Ask the ISU Extension Gardening Experts
Note to media editors: Got gardening questions? Contact the Iowa State University Extension Hortline at (515) 294-3108 (Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-12 noon and 1-4:30 p.m.) or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For more gardening information visit us at Yard and Garden Online at www.yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu.
My vegetable garden was flooded and destroyed. It is too late to replant?
Fortunately, there is still time to plant several vegetable crops. In central Iowa, the last practical date to plant early maturing sweet corn varieties is July 1. Cucumbers and summer squash can be planted until July 20. August 1 is the last practical date to plant snap beans, carrots and beets. (The last practical planting dates would be approximately 1 week earlier in northern Iowa and 1 week later in southern portions of the state.)
My June-bearing strawberry patch was flooded in June. Can I harvest the berries?
Berry fruits, such as strawberries, are highly susceptible to bacterial contamination. Silt and other contaminants may become imbedded in the fleshy fruit and are difficult to remove. Since the berries were present when the garden was flooded, do not harvest and eat any of the fruit. Renovate the strawberry patch in early July. Next year’s crop should be safe to eat.
The bottom of my black raspberry leaves are covered with an orange substance. What is it?
The orange substance on your black raspberry leaves is orange rust. Orange rust occurs on black and purple raspberries and most varieties of blackberries. Orange rust does not occur on red raspberries.
Orange rust produces masses of bright orange spores on the undersides of leaves in spring. Canes or shoots bearing the rust-infected leaves are often weak and spindly. The disease eventually kills the entire plant, including the roots.
Infected plants can not be cured. To control, dig up and destroy all plants with rust-infected leaves. Start new plantings from rust-free nursery stock. Orange rust can also originate from wild brambles. Destroy any wild brambles in the area.
Richard Jauron , Horticulture, (515) 294-1871, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean McGuire , Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-7033, email@example.com