Yard & Garden/Horticulture

Local Highlights

May 2, 2021

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) along with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and University of Iowa announce their collaboration to host information sessions about the COVID-19 vaccine later this month. The sessions will provide a virtual forum for Iowans to learn about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and have an opportunity to ask questions of medical experts.

June 24, 2021

Course will provide hands-on interaction with Iowa’s rich natural resources

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the Iowa Master Conservationist Program August 12 – September 23, 2021. The program will take place at various locations around Clayton and Fayette County, providing participants with hands-on interaction with the diversity of the state’s natural resources. The program teaches about Iowa’s natural ecosystems and the diversity of conservation challenges and opportunities that exist in the region. Graduates of the course learn to make informed choices for leading and educating others to improve conservation in Iowa.

June 8, 2021

Late last week and today, inquiries about cankerworm caterpillars to ISU Extension and the Iowa DNR have exploded. It has been decades since we’ve seen or heard about cankerworm outbreaks in Iowa. Calls and emails have come primarily from northeast and east-central Iowa, but we are interested in hearing if this is happening elsewhere.

The inquiries are all similar: cankerworms are wandering across the patio and on the house siding, or defoliation of grown trees is apparent, or masses of caterpillars are hanging from trees on silk threads. Images at https://bugguide.net/node/view/14161 and at https://www.facebook.com/groups/plantsleuths  There are two similar species of cankerworms. Images and samples received so far have been the spring cankerworms rather than fall cankerworms, but fortunately, it won’t make much difference.  Cankerworms are inchworms that feed on the foliage from a wide variety of trees. The caterpillars feed for 4 weeks before growing to the full-grown size of 1 inch in length. When fully grown, the caterpillars spin silk webbing to drop from the trees. The good news is the defoliation of the tree has stopped. The bad news is there is no control for the migrating, fully-grown cankerworms.


April 8, 2020

Social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine: the changes from COVID-19 can be hard to handle. However, Iowans can turn to Iowa Concern for help, says Tammy Jacobs, coordinator for the long-time service from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. Iowa Concern provides access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics.

September 21, 2018

On Sunday, September 16, members of the Growing Greener 4-H Greenhouse hosted a “kids event” in which 40 persons attended to learn more about the importance of saving our soil.

Agriculture and Natural Resources has many resources to help Iowans. Get a list of them all here.

Statewide Resources

  • Focused on developing strategies that enhance crop production, soil health, and cropping system profitability in vegetable cropping systems in Iowa.

  • Helping support the state’s evolving grape and wine industry, because the potential economic opportunities in wineries, value-added agriculture and tourism are limitless.

  • Horticulture and Home Pest News is a one-stop-shop for all news and resources related to horticulture and home pests. This website is curated by our horticulture, plant pathology and entomology extension specialists with new information being added frequently.

  • A collection of encylopedia articles focused on common insects and dieases found around the house, in yards and throughout gardens.

  • Central location for all pesticide safety education resources including Pesticide Applicator Certification information.

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