As the 2017 growing season slowly winds down, Iowa landscapes will soon be exposed to high velocity winds, rainfall (hopefully), and cold temperatures. Leaving our land and soil exposed to such environmental conditions elevates the risk of eroding our top soil. Now is the time to plant cover crops.
As of February 2017, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) had been found in 49 of Iowa’s 99 counties. This is the perfect time to be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth while doing regular scouting in corn and soybean fields.
High tunnels bring many benefits to specialty crops including season extension and increased quality. However, warm summer temperatures inside high tunnels create their own problems to manage. What management strategies are available?
Summer garden projects often include plans for future expansion or modifications. If you are thinking of constructing or transitioning to raised garden beds, learn more about safe construction materials to use.
Iowa soils are very diverse and so are the chemical characteristics that make up these soils. Soil pH is one property that can vary widely across the state both naturally and due to crop production inputs. It is also one of the most cost effective and easy to manage soil properties that can be modified to improve plant health and crop production.
If your home garden ends up larger than planned or more tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini are planted than are actually needed, donating to your local food pantry is a great option. Donations from home gardeners and commercial fruit and vegetable growers are important to food pantries.
The term “soil health” has been generating a lot of buzz as we explore options to develop sustainable vegetable production systems. From the standpoint of soil, there are three main categories of soil health indicators: chemical, physical and biological. All three indicators are critical for optimum soil health and influence various functions.