Publications

The ISU Extension Store offers a number of publications for purchase or in a free downloadable PDF document. Publications related to flowers, lawn care, vegetables, trees and more can be found below to help you navigate to the information you need. The drop down menu will guide you to several categories containing publications, all relating to horticulture. If you have additional questions on a certain plant or problem call the Hortline at 515-294-3108 or browse our Frequently Asked Questions!

Understanding the Effects of Flooding on Trees -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Flood-stressed trees show a variety of symptoms and also become candidates for insect and disease damage. Research has found some trees are more tolerant than others.
Understanding Decline in Trees -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Tips on how to identify, prevent, or reduce the stress-causing factors that lead to tree decline.
Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals
This guide provides weed identification and control information that turfgrass professionals can use to develop effective weed control programs for golf courses, athletic fields, sod farms, lawns, and other turfgrass systems. The recommendations apply to the majority of the United States, with input from experts in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Topping - Tree Care or Tree Abuse? -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Since topping trees is harmful, read about alternatives to solve site problems.
The Sweet Lives of Honey Bees
This colorful, interactive infographic provides a look into the life of a honey bee. Beekeeper Ben guides readers through information on beehives, types of honey bees, bee jobs, planting flowers for bees and harvesting honey. Created through a partnership between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Honey Producers Association.
Targeted Pest Management: Phenological Growth Guide for Grapevines
This publication provides a timetable for pest emergence in Iowa and what pesticides can be used in Iowa's vineyards. Designed to be printed and carried with you in the field, this publication is oriented to be folded in half to fit easily into a glove box, folder or pocket.
Stink Bugs of the Midwest
This reference guide helps distinguish the brown marmorated stink bug from other bugs of the Midwest. Stink bugs are common insects found in lawns, landscapes and field crops.
Social Wasps and Bees in the Upper Midwest
Are you interested in having more bees in your garden? Are wasps buzzing around your pop can? Learn about their life cycles, what they feed on, and where they nest. The behavior and biology of the most commonly encountered wasps and bees in Iowa are described in this resource available from our partners at University of Minnesota Extension. This resource was a joint project between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and University of Minnesota Extension.
Selecting a Termite Control Service
If you suspect your house is infested with termites or if other property in your neighborhood has termites, consult this publication for information on how to make a decision for a termite service contract. Termite prevention is also discussed.
Pruning Trees: Shade, Flowering, and Conifer -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Discover the art and science of pruning with informative photos and detailed guidelines.
Protecting Bees from Pesticides
Know what to look for when checking pesticide labels for insecticides that can harm pollinators, especially bees. Find out about the insecticides that are most toxic to honey bees, bumble bees, and native solitary bees. Also find 10 ways that individuals can help protect bees. Includes several online sources of information.
Prevention, Detection, and Control of Bed Bugs in the Home - Iowa IPM Notes
Bug bugs are embarrassing and annoying. This fact sheet answers common questions related to preventing, detecting and controlling bed bugs in the home.
Organic Apple Production in Iowa
New and experienced organic apple growers will find recommendations in this guide for managing insect pests, diseases, and weeds. Tips about marketing opportunities also are included.
Oak Wilt - Identification and Management - Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Oak wilt, the most damaging disease of oak trees in lowa, has killed many forest and landscape oaks in the eastern and central United States. Oak wilt has not devastated its host species, however, mainly because its spread from diseased to healthy trees has been relatively slow and sporadic. Nevertheless, local outbreaks of oak wilt can kill or injure many trees. The management practices described in this publication can help minimize the risk of losing oaks to this disease.
Managing Storm-Damaged Trees -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Here are pruning tips for do-it-yourselfers or hiring hints if you bring in a professional.
Insect Pests of Stored Foods
Opening the flour container to find beetles crawling around the top is never a pleasant experience, but there is no need to panic. The most common pests we find in our kitchen and pantries and what we can do to manage them if they infest our food are described. This resource was a joint project between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and University of Minnesota Extension. To access this resource visit the University of Minnesota Extension website.
Insect Galls on Trees and Shrubs
Galls are distinctive swellings or abnormal growths of plant tissue caused by an attack of a living organism. This publication discusses tree and shrub galls caused by insects and mites. It talks about the damage galls create and how they can be controlled. It also provides a detailed list of common galls and gallmarkers that includes color photos. Previously known as IC 0417.
Human Lice
There are three species of lice that can at times infest humans—the head louse, the body louse, and the crab or pubic louse. Human lice infestations can be controlled and prevented easily and effectively.
Fungal Cankers of Trees -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Cultural management techniques can help reduce the risk of canker diseases.
Common Problems of Ash Trees
Many ash tree problems can be mistaken for emerald ash borer infestation. Before removal or needlessly treating with pesticides, use this diagnostic guide to distinguish emerald ash borer injury from other common problems of ash.
Cockroaches and Their Control
Learn about the five cockroach species in Iowa and the management and chemical treatment possibilities.
Opciones de control del barrenador verde esmeralda
Dueños de propiedades y los aplicadores de pesticidas comerciales encontrarán medidas de control a considerar para prevenir y tratar la infestación de fresnos por el barrenador verde esmeralda. Incluye recomendaciones de productos y evaluación de eficacia de los insecticidas. Spanish version of Emerald Ash Borer Management Options.
Emerald Ash Borer Management Options
Homeowners and commercial pesticide applicators will find control measures to consider in preventing and treating the infestation of ash trees by the emerald ash borer. Includes product recommendations and evaluation of insecticide effectiveness.
Hop Production 101: Commercial Hop Yard Trellis Design
As hop production returns to Iowa, growers are wanting more information on producing healthy and abundant harvests. This publication discusses the best practices for designing and constructing a hops yard.
Suggested soil micronutrient levels and sampling procedures for vegetable crops
