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!

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.
Weed Control in Home Lawns
Maintain a weed-free lawn and learn about herbicides and how to use them. Prior to use, it is always wise to check and see if the chemicals mentioned within are allowed in your area.
Starting Garden Transplants at Home
Learn how to start annual flowers and vegetables at home, to enjoy them earlier in the growing season. This publication tells you how to select seeds; choose potting mixes, containers, and seed; and later move seedlings to the garden.
Las hortalizas en recipientes (en español)
Incluye información sobre: construcción, tamaño y capacidad del contenedor; selección de cultivos y densidad de plantación; cuidado de verano (ubicación, riego, fertilización, puntas de tomate). Enumera sugerencias para 12 contenedores de hortalizas (más de 40 cultivares) que incluyen: zanahorias, pepinos, pimientos, espinacas y tomates. Spanish version of Vegetables in Containers
Small Plot Vegetable Gardening
This publication outlines recommendations and techniques for growing quality vegetables in a limited space, including planning, site selection, summer care, and space saving techniques. Lists suggestions for 16 garden vegetables (more than 50 varietals) including: cucumber, green beans, pepper, pole beans, spinach, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, and others.
Watering the Home Garden -- Use of Trickle Irrigation
Hardy vegetable crops draw upon water and nutrients in the soil in order to quickly establish their root systems and sustain rapid growth. This publication illustrates conserving water using soil mulch, hand watering, and sprinklers, and provides detailed pictures and instructions for installing a trickle irrigation system.
Garden Soil Management
Manage your garden soil more effectively. Learn about tillage, integrating organic matter, soil testing and pH, fertilizer application and more.
Planting a Home Vegetable Garden
Provides basic how-to information, including seedbed preparation, seed selection and sowing, and using transplants. Chart gives planting guidelines for 37 vegetables.
Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden
The amount of sunlight, soil type, and other factors are primary considerations when selecting a garden site. Get the details on planning your garden.
Pruning and Training Fruit Trees
This illustrative publication will help you prune and train a variety of fruit trees. The level of pruning is determined by the kind, cultivar, and age of fruit trees.
Harvesting and Storing Vegetables
Harvesting vegetables at the right stage of maturity results in nutritious, high quality products. Consumers can capture the peak flavors of asparagus, Brussels sprouts, melons, garlic, rhubarb, squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, and many other vegetables. This publication provides detailed information for storing more than 30 types of garden vegetables, including recommended storage temperatures, relative humidity, storage life for fresh vegetables, suggested methods for extended preservation, and types of storage facilities.
Rhubarb in the Home Garden
Although classed as a vegetable, rhubarb is used as a fruit because its high acidity gives it a tart flavor. Learn about rhubarb cultivars, how to grow, fertilization, harvesting, care, and disease and insect management.
Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden
Access detailed information about growing June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral strawberries. Find suggestions for selection of cultivars, planting sites, and plant sources. Also find tips for soil preparation, planting options, mulching, disease and insect control, harvesting, and winter protection.
Indoor Plants
Covers foliage and flowering house plants and succulents and florists' plants. Includes 180 color photos and 110 plant descriptions.
Production Guide for Commercial Strawberries
Provides tips to help evaluate local market potential plus guidelines for recommended cultural practices.
Weed Management in the Home Garden
Describes three methods of weed control for the home gardener; includes tips for using mulches effectively.
Home Landscape Planning Worksheet: 12 Steps to a Functional Design
This worksheet will guide you through the process of designing a functional landscape plan -- from gathering the right information to refining the preliminary design and selecting plants. Includes graph paper and 2-part questionnaire.
Tomates (en español)
Como la verdura más popular en el huerto familiar, los tomates son bajos en calorías y altos en vitamina C y antioxidantes. Esta publicación aborda la variedad de formas, tamaños y colores de los tomates con sugerencias para los jardines de Iowa según el color, el tamaño, la forma, el hábito de crecimiento (determinado o indeterminado) y el nombre. También incluye información detallada sobre la siembra, el espaciado, la fertilización, el entrenamiento, los rendimientos, la cosecha y el almacenamiento, incluidos consejos sobre cómo madurar los tomates verdes al final de la temporada.
As the most popular vegetable in the home garden, tomatoes are low in calories and high in vitamin C and antioxidants. This publication addresses the variety of tomato shapes, sizes and colors with suggestions for Iowa gardens based on color, size, shape, growth habit (determinate or indeterminate), and name. Also includes detailed information about planting, spacing, fertilizing, training, yields, harvesting, and storage, including tips on how to ripen end-of-season green tomatoes.
Suggested Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden
This publication suggests two or more produce varieties suited for Iowa gardens based on characteristics including color, size, texture, flavor, vigor, and early or late harvest. Includes more than 60 crops, such as: asparagus, beans, lettuces, endives, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, peas, okra, eggplant, kale, peppers, pumpkins, melons, squash, leeks, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, beets, and several others.
Planting and Harvesting Times for Garden Vegetables
This guide can help northern, southern, and central Iowa vegetable growers schedule the planting of gardens so space may be used efficiently. Includes a staggered planting and harvest chart for crops grown April through October. Detailed planting directions are given for more than 25 common garden crops, such as radishes, lettuces, onions, peas, tomatoes, kale, peppers, squash, melons, and cucumbers.
