Hort Day

Virginia Daffron

The end of the growing season is in sight, but there's still time to add more plants to your landscape!

 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Aaron Steil, Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens in Ames, and Patrick O'Malley, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, about late season planting and unusual fruit crops.

 

We usually think of spring when we think of adding new foliage to our gardens, but there are a number of factors that make fall a great time of year for planting, too.

 

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition

This summer we’ve seen below average temperatures, above average temperatures, very dry conditions, and flooding. The weather has been stressing a lot of people out and it’s taken a toll on some trees.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Jeff Iles, professor and chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Mark Vistosh, DNR forester, about how to identify when your trees might be struggling.

Pixabay

If you’ve been struggling with a patchy lawn all summer, the time to act is now. 

 

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Extension turf grass specialist Adam Thoms about seeding, re-seeding, core aeration, and other late summer tasks.

 

Thoms says that Mid-August through mid-September is the ideal time to seed your lawn because the fall weather makes it hard for weeds to germinate.

Late Summer and Fall Planting

Aug 17, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

 

The signs of fall are starting to surface: shorter days, school supply shopping, and flowers dimming. But despite these signs, there is still time to plant vegetables and prepare for the impending cooler weather. On this Horticulture Day, DNR Forester Mark Vitosh and Iowa State University Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron talk with Charity Nebbe about what to plant at this time of year.

Photo Courtesy of Iowa State University Extension

Iowa has a new invasive species, the jumping worm, and it spells bad news for soil health. According to Iowa State University extension entomologist Donald Lewis, the worms have been in New England for a decade. They are also found in Iowa's border states, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 

University of Wyoming Extension

Is your once uniform and lush lawn now looking rusty or being invaded by crabgrass? A wet June into a dry July may have you wondering how to make your lawn green again.

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Jason Burns tackles lawn care with Nick Christians, turf grass expert and Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University.

"Crabgrass is definitely the big issue this summer," Christians says. "It loves wet weather so the conditions have been perfect this year."

Hiroki H.

Pink tomatoes, purple snap beans, yellow cauliflower, orange winter squash. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturalists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron about planting and harvesting a colorful vegetable garden. They also share information about the upcoming ISU Horticulture Field Days being held at demonstration gardens across the state.

How to Keep Your Garden Rose-y This Summer

Jul 16, 2018
Kikuo Teranishi / Wikimedia Commons

Roses have found their way into our hearts and into our gardens. Whatever beautiful species of rose brings color to your garden, Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, and Richard Jauron of ISU Extension discuss how to get the most out of your roses.

“This year is going to be a little rough for disease issues with roses,” said Steil. “It has been warm. It has been wet, which is the perfect situation for two major diseases that hit roses: black spot and powdery mildew.”

When to Trim Back Tree Branches

Jul 13, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

 

Two people lost their lives on July 3rd when a large Oak tree branch fell on them as they were watching fireworks in Rock Island, Illinois. While there’s likely no way to know if the accident was preventable, it’s a tragic reminder that we should all be aware of the health of the trees in our landscape. 

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Iles, professor and chair of Iowa State University's Department of Horticulture, about trees.

 

Rolf Dietrich Brecher / Wikimedia Commons

 

The recent wet weather has been too much for some gardens, and it has made some Iowa insects happy and healthy. Entomologist Donald Lewis and horticulturist Richard Jauron talked with Charity Nebbe about earwigs, springtails and other insects that are thriving in the damp conditions.

Lewis says that earwigs enjoy the place between the mulch and soil, where conditions are warm and humid.

 

McFarland's Mill

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, about how you can use mulch in your garden this summer. 

"Mulch has a lot of good characteristics to it and good advantages in a garden," Naeve says. "Most of us think, oh I want to mulch to keep the weeds down... but it also helps conserve soil moisture."

Yancas / Flickr

Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs— gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. 

Renee Harper

Ripe strawberries right out of the garden are one of the joys of summer. It's important to know how to select strawberry varieties, harvest the fruit, and even—after a few good harvests—renovate an old strawberry patch.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Denny Schrock, State Master Gardener Coordinator, has some suggestions for growing the sweetest fruit.

"If you’re doing the June bearing variety, you want to plant those 18 to 24 inches apart," Schrock says. "If you have good Iowa loam, you should have a good crop of strawberries." 

Stephen Bowler

Rhubarb is one of the first flavors of spring. It's delicious in desserts and, some would argue, out of hand. On this Talk of Iowa, we share tips for growing rhubarb.

Linda Naeve, ISU Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, says growing rhubarb can be a breeze.

"The right site is pretty easy - full sun, well-drained. Simple," Naeve says. 

Samantha Forsberg

Every spring they burst forth, usually in late May or early June. You see them on farmsteads and in city landscapes. They're spectacular. They smell amazing. They don't last long. They're peonies.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Cindy Haynes, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, about how best to care for peonies.

