The storage life of onions is determined by the variety and storage conditions. When properly stored, good keepers such as 'Copra' and 'Stuttgarter' can be successfully stored for several months. Poor keepers, such as 'Walla Walla' and 'Sweet Spanish,' can only be stored for a few weeks.
High tunnels for growing vegetables and fruits are a production technology beginning to dot rural landscapes. More Iowa fruit and vegetable growers are adding high tunnels — also known as hoop houses — to their operations as information about the technology and available USDA funding is shared.
When can I plant potatoes in the garden?
Should I apply lime to my garden?
How do I have my garden soil tested?
Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in the antioxidant lutein, which has been claimed to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State University assistant professor and ISU Extension nutrition specialist. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in adults age 65 and older, and nearly 10 million Americans have this eye disease. Since March is Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, lutein is gaining attention.
Snow and ice are headaches for motorists and pedestrians. To prevent accidents on slippery surfaces, highway departments, businesses and homeowners use deicing compounds to melt ice and snow on roadways, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways. While deicing materials improve travel conditions, they can damage automobiles, concrete surfaces and landscape plants.
All evergreens, and particularly broad leaf evergreens such as boxwood and rhododendron, are susceptible to winter desiccation. Winter desiccation also is referred to as winter burn or winter browning. Desiccation occurs when the evergreen's foliage loses moisture due to the bright winter sun and harsh winter winds. In winter the plants are not able to absorb enough additional moisture from the soil to replace the water that evaporates from the foliage and stems. In addition to making sure the plants are well watered before the onset of winter there are a few other measures homeowners can take to protect the plants.
Yellowjackets are the fairly small yellow and black wasps you often see in the fall looking for food near garbage cans and nervous picnickers. Yellowjacket wasps are primarily meat eaters, but they have a sweet tooth, especially in the fall.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is relatively easy to grow in the home garden. It is a member of the onion family along with leeks, chives and shallots. Each garlic bulb contains a dozen or more smaller bulbs, called cloves. The cloves are enclosed by a white or purplish, dry, parchment-like skin.
Iowa agriculture puts healthy, affordable food choices on the table of today’s consumers and it boosts county and state economies, according to a recently-completed economic analysis sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF). As harvest takes place it is appropriate to note agriculture’s impact not only on the landscape, but on the state’s economy.
Plants that are well maintained during the year (proper pruning, watering and fertilizing) and that are healthy will be better candidates for winter survival. Winter conditions can kill plants in many ways, even some cold hardy plants. Their tops or roots may freeze. Some evergreens that do not have enough water supply in the soil may dry out when subjected to persistent winds.
Sooty blotch and flyspeck may be as old as apples themselves. Drawings of apple varieties from the 1820s clearly show sooty blotch on every fruit. It wasn’t until sprayed-on pesticides, such as lime sulfur and lead arsenate, became popular around 1900 that consumers began to expect to buy apples without a heavy coating of sooty blotch and flyspeck. The cosmetically perfect apples found in today’s supermarkets weren’t common until the middle of the 20th century, when more effective organic fungicides appeared.
If your lawn failed to live up to expectations this summer, don’t wait until next spring to take action. The late summer/early fall season is a great time to rejuvenate your lawn. It’s important to keep in mind that even the most attractive lawns don’t look that way on their own. Creating and caring for a beautiful lawn takes time and effort. Performing a few key maintenance practices now will help get your lawn back in shape and prepare it for next spring and summer. Controlling perennial weeds, fertilizing, establishing new turf with seed and aeration are basic maintenance practices commonly performed during the next couple of months.
Late summer/early fall is the time of the year when leaves of bur oaks in Iowa are showing V-shaped brown discoloration and browning of the leaf veins. The affected leaves eventually die and fall to the ground or hang dead on the twigs through the winter and into the following year. The disease may affect the entire tree and if only a portion of the tree is affected, the disease is generally most severe in the bottom of the tree.
September is the best time to move your peonies to a new location or to divide established plants.
Onions are a staple in the kitchen. They’re also easy to grow. If properly harvested, cured, and stored, gardeners can enjoy homegrown onions through much of fall and winter.
For variety in your landscape, several trees and shrubs are available that feature yellow foliage instead of everyday green.
Earwigs are easy to recognize by the prominent pincers or forceps on the end of the abdomen. Adults are about 5/8 inch long and dark brown with a reddish head and pale yellow-brown legs.
Raspberries are an easy to grow crop for home gardeners. Good cultural practices help ensure an excellent fruit crop. Important cultural practices during the summer months include pruning, weed control and irrigation.
Disturbances within Iowa’s natural areas make them susceptible to invasion by exotic woody plants. Three common Iowa invasive woody species are buckthorn, honeysuckle and multiflora rose.
Grayish brown, sometimes rounded spots often cluster around the main veins of leaves. Heavily spotted leaves can become twisted and drop off the tree, which is when the blister problem may become obvious. The blister effect may not always be clear on these spots, but the spots are sometimes raised or curved.
Infestations by "big, black ants" often are a sign of a tree that has already been weakened by other damage.
Why is my hackberry tree losing some of its new leaves?
My five-year-old redbud tree is not leafing out this spring. What happened to it?
What are some good drought tolerant annuals?
Typical signs of freezing injury are a blackened/brownish discoloration or bleaching of plant tissue. If the freezing injury kills a significant number of buds or cambial tissue, the plant may die or suffer so much crown die-back that it becomes unusable. If freezing injury is limited to flower buds and shoot dieback, it may require corrective pruning and time to allow the plant to grow out of the damage.
Spring or early summer is one of the best times of year to test your well. Iowa gets most of its rainfall April through June. During this wet period excess water picks up bacteria, nitrate and recently-applied lawn and crop chemicals as it percolates through the soil. If the upper part of your well is leaky, this contaminated water may enter your well through these defects, bringing contaminants with it.
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a dark green evergreen native to southern Europe and northern Africa. It usually grows to a height of three to four feet in the Iowa climate, and is popular for borders and hedges because of its dense, dark green foliage. Boxwood requires fertile, well-drained soils and prefers wind protection if grown on an exposed site.