July 22, 2010

I want to encourage everyone to attend next week's field day. There will be a number of turf research projects on display. It is also a good time to bring questions and samples for identification.

The ISU Horticulture Field Day will be Thursday July 29 at the Horticulture research station. For registration information, see

Field Day presentations

1. Wine Lab. The Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute will discuss wine grape harvest parameters and their importance to winemaking. The measurements of pH, Titratable Acidity, and Brix will be demonstrated.
2. Computer Applications in Horticulture. This will be a hands-on session covering the latest in software development for the landscape industry. There will be a presentation that will include traditional computer applications as well as iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad applications.
3. High Tunnels. High tunnels extend the growing season and produce greater yields of high quality fruits and vegetables. You will get the chance to see both fruits and vegetables growing in different sized high tunnels.
4. Crabapples. Since 1985, the Iowa State University Department of Horticulture has participated in the National Crabapple Evaluation Program, and during this tour stop we will feature some of the best crabapples for the Iowa landscape. Join us as we traverse this impressive collection in search of that perfect crabapple.
5. Chainsaw safety. You will be learning the strategies to keep yourself and others safe when working with chainsaws.
6. Vineyard. Field day attendees will tour research vineyards that include wine grape cultivars, cropping and canopy management studies, and weed control and soil quality management projects. Iowa State University faculty and graduate students will provide tours and answer viticultural questions.
7. Orchard (3 presentations)

Rootstock/Cropping levels study
This orchard study on 'Gibson Golden Delicious' apple evaluates the performance of five dwarfing apple rootstocks subjected to under different cropping levels. Treatments are being monitored for differences in fruit growth rate, maturity, yield, fruit size and quality, and the ability to produce blossoms for next season's crop.

Airblast Spraying
Airblast sprayers offer an effective and economical means for applying fungicides, insecticides, growth regulators and foliar nutrients in orchards and vineyards. Compared to conventional sprayers, airblast systems allow growers to concentrate spray where less liquid is applied per acre, and at higher concentrations, less pesticide is needed to attain effective coverage. Dr. Domoto will be explaining how this is accomplished, and an airblast sprayer will be demonstrated.

Disease monitoring in Apples
This study is evaluating remotely estimated weather as a warning system for sooty blotch and fly speck on apples.

8. Aquatic Research Facility. The discussion will focus on current research on fish production with an emphasis on this year's Bluegill project.

9. Vegetables (2 presentations)

This research looks at the impact of row covers on disease and insect suppression on muskmelons and butternut squash.

As part of a multi-state project, we are looking at "flora provisioning" as a way to increase pollination of muskmelon and squash. A strip of perennial flowers are planted to attract pollinators to the plot.

10. EarthKind Rose Trial. EarthKind is an innovative new program that addresses environmental landscape management. We will discuss the northern EarthKind rose trial planted at the Horticulture Research Farm as well as the newly established EarthKind Hydrangea trial. These two plantings are part of the nationwide trialing program of rose and hydrangea cultivars being evaluated for their suitability for inclusion in EarthKind landscapes

The student organic farm ...
11. Turf Demonstrations
* Lawn mower safety, maintenance, and selection.
* A walking tour to identify weeds, insects, diseases, and their control.
* Turf research plot tour.


Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...