September 16, 2016

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - September 16, 2016

Meripilus sumstinei sample, photo by Lina Rodriguez Salamanca

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.

Palmer Amaranth: Iowa's New Invasive Weed

Close-up of Palmer Amaranth in a field

Palmer amaranth, a new invasive species related to waterhemp, has become a weed of concern for corn and soybean producers across the state in the last three years.  It is extremely invasive and difficult to manage due to its rate of growth and its ability to develop herbicide resistance.  Palmer amaranth has spread across the state and has been identified by agronomists in 28 counties. 

 

Do You Know Where Your Trees Come From?


"Pssst!  Hey buddy.  Today's the day.  Pass it on."  So, the time had finally come.  After five glorious years growing in the gentle climate of the Pacific Northwest, word slowly circulated that it was time to leave the Oregon nursery we'd called home for our entire lives.  But where were we bound?

October will be Firewood Awareness Month


The appearance of the emerald ash borer in new locations around Iowa reminds us of the harm that comes when invasive pests are inadvertently moved with firewood.  How to help?  Follow these steps from the USDA: 


Always buy firewood that was cut locally or that has been properly heat-treated to kill any pests that may have been in or on it. If you’re unsure if the firewood is local or treated, ask the seller.

Plant Tulips and Flowering Bulbs in the Fall


Tulips are a welcome part of the spring landscape, but to enjoy their benefits in warm weather, work must be done during the fall. Learn more about fall-planting of tulips and other flowering bulbs in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from September 8, 2016.

Gardening for Food Pantries


A partnership to create "donation gardens" that would grow fresh fruits and vegetables to share with local food pantries and reduce food insecurity in Iowa was coordinated this year by Christine Hradek, ISU Extension and Outreach human sciences specialist, and Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program assistant.  Donation gardens at seven ISU Research and Demonstration Farms were planted and tended by farm staff and Master Gardeners with a goal of donating more than 10,000 pounds of food for Iowans in need.  Read more about this successful collaboration in the

Plant and Divide Lilies in the Fall


Fall is the right time to plant, dig and divide lilies for optimal performance in spring. See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from September 14, 2016 for details on what to do now to help lilies reach their full potential.