March 30, 2018

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update – March 30, 2018

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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 for updates and more pictures. For more information on a particular disease or insect problem listed, follow the article cited.


Harvesting Asparagus


Asparagus should be well established after planting before any spears are harvested.  Do not harvest asparagus for the first two years after planting.  In the third and following years, asparagus can be harvested until early to mid-June in Iowa.  If harvest begins before April 15 because of warm, spring weather, stop harvesting by early June.  Continue harvesting until mid-June if the first harvest occurs after April 15.  Ending the harvest season in early to mid-June allows the plants to develop strong, healthy top growth and to store adequate food reserves in thei

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Marshall and Tama Counties

Map of Iowa showing current distribution of confirmed EAB infestations

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Marshall and Tama Counties, Iowa following discovery of EAB symptoms in ash trees in a rural area north of Le Grand.  Further investigation by authorities resulted in the collection of EAB larvae from both sides of the county line. See map inset, below.

Preparing Garden Soil


Fertilizer, Gypsum, and Lime.  Oh My!  Which of these amendments should you apply to your garden soil as you move toward spring and the start of the gardening season?  Learn about these amendments and more in the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Yard and Garden news release from March 28, 2018.

Growing Beets in the Home Garden


Does anything beat beets grown in the home garden? Whether planted for the root crop or the tender greens, this fast-growing vegetable adds color and nutrients to the dinner plate.  Learn about growing this nutritious vegetable in the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Yard and Garden news release from March 21, 2018.

Donate Excess Garden Vegetables to Food Pantries


Donating excess produce from your vegetable garden to a local food pantry can help give those without access to fresh and healthy foods an opportunity to incorporate them into their diets.  Learn more about the type of vegetables food pantries need most, and the mechanics of donation in the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Yard and Garden news release from March 20, 2018.

Timing of Spring Lawn Care Chores


Lawn care practices such as aeration, pre-emergence herbicide application and white grub control are important tasks that need to happen at the right time for maximum benefit.  Learn more about when you should accomplish these spring lawn care chores in the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Yard and Garden news release from March 14, 2018.