Horticulture

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Poinsettia are beautiful holiday plants, but if you’re given one as a host or hostess or pick up one in the store, how do you care for it after the holidays?  

Monika Schnell / IPR Listener, Iowa City

If you look closely at the trees right now, you can see things previous hidden, like the nests of bald-faced hornets.

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

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Have you started getting your garden ready for winter? 

Usually Melancholy / flickr

They are easy to grow, decorative and delicious.

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Demand for organic produce in Iowa is growing.

Caustic Cucumbers

Sep 30, 2014
Courtesy photo

Along with Iowa' s more traditional crops, two species of cucumber vines are having a bumper year.  You won't find them at the farmer's market though, because they're weeds. The light green vines can grow as long as 30 feet and will coil around anything they touch. They've been showing up in windbreaks in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Iowa State University Agronomy professor Bob Hartzler says the vines are very aggressive and will return year after year.

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We give insects credit for pollination, but we often take their other work for granted. 

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.

Lynn Betts / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa is nestled in the center of America’s breadbasket; one of our most precious resources is beneath our feet. But it’s a resource in jeopardy.

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

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

Sebastian Stabinger / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If your tree is looking a little tired with the leaves curling up and falling off, or the needles on your pine turning brown, it could be a disease. 

National Weather Service/NOAA

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

Clagett Farm CSA / Wikimedia, Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License

Farmers' markets are hopping, CSA boxes are full to bursting, and gardens all over the state are starting to produce, but sometimes a bumper crop can be hard to handle. 

Amy Mayer/IPR

A fast spreading, crop destroying weed may be coming to the farms near you.

Palmer amaranth, which has plagued southern farms for decades, has been marching across the Midwest. It can decimate a crop. It can withstand many common herbicides. And it can cost farmers millions.

Roger Hargrafen, a farmer in Muscatine County, Iowa, is on the front lines in the battle against Palmer amaranth. His is one of four Iowa farms confirmed as having it.

Leo Seta under Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 / Flickr

Everyone knows that morel mushrooms are delicious, but our forests and fields hold a lot of other wild delicacies too.

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.

Everyone knows you can grow black walnuts in Iowa.  But, there are actually a lot of other nuts we can grow too, and some of them may surprise you.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Jensen of Trees Forever, and Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm in Wapello about hickory nuts, pecans, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and more.  Horticulturist Richard Jauron answers non-nut related questions.

Todd Ehlers

Put heat, light, water and nitrogen together and you get lakes and ponds that are choked with plant growth.  It's Horticulture Day and host, Charity Nebbe, talks with Allen Patillo, Iowa State University Extension Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialist about aquatic plant management.  Later in the hour ISU Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron and DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh join the conversation to answer listener questions about plants and trees. 

Amy Mayer/IPR

Nathan Anderson stops his red pick-up truck alongside a cornfield on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. The young farmer pulls on a heavy brown hoodie, thick long, sturdy yellow gloves and a beekeeper’s hat with a screened veil. He approaches a pair of hives sitting on the edge of a field recently planted with corn.

Craigsypoo / Flickr under Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When you don't have room to build out, you build up.  The same rule applies to gardening.  It's horticulture day and Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Linda Naeve about adding a new dimension to our garden or landscape with vertical gardening, including trellises, stakes, cages, archways and green walls.  Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron joins in to answer listener questions.

Paul Hudson

Purple foliage, purple flowers and purple fruits and veggies… Horticulturist Cindy Haynes has a passion for purple.

Today on Talk of Iowa, it’s Horticulture Day. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Cindy about purple plants for your landscape and garden. Horticulturist Richard Jauron and Cindy also answer listener questions about all plant and garden needs.

Ben Kieffer

The spring planting season is upon us and farmers are racing to get crops in the ground.

So yesterday morning, host Ben Kieffer hopped aboard a tractor with Jim Sladek, of JCS Family Farms in Johnson County, to get his perspective on the start of a new season and the challenges he faces, including soil erosion. Jim also demonstrated the amazing amount of technology that can be used in farming today.

Dendroica curulea

They've been waiting in the ground for 17 years, but the wait is almost over.  In just a few short weeks, a large brood of 17 year cicadas will emerge in 46 counties in Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Entomologist Donald Lewis about what to expect and how these remarkable and long-lived insects survive.

Plant a Tree!

Apr 25, 2014
Bianca de Blok

It's Arbor Day and in Iowa the Emerald Ash Borer has a lot of people thinking about diversifying the trees in their landscape.  On this "Horticulture Day" edition of Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe talks with DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh about the work being done at Iowa's State Forest Nursery and how to pick the right tree to plant in your landscape.

Unlocking Prairie Secrets from a Sod House

Apr 15, 2014
Jackie Sojico/for Harvest Public Media

 

Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19th century. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.

Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell about developments surrounding the confidential settlements within Governor Branstad's administration and the end of the legislative session.

Also, planting season is right around the corner. Iowa State University agronomist and ISU Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor discusses soil conditions throughout Iowa.

Spring Lawn Care

Apr 11, 2014
Guneet Narula

The grass is finally starting to get green… or maybe your lawn isn’t following suit.

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ryan Adams, Iowa State University Extension turf grass specialist, about springtime lawn care. He and horticulturist Richard Jauron answer questions about your lawn, garden and landscape.

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