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 browse our Frequently Asked Questions!

Common Rose Diseases
Several rose diseases caused by fungus, virus, or bacterium are discussed. Disease-resistant varieties also are mentioned.
Drought Tolerant Annuals and Perennials
Color photos and descriptions of 20 drought tolerant annuals and perennials.
Growing Dahlias
Includes photos and detailed information about dahlia types, plus tips on planting, growing, and preparing for flower shows.
Perennials for Sun
Hundreds of perennials prefer the bright light and accompanying heat that define sunny sites. This full color publication gives growing characteristics for more than 100 perennials that thrive in the sun in zones 3 to 5. Special features include 140 color photos, plant descriptions, specialty plant lists, and other tips.
Perennials for Shade
If you think hostas are your only choice for shady gardens, think again. This full color publication gives growing characteristics, plant descriptions, and other tips for more than 70 perennials for shade gardens in zones 3 to 5. Special features include 130 color photos, bloom time comparisons, and specialty plant lists.
Las Coles
“Cole crops” is the general term used to describe broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. Learn about cole crop cultivars, planting, yields, care during the growing season, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Cole Crops
"Cole crops"€ is the general term used to describe broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. Learn about cole crop cultivars, planting, yields, care during the growing season, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Tomatillos (Spanish version)
Tomatillos are a traditional part of Mexican cooking. Discover information on tomatillo cultivars, planting, fertilization, care, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Tomatillos
Tomatillos are a traditional part of Mexican cooking. Discover information on tomatillo cultivars, planting, fertilization, care, potential problems, and harvest and storage.

