Resources

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.
How to Air Layer a Houseplant
Learn how to propagate houseplants successfully by air layering. Includes list of materials needed and step-by-step picture instructions.
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.
Commercial Potato Production Guide
Potatoes are the world'€s most important vegetable crop and have been grown in the United States since the early 1700s. This publication discusses the many different types of potato and their characteristics, recommended planting practices and fertilization. It also talks about pests and diseases that can harm the potato and what can be done to combat them.
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
Organic Turfgrass Fertilization
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.
Conservation Techniques for Vegetable Production: Combining Strip-Tillage and Cover Crops
Strip-tillage is when a crop is planted into narrow, tilled strips and the non-tilled area between the strips might contain residue from the previous season's main crop or a living or dead cover crop.
 Combining strip-tillage and cover crops offers various benefits including minimal soil erosion, maintains soil moisture and weed suppression. This publication provides basic information on using a strip-tillage system with rolled cover crops as a conservation best management practice in vegetable production systems such broccoli, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.
Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Systems
Vegetable production systems require inputs and if not managed properly could have detrimental effects on soil and the environment. Cover crops are gaining importance and growers can used them as a best practice tool in preserving environmental sustainability of vegetable cropping systems without compromising farm productivity and profitability.
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.
Athletic Field Seeding and Irrigation Tips
Due to the high demand for athletic fields, renovation intervals of fields have become shorter over the last decade. Facilities are being pushed for quick turnaround to make game fields ready, from less than one year of establishment to as short as 3-€“4 months. This publication provides athletic turf managers with alternative seeding rates and irrigation options for reviving current grass or complete renovation of field turf.
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.
The mission of the Iowa State University Extension Master Gardener Program is to provide current, research-based, home horticulture information and education to the citizens of Iowa through programs and projects. Through their participation in educational activities, Master Gardeners also increase their own personal knowledge in horticulture. Master Gardeners extend Iowa State University Extension’s consumer horticulture education programs through volunteer activity.

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