Current Issue: June 7, 2019

Propagation of Deciduous Shrubs from Softwood Cuttings


Many deciduous shrubs in the home landscape may be propagated by softwood cuttings.  Softwood cuttings are taken in late May through early July from the current season’s growth.  Cutting material should be flexible but mature enough to snap when sharply bent.  Shrubs that can be propagated from softwood cuttings include lilac, forsythia, weigela, dogwood, ninebark, and viburnum. 

Black flies abound in Iowa right now

A picture of a black fly on human skin

Black flies are also commonly called buffalo gnats and are a biting annoyance in many parts of Iowa.  Only female black flies bite.  They take blood meals from many warm blooded vertebrate animals. Some species prefer to feed on humans, some on other mammals, and others prefer birds.  There are no known human diseases carried by black flies in the United States.

Mushrooms in the Basement?

Mushroom species developing on a dead log.

We have recently received several questions about mushrooms developing both outdoor and indoors. With the wet spring and flooding, water had made its way to cracks on walls or in floors, in older houses, or basements prone to flooding. Other common spots for the mushrooms to develop include, logs, mulch and lawns. In fact, we saw our first slime mold question this week. The common question: how can I get rid of the mushrooms? The answer, it all about moisture!

Yard and Garden: When Sawfly Larvae Visit the Garden

Yard and Garden: Lawn Care in Summer

Yard and Garden: Homegrown Strawberries