Many commercial growers and home gardeners often confront the issue of Blossom End Rot (BER) in their tomato, pepper, and eggplant. The BER is a physiological disorder caused by a localized calcium deficiency in the blossom-end of the fruit. It is a physiological disorder and is not caused by fungi, bacteria, or any other living disease microorganisms. Also, BER could also be seen on non-solanaceous crops such as pumpkins, squash, and watermelons.
Iowans can expect next year to be bright and colorful – at least according to the images found within the 2021 Garden Calendar produced by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Many gardeners like to get a head start on the gardening season by starting flower and vegetable seedlings indoors. Successfully growing seedlings indoors requires high quality seeds, a germination medium, containers, lights and other supplies, note horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. To have additional questions answered, contact the Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline @iastate.edu.
Seeds germinate fast when the soil is already nice and warm, which makes late summer a good time to rejuvenate lawns and plant fall vegetable crops of spinach, lettuce, peas and kale. Or plant a new tree.
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.
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.
Seed saving is a fun family activity and the seeds of many garden plants are easy to collect and save. There are a few things to keep in mind when collecting and saving seeds to assure that they are viable the following year.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has long been considered the “King of the Herbs” – not only because of its popularity, but also because the name “basileus” literally means “king” in Greek. Basil has a long history of cultivation around the world and has been used as a culinary herb, aromatic herb, and ornamental herb for centuries.
A comprehensive testing of soils for soil fertility and nutrient management planning for your crop, garden, or turf area is desirable to use as a basis for adjusting fertilizer, manure and limestone applications. Over or under application may reduce profits.
One question all homeowners wrestle with is whether to grow vegetable in soil or in raised beds. It is an important question that has direct implications on how well your plants will grow. Below we discuss situations where raised-beds significantly enhance plant growth and yield, simple ways to construct them, and growing medium in raised beds.