Hort Day

John / Flickr

In September, master gardeners from all over the world will gather in Council Bluffs, Iowa to share ideas and learn from each other. On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes about the International Master Gardener’s Conference and about what to plant if you don’t want to plant hostas.

Isidre blanc / Wikimedia Commons

More and more gardeners and entrepenuers are getting started growing hops in Iowa. Diana Cochran, a horticulture specialist with Iowa State University, says its for good reason; Iowa is a great place to grow hops, as long as a grower can keep the plants disease free. 

"They grow well here. It's the humidity that is a factor because of disease. They need well drained soil, but otherwise, the problems that you'll see here really have to do with disease," she says. 

John Tann / Flickr

If you head out for a hike, there's a decent chance you'll return with a hitchhiker. All three types of ticks in Iowa are active right now. 

Donald Lewis, an entomologist with Iowa State University extension, speaks with host Charity Nebbe about ticks. ISU Extension horticulturist Richard Jauron and DNR district forester Mark Vitosh also join the conversation.

Llez / Wikimedia Commons

Sweet potatoes are often thought of as a southern plant, but with the right care, they can thrive in Iowa.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ajay Nair, Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, about the ins and outs of growing sweet potatoes in your own backyard. Technique is key.

David Prasad / Flickr

Prairie rehabilitation has become an important part of restoring native plants and wildlife in many communities. One noticeable change in recent years is that many prairies are being grown on a smaller scale, in urban environments and backyards across Iowa.

Ken_from_MD / Flickr

Walk into a garden center this time of year, and you’ll be greeted with row upon row of colorful flowers and other bedding plants. But all that variety can seem a bit overwhelming at times.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, horticulturists Richard Jauron and Chris Curry of Iowa State University put your worries to bed when it comes to approaching your big trip to the garden center.

It all starts out with having a game plan before even stepping foot in the garden center, so you know what to look for.

Wikimedia Commons

Now that the snow is gone, it’s easy to see where the dead spots are in your lawn. If that’s making you eager to seed your yard, Iowa State University Horticulture Professor Nick Christians tells host Charity Nebbe he recommends waiting a month or two.

  “A common mistake that people make is that they buy seed, and they put it out but nothing happens because the soil is too cool. It will be well into April before rye grasses will germinate and well into May before blue grasses will germinate.”

Julie Falk / Flickr

Though the weather's warmed up in Iowa, colder dips are still to come. So how do you extend your growing season?

Adam Fagen / Flickr

The snow is starting to melt and that means it's time to prune back trees before spring weather arrives. 

Dennis Brown via Wikimedia Commons

Temperatures outside have been frigid, but there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy gardening and prepare for the spring.

Liz West / Flickr

Most flowers travel thousands of miles each year  before being sold for Valentine’s Day.

Just because its January, doesn't mean there aren't flowers in bloom. 

gapowell / flickr

Monarch butterfly numbers have declined dramatically. Now it looks like they may be put on the Endangered Species List.

Wikimedia Commons

For the seasoned gardener, seed catalogs have already begun to arrive in the mail.

There's a great deal of history to be found on most university campuses--but not just in the buildings and the libraries.

Roadsidepictures / Flickr

The answer is: probably zero. ISU entomologist Donald Lewis says fears and myths about spiders are overblown.

Usually Melancholy / flickr

They are easy to grow, decorative and delicious.

TumblingRun / Flickr

Summer is officially over, but the changing of the seasons brings a whole new type of beauty to our Iowa landscape.

Karen Blaha / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa and Georgia have one thing in common: they're known for their signature crop. But one man is blurring those lines. 

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

When we think of Iowa landscape, Iowa prairie and Iowa farm field immediately come to mind. But there's an unexpected gem of Iowa land that often gets overlooked: the fen. 

And just like that… suddenly it’s Fall (or feels like it).  On this Horticulture Day, Denny Schrock, Iowa Master Gardener Coordinator is here along with Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron.  We talk about bulbs, spring blooming and fall blooming bulbs.  Just in time for some possible frost that might hit northern Iowa tonight.

Noah Sussman / Flickr

Like it or not, summer is nearly gone. But you don’t have to say goodbye to summer produce.

gabontour / flickr

Over the next few weeks the green in our fields will turn to gold and the leaves on the trees will begin to change.

Wikimedia Commons

How does your lawn look?  If the answer is, “not so good,” now is the time to do something about it.

Wikimedia Commons

If you've been looking at your yard this summer thinking "a tree would look great there," now is the time to take action. 

National Weather Service/NOAA

This week, thick clouds of millions of mayflies emanated from the Mississippi River in Northeast Iowa.

The "Hort Gang" from Iowa State is back today.  One of the gang, Cindy Haynes, Assoc. Prof. of Horticulture at Iowa State University, fills us in on ISU's upcoming "Field Days," offering gardeners a chance to get ideas for their own gardens and see a wide variety of plants in action.  The "Field Days" are held at a variety of locations across Iowa.

Also on the program is regular Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist and Iowa DNR District Forester, Mark Vitosh of Iowa City. 

Summer Lull for Plants

Jun 20, 2014
Nikos Koutoulas

Spring is a riot of blossoms and fall brings with it beautiful changes in color. But in the midst of summer, there can be a bit of a lull.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

It continues to be a tough year for trees in Iowa. The Polar Vortex left its mark on many trees and shrubs, and now a tenth county has been added to the list of counties in Iowa where the Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered. That county is Johnson County, and an adult female Emerald Ash Borer was found in Iowa City.

Also, listeners have their plant and garden questions answered by Jeff Iles, Professor and Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist.

dapawprint (Flickr)

They float, swarm, harass and irritate, and they can even take down a chicken or a turkey. The gnats are back. But when we complain about “gnats,” Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says, sometimes we might be misplacing blame. 

"Saying you are annoyed by a gnat is like saying you were passed on the interstate by a vehicle… It’s a two mile wide term. Ask yourself – are the bugs bothering you or are they biting you?”

Pages