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Yard and Garden

Yard and Garden, formerly Horticulture and Home Pest News, is filled with information about current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Horticulture and Plant Pathology, Entomology and Microbiology.

Timely Topics

picture of white and pink garden phlox flowers

Trending Topics

Keep up-to-date on gardening topics. 

Learn more about what is blooming around Iowa, what are some common gardening questions, frequent pests for the week, and timely tasks for the garden and landscape.

flooded vegetable garden

Managing Flood Damaged Yards and Gardens

When flooding occurs in the landscape, it's sometimes unclear how to proceed. Can I eat the produce in my vegetable garden?  Will my trees die?  What should I do to help my lawn recover? These resources will help your yard and garden recover when flood waters recede.

Japanese beetles on a rose blossom

Managing Damage from Japanese Beetles

July is when the destructive Japanese beetle emerges and begins feeding on garden plants. Control of adult beetles is difficult because there is no easy or single correct answer.  Persistence, diligence, and repeated efforts are necessary to stay ahead of these pests. Learn more about managing Japanese beetles in your garden.

Perennial garden.

How to Maintain Perennial Beds and Borders

In the perennial garden, implementing effective maintenance practices such as mulching, proper watering, and timely deadheading can allow for healthy plants and beautiful gardens. Here are a few tasks that should be done throughout the year for perennials, including the best mulching materials, watering guidelines, and tips for fertilization and division.

Hillside with groundcovers.

Gardening on Slopes and Hillsides

Creating a garden on a slope can present unique challenges and fun opportunities. Slopes are highly prone to erosion and planting them with a mix of plant material can help prevent erosion problems. Hillsides also have special considerations with planting and maintaining, especially watering. With the right strategies, you can transform a sloped area into a thriving garden that not only looks beautiful but also helps with erosion control and water management. 

A variety of tomatoes on display at the state fair.

How Gardeners Can Participate in the Iowa State Fair

There are many contests and opportunities for gardeners to participate and show off their skills at the Iowa State Fair. These opportunities don't require any preregistration and have no entry fees - just show up! Consider participating this year during the fair - August 8-18, 2024.

Composting Yard Waste Publication Cover

Featured Publication

Composting Yard Waste

This publication explains the materials needed for a compost pile and includes construction directions for building a 3-bin composting unit.

Yard and Garden News

Wine Grape Field Day Is Aug. 1 at the Horticulture Research Station

Join wine and horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for the 2024 Wine Grape Field Day Aug. 1 at Iowa State's Horticulture Research Station.

Award-Winning Gardening Programs Provide Timely Resources for Growers

When gardeners have questions – they can get answers – thanks to two popular gardening resources offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowa Public Radio.

Cicada Quest Video Documents the Type of Cicadas Emerging in Iowa

The Integrated Pest Management team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach produced a short video to help answer questions and share interesting information about periodical cicadas.

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Iowa Gardening News provides timely information and reminders all year from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Garden Variety Podcast

Garden Variety Podcast

Whether you're a master gardener, just getting started or somewhere in between — there's always something new to learn in your garden.