Extension News

Ask the ISU Extension Garden Experts: Onion, Chrysanthemum And Strawberry Tips

Note to media editors:

Got gardening questions? Call the Hortline at (515) 294-3108, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m., or send an e-mail to hortline@iastate.edu. For more gardening information, visit us at Yard and Garden Online, http://www.yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu.



How deep should I plant onion sets? 
Before planting onion sets, separate the bulbs into two size groups, those smaller than a nickel in diameter and those larger than a nickel. The larger sets often bolt (produce a flower stalk) and don’t produce good-sized bulbs. Use the larger sets for green onions.  The smaller sets can be allowed to develop into mature onions. 

Plant onion sets in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Sets should be planted at a depth of 1 to 1 ½ inches. For dry onions, plant sets two to three inches apart. Sets grown for green onions can be planted closer together. Space rows 12 to 18 inches apart. 

When is the best time to divide chrysanthemums? 
Early spring is the best time to divide chrysanthemums. Dig up plants in early spring just as new growth begins to appear. Divide each plant into sections with a sharp knife.  Each division should contain several shoots and a portion of the root system. Replant the divisions immediately. Keep the newly divided plants well watered through spring and summer. 

Is spring a good time to fertilize my June-bearing strawberries? 
Established plantings of June-bearing strawberries should not be fertilized in spring.  Spring fertilization stimulates foliar growth, increases disease problems and produces softer berries. Lush, vegetative growth makes harvesting more difficult. Also, soft fruit are more likely to be attacked by fruit rots. As a result, a spring fertilizer application may actually reduce the fruit yield. June-bearing strawberries should be fertilized during the renovation process immediately after the last harvest of the season. Apply approximately five pounds of 10-10-10 or a similar analysis fertilizer per 100 feet of row during renovation.


Contacts :

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

Willy Klein, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0662, wklein@iastate.edu