The fruit and vegetable research taking place at Iowa State University's Horticulture Research Station will be on full display for the Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Aug. 5. Specific projects include high tunnels, organic vegetable production, pepper and sweet potato production, pest management in cucurbit crops, hops, peaches and beneficial insects such as bees, wasps and pollinators.
Fruit crops in Iowa are highly susceptible to spring freezes during bloom. The primary methods to protect fruit crops from injury are heat, air movement, row covers, and water.
The local foods industry in Iowa is maturing and as expected, farmers have many new marketing opportunities. There are now many options in addition to farmers markets for selling produce.
Several species of fruits can be grown successfully in Iowa for home use or commercial sales. However, because of our winter temperatures and local soil conditions, not all fruits or fruit cultivars (cultivated varieties) are adapted to all areas of the state. What works well?
The right supplies can make all the difference between a successful year and a mediocre year but finding the right supplies to grow fruit and vegetables in the state can be challenging. Unless you are in-the-know, how do you know? There are in fact many companies that are stationed in Iowa, have field representatives for Iowa, or service Iowa from a distance.
While it may seem a little odd to be dreaming of fresh strawberries on a cloudy, cool November day in Iowa, those delicious thoughts are an excellent incentive. To insure a bountiful crop next year, home gardeners need to mulch their strawberry plantings in the fall.
The storage location and temperature, quality of the product and what they are store with makes a big difference in their storage life.
Garden tools will last for many seasons if they are maintained properly. Although tools should be cleaned after every use, most gardeners are busy and usually just return them to the shed or garage. Fortunately, neglected tools can often be rejuvenated.