Ajo

Ajo
Grow garlic in your home garden. Learn about garlic cultivars, planting, fertilizing, maintenance, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Garlic
Grow garlic in your home garden. Learn about garlic cultivars, planting, fertilizing, maintenance, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Cilantro  (English/Spanish)
Cilantro or coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is a
 member of the carrot family, native to the Mediterranean
 region, and the world’s most widely used herb. The seed
 of this plant is the spice coriander, and the leaf is the
 herb cilantro. The plant, in flower, can reach 3 feet high.
Melones
Find more information here about watermelon, muskmelon, and honeydew melons. Read about melon cultivars, planting, fertilizing, yield, irrigation, pollination, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Melons
Find more information here about watermelon, muskmelon, and honeydew melons. Read about melon cultivars, planting, fertilizing, yield, irrigation, pollination, potential problems, and harvest and storage.
Maiz Dulce
Plant breeders over the past decade have significantly improved sweet corn quality. Read about sweet corn types, cultivars, planting, pollination, fertilization, care, and harvest and storage plus information about growing “baby corn.”
Sweet Corn
Plant breeders over the past decade have significantly improved sweet corn quality. Read about sweet corn types, cultivars, planting, pollination, fertilization, care, and harvest and storage plus information about growing “baby corn.”
Papas
The potato is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. Publication discusses potato cultivars and their uses, planting, care, potential problems, and short and long-tern harvest and storage.
Potatoes
The potato is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. Publication discusses potato cultivars and their uses, planting, care, potential problems, and short and long-tern harvest and storage.
Cebollas
Onions are easy to grow and often yield well. Learn details about cultivars, planting, maintenance, harvest, and storage.
Onions
Onions are easy to grow and often yield well. Learn details about cultivars, planting, maintenance, harvest, and storage.
Chiles
Learn about different pepper cultivars, planting, potential problems, harvesting and storage, and pepper hotness in your home garden.
Peppers
Learn about different pepper cultivars, planting, potential problems, harvesting and storage, and pepper hotness in your home garden.
Selling Fruits and Vegetables
Before investing resources into growing and selling fresh produce, use this publication to first help evaluate personal skills, market conditions, financial resources, and overall project feasibility.
Crabapples for Midwestern Landscapes
More than 90 color photos showing 43 cultivars to match the correct tree to your specific site and personal needs. Choose from the cultivars to enjoy an avalanche of colorful, fragrant flowers each spring and a handsome, healthy tree throughout the year.
Growing Fruit in Iowa
Several species of fruits can be grown successfully in Iowa. Consider hardiness and pollination when selecting varieties for home use and commercial production that are best adapted to Iowa growing conditions.
Understanding Thatch in the Home Lawn
Moderate thatch formation is a normal development in lawns; however, problems can occur when the thatch layer is excessive. Learn about thatch's beneficial and detrimental aspects, causes of thatch, and related insects and diseases.
Tips for Athletic Field Management on a Limited Budget
Those responsible for athletic field turf management will find 10 useful tips on how to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Growing Grapes in the Home Garden
Home gardeners can successfully grow grapes in Iowa. Whether you are growing a backyard garden or beginning your own vineyard, basic requirements include a good planting site, hardy varieties (cultivars), and proper culture. 
 Also recommended Grape publications are:
 RG 0502 - Pruning Grapevines
 PM 1375 - Midwest Commercial Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide
Growing Raspberries in the Home Garden
Home raspberry growers will find expert advice for cultivar selection, site selection, planting, and training and trellising plants. Also included are pruning guidelines for summer-bearing and fall-bearing red raspberries and pruning guidelines for black and purple raspberries. Also find tips for managing weeds, fertilizing, and harvesting.
Irrigation Water Quality for Container-grown Plants
This fact sheet provides target ranges of elements for growing most greenhouse and nursery crops, growth concerns, and interpretation of test results and suggestions for correcting irrigation problems.
Nonchemical Alternatives for the Home Lawn
Homeowners can enjoy healthy, attractive lawns without the use of chemical pesticides. Included are lawn care practices can help establish a healthy, dense lawn that is able to fend off most pest attacks.
Growing Hostas
Introduction to growing and using this popular perennial—including plant characteristics, propagation tips, and possible insect or disease problems.
Community Tree Planting and Care Guide
Take this booklet, which includes the current recommendations of the Iowa Urban and Community Forest Council and Iowa State University, along as you plan, plant, and care for trees that will become tomorrow's community forest.
Common Diseases of Conifers in Iowa
Color photos help you make the right diagnosis for nine diseases. Causal agents, typical host species, symptoms, and disease spread are discussed. Also learn proper maintenance and chemical controls to keep your evergreens healthy.
Responsible Phosphorus Management Practices for Lawns
Following specific phosphorus management practices for turfgrass can help reduce potential pollution in surface water and groundwater.
Harvesting and Drying Flowers
Enjoy flowers all year long in dried arrangements, on wreaths, or in potpourri. Learn which plants are suitable for drying and find out about havesting and preservation techniques. Includes many color photos.
Groundcovers
Select the best ground cover for your yard. Discover what type of plants work best in your area. Special features include 92 color pictures, 43 plant descriptions, and other tips.
Forcing Flower Bulbs
Use bulb forcing to bring the bright colors and fragrant aromas of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, and other spring flowering bulbs indoors with you during winter. Find tips for choosing bulbs, planting, chilling, and after bloom care.
Growing Garden Peonies
Basic information about types of peonies and how to grow them—including tips on planting, fertilizing, and seasonal care.
Small Sprayer Calibration
Pesticides must be applied at the labeled rate to achieve consistent results. Taking the time to properly calibrate the sprayer can improve the performance of the product, diminish the possibility of injury, and reduce pest control costs.
Tomato Diseases and Disorders
Learn about the symptoms and management of common problems for garden and greenhouse tomatoes.
Thatch Control in the Home Lawn
Proper balance of thatch requires a combination of management practices including preventing thatch buildup by reducing plant growth, improving microbial decomposition, and mechanical removal of thatch when necessary.
Why Fruit Trees Fail to Bear
The characteristics of the tree, its environment, the cultural practices used, and the weather all affect a tree'€™s ability to begin and continue to bear fruit. This publication discusses the keys to avoiding poor fruit set.
Harvesting and Storing Apples
Storing apples at home is convenient and, if done properly, can be economical. Home-grown fruit that may otherwise go to waste can be stored for several months. Publication includes tips on harvesting and storing home-grown apples.
Establishing a Lawn from Seed
Following proper procedures and planting high quality seed are the keys to successfully establishing a lawn. More details here.
Turfgrass Management Calendar: Kentucky Bluegrass Lawns
This management calendar is a guide for maintaining turfgrass and diagnosing turfgrass problems in central Iowa. Includes eleven different management areas and tips to adjust calendar for southern or northern Iowa.
Lawn Fertilization
Use this publication to make lawn fertilization decisions based on soil and turfgrass needs, as well as fertilizer content and type. Also find the benefits of fertilizer, application procedures, and necessary precautions in this fact sheet.
Turfgrass Renovation
Turfgrass renovation improves an area by seeding into the existing sod. It is a selective tillage process that falls short of completely reestablishing the turf. Included are step-by-step instructions on renovating turf areas for three situations.
Tree Fruit Pollination
The production of fruit on most plants, trees, and shrubs results from pollination of the blossoms. This publication explores tree fruit pollinations including methods of pollination, blooming times, and a chart to determine which apple cultivars are suitable pollinators.
Asparagus in the Home Garden
Asparagus, one of the most popular spring vegetables, is a hardy perennial that produces edible spears earlier than any other garden vegetable. Learn about site selection, soil preparation, cultivars, weed control, planting, insect pests, harvesting, and after harvest care.

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