SD Dirk

It's National Public Gardens Day, a wonderful opportunity to visit and celebrate the many public gardens in Iowa. Public parks like the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Reiman Gardens in Ames, and the Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton are just some of many across the state. Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil describes what sets these public gems apart.

Jeremy Keith

Some crops take a little more room to grow than others. Vine crops, like cucumbers, squashes, and melons, love to spread as they grow. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Ajay Nair, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, about growing vine crops. Nair recommends mounds for vine crops that spread on the ground, and he says it helps with aeration.

"For cucumbers, you should try to do the trellising," Nair says. He also has recommendations for selecting pickling cultivars.

Univ. of Iowa Arborist Andrew Dahl

Cool temperatures, plentiful moisture and a long growing season ahead make spring the best time to plant trees. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with ISU Professor and Horticulture Department Chair Jeff Iles and Richard Jauron of Iowa State University Extension about the best methods and timing for planting trees. They also answer listener questions. 

Serres Fortier

Purple foliage is striking against a landscape of green, pops against neutral-colored siding, and can add color to a garden year-round. For Cindy Haynes, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, a plum tree planted her passion for the purple pigment, and her garden hasn't been the same since.

"You don't want an all purple foliage garden because then nothing stands out," Haynes says. "I've tried it, I know."

Andy Miccone

As April showers kick off spring weather across the state, flowers are beginning to bloom, and grasses are starting to grow. Iowa State University Extension turfgrass specialist, Adam Thoms, shares some advice for how to establish and maintain healthy lawns.

“Never apply more than ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet," Thoms says. If you're applying corn gluten meal, make sure not to exceed 20 pounds of meal per 1000 square feet, Thoms adds.

Ziggy Liloia

In just a few weeks, it'll be time to search for the elusive and delectable morel mushroom. Aspiring morel hunters and experienced foragers alike can look to the forests for this fungal delicacy. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Mark Vitosh, Forester for the Department of Natural Resources, about where, when, and how to scout for the hard-to-find morels.

Sharon Dowdy

It’s too early to get to work in the garden, but it is time to think about your trees and shrubs.

On this horticulture day episode of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, who has some pruning advice.

“For a lot of the shade trees out there, you can be pruning right now,” Steil says. “The general rule of thumb is to never remove more than a third.”

Steil and Richard Jauron, ISU Extension horticulture specialist, talk about shade trees, shrubs, and answer listener questions.

Lucy Crosble

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Linda Naeve, ISU Extension Value Added Agriculture Program Specialist, about taking our seed starting skills to the next level. It helps to start with the right medium.

"We recommend you go to the garden center and invest in a seed-starting mix," Naeve says. "A soil-less media that contains peat, perhaps vermiculite, very fine medium. That medium drains well."

Andrew Fogg

Orchids are beautiful, fragile, and extremely popular. As appealing as they are, the idea of growing orchids can be a bit intimidating. Proper watering is key. Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, recommends against ice cube irrigation.

"If ice is always on the plant or if there's a lot of ice on the plant a lot of the time, that medium is never allowed to dry out completely," Steil says. It is important for orchids to get as dry as possible, without becoming bone dry, before watering again.

Dean Borg

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that the holiday falls in the dead of winter. When buying a bouquet, it can be hard to determine how best to care for cut flowers and make them last.

Cindy Haynes, a horticulturalist from Iowa State University, has some tips for selecting cut flowers.

“We like roses that are fairly tight in bud that are showing good color,” Haynes says. “Red roses and some of the darker colored roses don’t show that damage quite as much as something like a white rose.”

New Year's Resolutions for Your Garden

Jan 5, 2018
Image courtesy of Reiman Gardens

The harsh winter weather is upon us this January, and many Iowans are left longingly looking at their outdoor gardens buried in snow wondering what they can do to stay busy during the winter months. While some may opt to visit Iowa's many wonderful indoor botanical gardens, another option is to create a similar atmosphere within your own home. Assistant director of Reiman Gardens, Aaron Steil, has suggestions how to create a humid atmosphere for plants to grow.

Image courtesy of Ildefonso Gómez Sierra

The plants outside are starting to change their shape and color. Given that the trees have shed their leaves and the ground is too frozen to plant almost anything, many Iowans are left twiddling their green thumbs wondering how they can manage to plant anything in this weather. Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, suggests planting some holly.

Image courtesy of cocoparisienne

With the holiday season just around the corner, many living rooms will soon be filled with towering Christmas trees and holiday plants like poinsettias. Many Iowans have questions about how to care for these plants, and DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh has advice for those who would like to keep their trees properly hydrated indoors.

Protecting Your Winter Garden

Nov 17, 2017
Artem Vasev

It’s mid-November, and winter weather is already upon us. Many Iowans want to know how to prepare their yard and garden for winter. Winter garden care involves covering strawberries, prepping roses, and getting ready to fend off hungry rabbits. Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames has advice for those who want to protect their strawberries.

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