March 25, 2016

Planting, Growing and Maintaining Strawberries


Strawberries are well suited for any home garden. They are hardy, easy to grow and produce a good crop with moderate effort. Early spring is one of the best times to plant strawberries in Iowa and knowing when to plant and how to grow and maintain the strawberries is key to producing a successful crop.

The Insects of Spring

Photo of a brown marmorated stink bug

Are flies buzzing around your lights and bonking against your windows?  One of the less pleasant signs of Spring and warming temperatures is that the insects that have been overwintering in the attic and wall voids of homes become active and often wander into the living space delighting cats and irritating homeowners.
 

Dividing Perennials in Spring


Perennials are commonly divided for three reasons: to control size, to rejuvenate plants, and to propagate a prized perennial.  Vigorous perennials may grow so rapidly that they crowd out neighboring plants in the flower bed.  Other perennials decline in vigor if not divided at the appropriate time.  One of the easiest ways to propagate a prized perennial is to divide the plant into two or more smaller plants. 
 

Mosses in Lawns and Gardens


Mosses are adaptable, opportunistic plants.  They thrive in a wide variety of locations, but are most often found in moist, shady sites.  Mosses are common in many lawns and gardens this year.  The abundant rainfall last year provided favorable growing conditions for mosses. 

 

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - March 25, 2016

Another example of diplodia tip blight. Shows pine needles turning brown, but less dramatic than last example

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Visit the PIDC's Facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures.