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Putting Your Flower Garden to Bed

The removal of annual and herbaceous plant debris from the flowerbed is very important. Proper sanitation decreases the chance of disease and insect problems in the spring. Diseases and insects like to use debris as over wintering “hiding places” and they can then cause serious damage to plants in the following growing season.

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Preparing Evergreens for Winter

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.

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Snowy Owls an Early Christmas Present

December 21, 2011, 10:36 am | Rebecca Christoffel, Willy Klein

Birders around Iowa are being treated to a rare treat this year, an inundation of Snowy Owls from the tundra! However, movement of the birds into Iowa isn't a treat for them.

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Yard and Garden: Preparing Gardens for Winter

November 11, 2015, 1:39 pm | Richard Jauron, Kendall Evans

As the temperatures start to drop, some gardeners wonder how to prepare their garden and plants for the winter months. All plants need attention going into winter and there are many methods to provide winter protection. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach give tips and suggestions on how to prepare the garden for an Iowa winter.

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Prepare Your Plants for Winter

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.

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