May 12, 2010

Iowa Master Gardener Classes Start in September

If you have an interest in gardening and would like to volunteer in your community, consider joining the Iowa Master Gardener program. Whether you are a long-term veteran of gardening or a novice, you are welcome to join.

Edible Landscapes Can Reap Sweet Rewards

As you update your landscape this spring, consider using plants that are edible. There are many trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that have tasty and beautiful rewards. The term for this specialty gardening is edible landscaping and can be likened to the home landscape version of permaculture, which means permanent agriculture.

Effects of Freezing Temperatures on Fruits and Vegetables in the Home Garden


Black Root Rot of Strawberry

Black root rot of strawberry is a disease complex of three or more fungi. Among the most damaging are Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Pythium.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Season Is Upon Us


The photo below from Tammy Curley in the Bremer County Extension Office is a reminder that now is the time to look for the silvery-gray webs of the eastern tent caterpillar on apples, crabapples, wild plum, cherry and related trees.  The characteristic silken tents are almost always constructed at the fork of a major branch on the tree or shrub.


Pine Wilt: Death and the Pine Tree

My pine is dying! What do I do?? This is a question throughout Iowa and the Midwest

Several things can kill a tree, notably, age, weather stress, (rarely) herbicide damage, and several plant diseases, but most often it is a combination of these that do the deed. For a few species of ornamental pine trees, though, there is a specific disease called pine wilt that can take out a large tree in a matter of weeks or months. The primary species affected is Scot’s pine; unfortunately it is one of the most commonly planted ornamental pine species in Iowa.