties.

Ants in the kitchen

Ants in the kitchen is a very common summer annoyance. In the spring and summer most ants seen kitchens are coming indoors from colonies located outside. As temperatures warm in the spring, the ant colonies become active and the workers head out to search for food. Unfortunately for the homeowner, this search often brings the ants into your kitchen.

Home Lawn Aeration

Proper management practices are necessary to obtain an attractive, healthy lawn. Important cultural practices include mowing, fertilizing, watering, and weed control. Occasionally, it may also be necessary to mechanically remove plugs of soil or aerate the lawn.

Benefits of Aeration

Aeration relieves soil compaction, improves water and nutrient movement in the soil, increases rooting, and prevents thatch accumulation. Aeration improves the growing conditions for the turfgrass plants and results in a healthier, more vigorous lawn.

Powdery Mildew on Lawns

Lawns that are heavily shaded can sometimes develop a white color on the grass blades, as if they have been dusted by powder. This is due to powdery mildew, a common fungal disease favored by cool, humid weather and shady conditions. The disease is usually most noticeable in the spring and fall, but can occur throughout the growing season.