Although needed in very small amounts, micronutrients have an important role to play in plant growth and development. Most of them are involved in enzymatic reactions that are essential for plant survival such as photosynthesis and respiration. This publication highlights the major roles, deficiencies, and toxicity symptoms of micronutrients in plants and provides an understanding of the interactions between micronutrients in the soil.
Crop Rotations, Composting and Cover Crops for Organic Vegetable Production
Organic production and consumption has increased to a $39.5 billion industry in the United States with over 22,000 organic farmers. Over 5.4 million acres are in organic production in the U.S., including 164,403 acres of organic vegetables, valued at $1.3 billion. The majority of organic vegetable growers incorporate crop rotations, composting, and cover crops in their operations. The following information offers a guide for including these practices to meet certified organic rules and increase the long-term sustainability of an organic farm.
Commercial Asparagus Production
Asparagus is a hardy perennial of the lily family. The plant originated in the coastal regions of Europe and Asia but is now grown throughout the world. It is one of the first vegetable crops to be available in the early spring, along with leafy greens. Once established, a well-cared for asparagus field can remain productive for 15 to 20 years.
Commercial Melon Production
The melon family is comprised of muskmelon, watermelon, and honeydew melons, with all belonging to the cucurbitaceae family. This publication discusses commercial site selection, planting, cultivars, pollination, fertilization, irrigation, weed management and harvesting of melons.
Commercial Production of Pak Choi
Pak choi is a cool-season vegetable that belongs to the cabbage and cauliflower family. It is also known as bok choi, or pak choy. It originated in China and has been cultivated for thousands of years. Pak choi has rapidly been gaining popularity in the Midwest due to its mild flavor, suitability as a stir fry vegetable, and wide acceptance among consumers. Many farmers markets, community supported agriculture vendors, and local grocery stores feature pak choi in produce boxes.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases in Iowa
Ticks can be found across the state of Iowa and are active from March through November. This publication discusses the three most common type of ticks in the state while also providing information on preventing Lyme disease and removing attached ticks.
A Review of Cold Climate Grape Cultivars
There has been interest in growing grapes in the upper Midwest and other cold climate regions of North America. One of the problems growers face in these regions is selecting cultivars (cultivated varieties) that will withstand severe winters, mature in short growing seasons, and be productive. As grape acreage increases in cold climate regions, too often cultivar selections are being made based upon testimonial or anecdotal information. With the high costs of vineyard establishment there is an increasing need for a standard reference to assist growers in selecting best adapted cultivars.
Introduction to High Tunnels eCourse
This self-directed, online course covers all aspects of constructing, owning and operating a high tunnel. Throughout the course, you will learn how to properly select a site location, test your soils, determine what crops to grow in your high tunnel, expected costs and potential returns from your high tunnel and resources to help in the process. Each section of the course includes a worksheet for feedback from the course coordinators specific to your own operation.
Hop Production 101: Site selection and planting
As hop production returns to Iowa, growers are wanting more information on producing healthy and abundant harvests. This publication discusses the best practices for selecting a site to grow hops and how to plant the crop.
Scale Insects on Ornamental Landscape Plants
Scale insects are tiny insects that can cause large problems for landscape plants. Despite their small size they can weaken and even kill ornamental plants. This publication provides information on identifying these insects and steps that can be taken to remove them from plants through biological, mechanical and chemical means. Previously known as IC 0415
Identifying Tree Problems - Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Use this 8-page publication filled with guidelines for examining unhealthy trees and finding expert help.
Hop Production Calendar
This publication provides information on tasks that must be completed to produce a healthy hop crop. Broken down month-by-month, it provides reminders and tips for growing hops. It also includes additional resources that can be helpful to hop growers.
Iowa High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Production Manual
This publication provides growers with information to use high tunnels effectively, enhance productivity and increase income. Construction and management of high tunnels is included, as well as information on crops that can be grown.
Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Sample Submission Form
Download and use this form when submitting a plant problem (plant disease or insects/mites on plants), an insect for identification, a plant for identification, or a mushroom for identification. This form consolidates and replaces: PIDC 0031 PIDC 0033 PIDC 0042 PIDC 0043
Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Plant Nematode Sample Submission Form
Download and use this form when submitting soil samples for nematode identification and counts. This form is for soybean cyst nematode egg counts, nematodes on corn, turfgrass nematodes, nematodes found in vegetable or fruit crop fields, as well as home gardens. Also includes instructions on collecting and shipping plant and soil samples for nematode analysis at the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.
Top 13 vegetables to donate to food pantries
Many gardeners produce excess vegetables during the growing season. Some preserve their surplus vegetables for later use, while others give friends and neighbors the extras. Another option for using this excess produce could be a local food pantry. This publication discusses 13 vegetables that can be donated to food pantries and tips for growing and harvesting those vegetables.
Verticillium Wilt of Woody Plants -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Learn about symptoms and management strategies for this fungal disease. This pub also provides a list of susceptible and resistant species.
Hosta Diseases and Pests -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Easily identify common diseases and pests and how to manage them effectively.
Leaf Spot and Melting Out of Turfgrass -- Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Description and management information, plus how to submit samples for diagnosis.
Got Plant or Insect Problems?
The ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic helps Iowans diagnose and manage plant diseases, weeds, and insects in fields and around your home. Here's an introduction to the clinic.
Protecting Bees in Iowa
Beekeepers and commercial pesticide applicators play important roles in protecting Iowa's bees. This publication outlines actions both groups can take to reduce the risks to bees that benefit Iowa's agroecosystem.
Juniper Diseases
Help with identification and control of the most common juniper diseases. Color photos and tables.

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