Fruit Cultivars for Iowa
Get a list of recommended fruit cultivars adapted to the various climatic regions in Iowa. Includes a plant hardiness zone map and detailed information on many fruit cultivars. Replaces PM 1086 and PM 1117.
Roses for the Home
Roses are one of the most popular garden flowers. They can be grown in almost all areas of the North Central region and are adapted to many decorative purposes. New cultivars are introduced each year and are available in a wide range of colors and forms. Many types of roses are available for planting on lawns and boarders, for growing on arbors and trellises, for specimen tree roses, for use as bedding plants or hedges, and as a source of cut flowers.
Landscape Plants for the Midwest
Creating a beautiful, functional landscape depends on putting the right plant in the right place. This collection of plant lists is organized by plant type and size. Each entry also gives the USDA Hardiness zone, light requirements, growth habit, flowering and fruiting characteristics, and additional attributes or comments. Includes a very helpful index.
Home Propagation Techniques
Part of the fun of gardening is in starting your own plants. This illustrated guide summarizes what you need to know about propagating plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions of tuberous roots, ground and air layering, and grafting.
Topdressing Athletic Fields
This publication discusses whether a topdressing program is the right path to take, how to incorporate a program through cultivation, general costs of topdressing, the importance of sand particle size and how much sand is needed when applied on the surface following aerification.
Management and Control of Summer Patch (Magnaporthe poae)
Summer patch and necrotic ring spot are common fungi that affect turfgrass. This publication discusses how to identify the fungi, its characteristics and how to manage it if grass is infected.
Putting the Field to Bed
To insure health in the spring, an athletic field must be properly cared for before winter hits. This publication discusses how to get a fall sport field ready for the winter and how to get a spring sport field ready for competition.
Mowing Your Lawn
Mowing is an extremely common practice related to lawn care. This publication provides information on the frequency a lawn should be mowed and the proper height to cut the grass. Operating a mower is also discussed, as are safety measures.  PM 1213
Managing the Field within the Field
The most important step in site-specific management is the identification of high traffic areas. Proper diagnosis of the cause of the problem, whether due to overuse, compaction, poor drainage, weed encroachment, or various other factors will provide a better return on investment and create increased safety and longevity of all fields.
Short Duration Cover Crops for Vegetable Production Systems
Cover crops are planted not for harvest, but are designed to maintain and enhance the sustainability of a production system by improving soil fertility, water quality and can lead to the suppression of weeds, soil erosion and pests. This publication provides information on how to use short duration cover crops to aid production, especially during a fallow period between two vegetable crops. Choosing the correct cover crop will impact its effectiveness, as will the grower's method of seeding and termination.
Managing Spotted Winged Drosophila in Commercial Fruit Production
Fruit flies native to the U.S. primarily lay eggs in soft, rotting fruit and cause little to no economic loses to undamaged fruits. These fruits flies are considered a nuisance pest to farmers unless the fruit has been previously injured. Spotted winged drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, on the other hand, is an invasive fruit fly that prefers to lay eggs in healthy, maturing fruit. It is native to Southeast Asia including China, India, Japan, Korea, and Thailand (Walsh et al., 2011), where the climate is similar to the Midwest.
Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide
This 172-page guide contains a spray schedule and background information for commercial producers of apples, pears, cherries, peaches, plums, grapes and berries.
Sodding a New Lawn
Sodding is the quickest way to establish a new turf area around new construction or to repair damaged lawns. While spring and fall are the preferable sodding times for cool-season grasses, sod can be established whenever the ground is not frozen or snow-covered. This publication provides homeowners with an overview of items to consider when establishing a new lawn and steps to take for best results. Previously known as PM 491 - Sod Establishment
Natural (Organic) Fertilization for Turf
Increased environmental concerns surrounding soluble nitrogen sources have forced many to reconsider organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers, as well as slow-release synthetic sources, release small amounts of nitrogen over long periods. University research from across the country has concluded that when applied correctly, organic and slow-release products will reduce environmental impact.
Recommended Tomato Varieties for Commercial Production in Iowa
A publication providing information on suitable tomato varieties for commercial field and high tunnel production in Iowa. Even home growers of tomatoes will find a number of determinate and indeterminate cultivars available for Midwest temperatures and soil types.
Selecting a Grass Species for Iowa Lawns
No one type of grass species will thrive in all landscapes. Environmental conditions vary from one side of the state to the other. New, improved cultivars possess specific characteristics to counter these variations and are now available to Iowa homeowners. These guidelines for selecting a grass species will help prevent lawn problems in the future.
Fall Tips to Ensure a Healthy Green Yard in the Spring
In the fall, is the perfect time for maintaining your lawn. It's time to focus on turfgrass practices such as mowing, aeration, fertilization and seeding. The work you do in the fall helps your lawn recover from summer stresses and prepares it for another Iowa winter. This publication offers best practices to ensure a healthy lawn through the fall months and to start next spring with the necessary steps.
Preventing Compaction on Athletic Fields
This publication highlights school professionals and their influence on the overall use of the athletic field and natural turf quality.
Griffith Buck: Rose Hybridizer
Griffith Buck introduced 85 rose cultivars plus 15 geraniums and a heliotrope during his nearly 40 years at Iowa State. Here's more information about the man and his plants.
Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers
This annual guide is a summary of currently suggested vegetable varieties, seeding rates, fertilizer rates, weed control, insect control, and disease control measures for commercial growers. The recommendations are for growers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. This guide is also available in PDF from Purdue University.