Extension News

Ask the ISU Experts

Note to media editors:

Got gardening questions? Contact the Hortline at (515) 294-3108 (Monday - Friday; 10 a.m. - noon and 1-4:30 p.m.) 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


When can I plant peas? 
Peas are a cool season crop. They should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in spring (late March in southern Iowa, early April in central portions of the state and mid-April in northern counties). Sow seeds 1 to 1.5 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. Peas can be grown in single or double rows. Double rows should be approximately 6 inches apart. Double rows allow plants of bush varieties to cling and hold up one another. Place netting or a trellis between double rows of tall varieties to provide support. Single and double rows should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart. 

What are the differences between the various types of strawberries? 
There are basically three types of strawberries grown in home gardens. They differ in growth, flowering and fruiting characteristics. 

June-bearers are the most widely planted type of strawberry. June-bearing strawberries develop flower buds in late summer and fall as the day length shortens (nights become longer) and the temperatures cool. The following spring, flowering occurs and the fruit typically ripen in the month of June. The plants are strictly vegetative during the summer months. June-bearing strawberries produce runners during the long days (short nights) and high temperatures of summer. Excellent June-bearing strawberry varieties for Iowa include ‘Earliglow,’ ‘Honeoye,’ ‘Surecrop,’ ‘Allstar,’ ‘Jewel’ and ‘Lateglow.’ 

The second type of strawberry is the everbearing strawberry. Everbearing strawberries produce late spring and late summer/early fall crops with little or no flowering and fruiting during the remainder of the year. Everbearers produce few runners and tend to form several crowns.  Everbearing strawberry varieties that perform well in Iowa include ‘Ft. Laramie,’ ‘Ogallala’ and ‘Ozark Beauty.’ 

Day-neutral strawberries are the third type of strawberry. They are regarded as improved, more productive everbearing-type strawberries. Day-neutral refers to the response of the plants to day length. Day-neutral strawberries are not strongly influenced by day length and may flower and set fruit throughout the summer months. Day-neutral varieties perform best during the cooler periods of the growing season and are not very productive during hot weather. ‘Tribute’ and ‘Tristar’ are the best day-neutral strawberry varieties for Iowa. 

Is it possible to divide a clematis? 
It is possible to divide large, vigorous clematis vines. Early spring (just as new growth begins to appear) is the best time to dig and divide the sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora), Jackman clematis (Clematis x jackmanii) and other vigorous clematis vines. 

Cut the clematis vines back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground. Carefully dig up the clematis plant. Then divide the plant clump with a sharp knife. Each section should contain at least two or three shoots and a good portion of the root system. Replant immediately. Keep the newly planted divisions well watered throughout the spring and summer months. 


Contacts :

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

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