Greg Wallace
Organizational Advancement

515-294-1327
gwallace@iastate.edu

Articles by this author:

Spring is here, and hostas are a popular part of outdoor landscaping plans. They are easy to grow, but certain steps in planting and dividing them must be followed in order to ensure optimal performance.

Although snow is on the ground in much of Iowa, spring is upon us. It’s time to think about planting gardens, but before that happens, proper care must be taken to ensure the soil is ready for growth. That means fertilizing soil, testing it and, perhaps, applying materials like lime.

Spring planting season is upon us, and it’s time to think about how those gardens will be populated with vegetables that will yield a bountiful harvest later in the year. All vegetables have an optimal planting time that helps them properly mature and maximize their potential.

The calendar has flipped to March, and spring is just around the corner. In Iowa, of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of freezing temperatures associated with a late-spring frost. Protecting plants from such events is important, but when should precautions be removed?

February has brought unusually warm temperatures across Iowa, with record highs topping the 70-degree mark. However, it won’t last forever. Winter temperatures will return, but that could confuse trees, shrubs and plants which flower earlier than normal. Will this cause problems?

Winter 2017 has been unusually mild in Iowa, with daily high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and approaching record highs. This is good news for those who dislike snow and icy conditions, but it can confuse spring-flowering bulbs and lead to early growth. 
 

Winter weather still rules Iowa’s landscape these days, but spring isn’t far off on the horizon. It’s time to think about spring flowers and getting a head start by starting tubers indoors. It’s an excellent way to get plants growing even ahead of the final frost. 

There are several ways to propagate a tree or plant on a new landscape. While planting trees, shrubs or vines directly is one option, another is using hardwood stem cuttings to promote new growth with help from the previous growing season.

Soon it will be time for apple trees to bloom and bear delicious fruit for all to enjoy. But not all apple trees are fruitful. Why are some trees more productive than others? There are several reasons worth exploring.

With winter’s cold and ice here, spring planting might not exactly be front-of-mind. But this is a perfect time to get a jump start on spring by germinating and starting seedlings indoors, which later can be transplanted outside for optimal growth during warmer weather.