March 21, 2012

Amending Garden Soils


Fruit Tree Varieties for the Backyard


Tiny Fungus Gnat "Outbreak" in Iowa

Callers the past week have described swarms of millions to billions of small black gnats on the side of the house, crawling on the compost pile or wood chip mulch or hanging around the landscape.&n

High Risk for Oak Wilt

High risk for oak wilt

On March 18, 2012 Minnesota changed the oak wilt risk status from safe to high. Normally, the risk period for oak wilt would begin in April and continue through July.

Homeowner Imidacloprid Recommendations for Edible Crops

Iowa State’s Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic has received several questions recently about the use of imidacloprid on apple trees and other edible fruits and vegetables. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide that has been available for many years under different trade names and concentrations. Systemic insecticides are taken up by the roots or other parts of the plant and then move internally through the plant tissues and kill insects eating those tissues. In contrast, non-systemic insecticides remain on the plant surface and kill insects by contact or ingestion of treated foliage.

Application of Preemergence Herbicides to Lawns in 2012


Crabgrass is a common weed in many lawns. Crabgrass is an annual, warm-season grass. Germination of crabgrass seeds usually begins about mid-April in southern Iowa, early May in northern parts of the state. Crabgrass seeds continue to germinate over several weeks from spring into summer. 


Growing Raspberries and Blackberries in the Backyard