County News

March 21, 2017

MG Article by Richard Jauron and Greg Wallace.

Winter 2017 has been unusually mild in Iowa, with daily high temperatures in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  This is good news for those who dislike snow and icy conditions, but it can confuse spring-flowering bulbs and lead to early growth.

February 15, 2017

Article by Denise Klemp

Many of us are having a great time looking through the seed catalogs that have recently arrived in the mail.  Catalogs are a great source of information, highlighting new plant varieties, giving us fresh ideas for the planting season, and providing brief descriptions of plants along with essential requirements for growing success.  

February 7, 2017

MG Article by Linda Skvor

That small window of opportunity to trim oak trees (December through the end of February) is quickly nearing its end, so if you still have this item on your winter to-do list, better get to it soon.  So why only a few months to prune my oaks?  Oaks are susceptible to oak wilt, a fungal disease which is spread by sap-feeding beetles.  

February 2, 2017

MG Article by Denise Klemp

Everyone loves bouquets of fresh flowers. They bring the beauty and scents of the garden indoors.  One of the ongoing dilemmas for gardeners is to make the decision to give up blooms from established gardens for bouquets, or leave them to enhance the yard.  Solution: Make plans for a cutting garden of annuals for an endless supply of blooms.  

February 2, 2017

MG Article by Judy Stevens

Parsley is a plant that appears to be very common yet has unique qualities that aren't known by people. This common herb derives its name from a Greek word meaning “rock celery” and it is a member of the celery family. In warmer parts of the country it's a biennial which can self-seed. In Iowa it's treated as an annual unless brought inside for the winter.

January 18, 2017

MG Article by Tina Patterson, LCMG

There's a hot new trend in houseplants. It's modern, sleek, natural, and unpretentious. It's Kokedama. From the Japanese, loosely translated, ‘Koke’ meaning moss and ‘Dama’ means ball.  

January 18, 2017

MG Article by Linda Skvor, LCMG

Houseplants can be a wonderful addition to a home, adding a pop of color against a neutral wall and making winter a little more bearable indoors.  Any houseplant can be difficult to grow, however, when your son’s cat considers a plant his personal playground.   

January 12, 2017

FREE Garden Classes will be presented by the Linn County Master Gardeners (LCMG).  No pre-registration is required!

December 27, 2016

Article by Becki Lynch

The first seed catalog is soon to arrive full of the promise of summer and the temptation of varieties untried. Then the next catalog, and the next, and so on, making seed choices overwhelming. Here are a few tips from the National Gardening Association on how to differentiate and choose the best seeds.

December 27, 2016

Article by Lisa Slattery and Judy Stevens

This Christmas I sure hope you are enjoying a beautiful holiday plant as part of your seasonal festivities. If you give your holiday plant a little tender-loving-care it will last as long as possible, bringing you joy well into the new year. 

December 12, 2016

Article by Tina Patterson

Even when the snowflakes fly, we can let our thoughts turn to gardening.  We might have put our beds to sleep, tucked in our planters, and emptied our pots for the season, but there still can be a TO DO list for the garden.  Take care of your tools and your equipment now to be ready to hit the garden path in the spring.

December 5, 2016

MG Article by Linda Skvor

Winter weather has arrived and young trees need a little TLC to avoid a common malady called Sunscald. 

November 29, 2016

The Holiday season is upon us and that means not only decorations, but holiday plants! This is the time of year when there is an abundance of nice holiday plants to choose from, whether purchased from a florist, nursery or grown at home. One of the most popular plants to give or receive at this time of year is the Christmas cactus. Or is it an Easter or Thanksgiving cactus?

November 21, 2016

Gazette Article - Author is Becki Lynch

Now that most outside chores are done for the year, and nature is going into hibernation, many of us look for something to grow inside.  We love to bring the flavors and fragrances of the garden inside by growing some herbs in the house.

November 21, 2016

Gazette Article - Author is Tina Patterson

One kind word can warm three winter months- Japanese Proverb

Without adequate means to bestow kind words on our garden critter friends, we can do kind things for them this fall to allow them a healthy, warm, and more comfortable winter.

November 21, 2016

Gazette Article - Author is Lisa Slattery

Having a pretty winter-themed floral arrangement grace your table is one of the delights of the holiday season.  But for real holiday cheer, create large outdoor holiday containers brimming full of greens. Each year, I create several large decorated pots for both my front porch and back deck. 

November 2, 2016

Gazette Article - Author is Linda Skvor

November is a good time to start preparing your roses for winter. 

October 25, 2016

Gazette article 10-30-16 by Judy Stevens

As you look at the beautiful plants that have grown from bulbs you planted last spring it's hard to let the cold weather destroy them.  I actually enjoy digging my bulbs and storing them for next spring planting.  I feel like I have cached lots of foliage and flowers for next year’s enjoyment.

October 25, 2016

Gazette article 10-16-16 by Lisa Slattery

It's officially Fall and our temperatures will go up and down for a little bit before real cold sets in. Protecting plants from colder temperatures to prolong the growing season is possible but you need to understand when it truly is the end. 

October 25, 2016

Gazette article 10-13-16 by Liza Slattery

Once Fall temperatures cool it's time to plant Spring bulbs. If you've never planted bulbs before some common varieties that perform well in the home garden are crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. These are considered hardy bulbs and are easy to work with. 

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