Extension News

Ask the ISU Experts

Note to media editors:

Got gardening questions? Contact the Hortline at (515) 294-3108 (M-F; 10-12 and 1-4:30) or send an e-mail to hortline@iastate.edu. For more gardening information visit us at Yard and Garden Online at www.yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu





I would like to move some of my spring-flowering bulbs. When can they be dug? 

If you would like to dig and move spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, wait until the foliage has turned brown and died. Once dug, the bulbs can be separated and replanted immediately. If planting isn’t possible, dry the bulbs for one or two weeks and then store them until fall. Place the dried bulbs in mesh bags and store them in a cool (50 to 60 degrees F), dry location until fall planting. Periodically check the bulbs during summer and discard any that show signs of decay. 


How should I water a newly sodded lawn? 

A newly sodded lawn should be watered once or twice a day for the first seven to 10 days. Apply enough water to moisten the sod and upper 1 inch of soil. The sod should root to the soil in about 10 days. At this point, gradually reduce the frequency of watering, but water more deeply. After the sod has been mowed three or four times, a deep watering once a week should be adequate. 


When can I harvest cabbage? 

The harvest of cabbage may begin when the heads are firm and the size of a softball. Mature cabbage should be harvested when the heads are solid and tight, before they crack or split. Splitting is caused by excessive water uptake; the resulting pressure splits the head. Splitting of mature heads may be prevented by pulling the plant upward and gently twisting. Some of the roots will be broken, thereby reducing water uptake. 


Cabbage may be placed in a perforated plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator. A cool, moist (32 degrees F, 98 to 100 percent relative humidity) storage site is required for prolonged storage up to three to four months. 


What would be a good planting site for a pagoda dogwood? 

The pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is a large shrub or small tree. Plants typically grow 15 to 25 feet tall and have a similar width. Ornamental characteristics include a horizontal branching habit, creamy white flowers in late spring and reddish purple fall foliage. The pagoda dogwood requires a cool, partially shaded site and a moist, well-drained soil. Eastern exposures and other protected locations are generally the best planting sites. Avoid hot, dry, exposed areas. 



Contacts :

Richard Jauron, Horticulture, (515) 294-1871, rjauron@iastate.edu

Jean McGuire, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-7033, jmcguire@iastate.edu