Hortline: Providing Assistance to Iowans with Horticulture Questions

Richard Jauron, P&S, Horticulture

Situation:

Gardening continues to be a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by thousands of Iowans. 

Objective:

Provide unbiased, scientific information to Iowans with gardening questions. 

Activities/Output:

During the period from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, approximately 3,500 callers received assistance from Hortline.  Another 1,000 individuals received responses to their e-mail questions.  Horticultural information was also distributed to Iowans via the Horticulture and Home Pest News, Yard and Garden column, and the Iowa Horticulturist.  Information was also delivered via a weekly 50-minute call-in horticulture program on WOI-AM and television segments (Gardening in the Zone). 

Impact/Outcomes:

Since 1983, Iowans have been able to obtain answers to their gardening questions by calling Iowa State Universitys Hortline.  Approximately 185,000 calls have been received since Hortlines inception. 

The subject matter of the callers question and other information has been collected since 1983.  Several trends are apparent when looking at the period from 1984 to 2006.  Vegetable related questions have fallen from 25.5% in 1984 to 15.0% in 2006.  Tree and small fruits have seen smaller declines.  On the other hand, woody plant related questions have risen from 22.2% in 1984 to 31.5% in 2006.  Turfgrass and herbaceous ornamental questions have seen smaller increases.  The number of male callers has risen slightly in the past few years.  In the period from 1984 through 1986, 34.9% of the callers were male.  Males were 38.3% of the callers in the period from 2004 through 2006. 

A poster containing this data was presented at the 2007 American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

2007
130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer

Page last updated: September 28, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu