Gardening Webinar Series 'Moisture Extremes in the Landscape' Begins July 23

AMES, Iowa--The Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer garden webinars to be hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Because weather patterns over the past couple of years have moved rapidly from drought to flood, the theme of the 2013 series is "Moisture Extremes in the Landscape."

“Iowa Gardeners are dealing with a variety of extreme conditions this summer,” said Denny Schrock, state Master Gardener coordinator. “There are areas of the state that have gone from drought and abnormally dry conditions to flooding, places that have received twice the normal precipitation amount, and areas that have received only a fraction of the normal amount of rain.”

The Iowa DNR Water Summary Update shows the extremes – places where abnormally dry conditions are overlaid by much above normal stream flow, and sections of the state where flooding and below normal amounts of precipitation overlap. Schrock said plant selection and landscaping decisions can help gardeners manage the weather extremes and the summer webinar series will cover those topics.

Summer webinar dates, topics and presenters

  • Tuesday, July 23 – “Landscape Plants for Moisture Extremes” – Richard Jauron, horticulture specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; “Waterwise Landscaping” – Denny Schrock, Iowa Master Gardener coordinator, Iowa State University
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 – “Diagnosing Drought Damage, Flood Damage and Other Abiotic Stress Injury on Landscape Trees and Shrubs" – Jeff Iles, horticulture department chair at Iowa State University
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3 – “Efficient Home Landscape Irrigation” – Mike Baron, irrigation and water management specialist, The Toro Company

The summer webinar series, in its fourth year, is offered by the Iowa Master Gardener program in response to requests for more Iowa gardening educational opportunities. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners; participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend.

Sessions will be held from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at county extension offices. Several counties already have plans to offer the full webinar series – Boone, Cherokee, Grundy, Henry, Howard, Iowa, Lyon, Mills, Mitchell, Scott, Story, Wapello, West Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties. Contact a county extension office to learn of additional local sites and registration details. Registration will be made through participating county offices.