August 10, 2018

Core Aeration of Lawns

Core aerification machine

Early September is an excellent time to aerate lawns growing in heavy, clay soils and those subject to heavy foot traffic.  Aeration relieves soil compaction, improves water and nutrient movement in the soil, and prevents thatch accumulation. 

Photo credit: Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech

Boxwood Lovers: Beware of the Blight

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Although boxwoods (Buxus sp.) are not native to the U.S., their versatility has made them one of the most popular shrubs for edging, hedges, and topiaries in classic and modern landscapes. We at Iowa Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic see few foliar diseases of boxwood, but most commonly we receive photos and samples with symptoms of winter injury.

Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Crawford, Delaware and Page Counties

Map of Iowa showing current distribution of confirmed EAB infestations

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has now been detected in 64 Iowa counties where it bores into ash trees and feeds on tissues beneath the bark, ultimately killing the tree.  Insect samples were collected from Denison (Crawford County), Edgewood (Delaware County) and Clarinda (Page County). Officials with the Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed these samples positive for EAB.

Yard and Garden News – Potato Skin Problems

Green, rough, scabby, cracked and lumpy and not words you want to describe your home-grown potato tubers.  Yet, skin problems happen.  See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden news release from August 9, 2018 to learn more about potato skin problems and how to prevent them.

Turfgrass Field and Demo Day, September 11, 2018

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Turfgrass Institute will host their annual Iowa Turfgrass Field and Demo Day on Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Iowa State Horticulture Research Station near Ames.  Registration for the event can be completed online or by contacting the Iowa Turfgrass Institute at Cost for the field day is $40, which includes coffee, donuts and lunch.

Mile-a-minute Weed Identified in Iowa

The appropriately named invasive weed called mile-a-minute weed" (Persicaria perfoliata) has been found for the first time in Iowa in Marion County.  Mile-a-minute weed is an herbaceous, annual vine in the smartweed family.  It can grow up to 20 feet long and has light green triangular leaves and downward curving spines on the stem.  Read more about mile-a-minute weed in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach news release from August 3, 2018.