June 25, 1999

Ash rust 1999

This newsletter article from 1999 is superseded by our Encyclopedia article, to which you will be redirected.

Typical symptoms of ash rust include the presence of bright orange pustules on leaves, petioles, and green twigs. Diseased tissue swells, causing distorted leaves and bends in petioles. The spores of the fungus, yellow-orange in color, appear over the swollen areas. The canker-like areas on twigs and petioles may lead to browning of leaves in the early summer.

An Alternative to Common Landscape Plants: Ornamental Grasses

Before there were farms, buildings, or roads scattered across the Iowa landscape, native grasses dominated the land. These grasses covered most of Iowa and supplied the Midwest with a simple, yet diversified ecosystem. In a quest to bring back some of the look and feel of the Iowa prairie, homeowners have recently begun to incorporate native and exotic ornamental grasses into their landscape designs.

Wilting tomatoes

A problem occasionally encountered by home gardeners is the sudden wilting of tomato plants. The three most likely causes of wilting are vascular wilts, stalk borers, and nearby walnut trees.

Vascular Wilts

The initial symptoms of Verticillium and Fusarium wilts are wilting of the plant leaves during the heat of the day. Affected plants often recover in the evening or overnight. Gradually, however, the wilting becomes progressively worse and many plants eventually die.