Extra care should be taken when applying any fertilizer or pesticide to the lawn. The lawn is like a sponge and is very good at trapping water and reducing runoff, but it does no good if lawn care products are spread onto hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways and then washed into the storm water drainage system. Do your part to sweep or blow granular products back into the lawn where they stay put.
Composting is a relatively easy, inexpensive procedure yielding valuable humus that can be returned to garden soil, or used as mulch around landscape plantings. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach give tips on composting yard wastes.
The manual, field guide and assessment card were developed as sources of information for farmers, agronomists and other agriculture professionals managing soils and to provide documentation of how different management practices affect soil.
A new publication looks at the small, very small, things in the soil that play a huge role in plant growth and development. The author, Ajay Nair, encourages growers to test soils regularly - preferably in the fall.
The fall season brings with it a lot of yard waste and debris. What should be done with it? Try starting a compost pile, which can then be used to enhance soil, garden and plant growth.
To explain how to take good soil samples, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has released a new publication, "Take a Good Soil Sample to Help Make Good Fertilization Decisions."
Researchers began collecting initial data last fall on university-owned farmland near Ames to quantify the impact of construction utilities equipment, field traffic and deep tillage on crop yield and soil compaction.
Although snow is on the ground in much of Iowa, spring is upon us. It’s time to think about planting gardens, but before that happens, proper care must be taken to ensure the soil is ready for growth. That means fertilizing soil, testing it and, perhaps, applying materials like lime.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy recommends that farmers use a number of soil and water conservation best management practices to reduce nutrient loss into waterways. The 2016 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll asked farmers if they were using or considering use of many of those practices.
Farmers from the area and other experts will discuss how soil health impacts the business side of farming during the July 12 field day. This event is being held with support and collaboration from Iowa Learning Farms and the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District.