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The following FAQs were found to be helpful by others.

I would like to plant an apple tree this spring. Do I need a second tree for pollination?

Pollination and fertilization are necessary for fruit development.  Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma.  Fertilization is the union of the male sperm nucleus from the pollen grain and the female egg found in the ovary.  Self-fruitful trees bear fruit when pollen is transferred from the ....

Is it a good practice to apply salt to an asparagus planting?

In the past, some gardeners used salt to control weeds in their asparagus plantings.  However, salt is not effective in controlling many weeds, especially grasses.  Plus, continued use of salt over several years may result in high salt levels in the soil.  High levels of salt may actually damage the ....

When should dormant oil sprays be applied to apple trees?

Dormant oil sprays are highly refined petroleum products that are mixed with water and applied to trees and shrubs to control aphids, spider mites, and scale.  Dormant oils destroy pests by suffocating them.  When applied properly, the thin film of oil plugs the spiracles or pores through which the mite ....

Will a late freeze in spring affect my apple crop?

A late freeze in spring may damage the blossoms or developing fruit on apples, cherries, and other fruit trees.  As a result, the fruit crop may be smaller than normal.  The extent of damage will be determined by the plant species, stage of flower/fruit development, and temperature.  At petal drop ....

Can blueberries be successfully grown in Iowa?

Blueberries can be successfully grown in Iowa.  However, they do have special growing requirements.  Blueberry plants require a sunny location and a well-drained soil high in organic matter.  Avoid wet, poorly drained sites.  Blueberries are susceptible to root rots in poorly drained soils.  Soil pH is also important.  Blueberries require acid soils ....

What would be a good planting site for blueberries?

Blueberry plants require a sunny location and a well-drained soil high in organic matter.  Avoid wet, poorly drained sites.  Blueberries are susceptible to root rots in poorly drained soils.  Soil pH is also important.  Blueberries require acid soils with a pH of 4.0 to 5.5.  Since the pH of most ....

I just planted some blueberries. When can I expect them to produce a crop?

Blueberry plants should not be allowed to bear fruit in the first 2 years.  Any blossoms which form should be removed (rubbed off).  Removal of the flowers will maximize vegetative growth and increase yields in later years.  Blueberry plants should come into full production by the fifth or sixth year.   ....

Should blueberry plants be fertilized?

Established blueberry plants benefit from an annual application of an acid-producing fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate.  In early spring, apply ½ to 1 pound of ammonium sulfate per 100 square feet of garden area.  Ammonium sulfate supplies nitrogen to the plants and also helps maintain soil acidity.   ....

Which blueberry varieties perform well in Iowa?

Highbush and half-high blueberries can be successfully grown in Iowa.  Highbush blueberries perform best in central and southern Iowa.  Plants develop into 6 to 8 foot tall shrubs.  Suggested varieties for gardeners in central and southern Iowa include ‘Patriot,’ ‘Blueray,’ ‘Bluecrop,’ ‘Rubel,’ ‘Jersey,’ and ‘Elliott.’  Half-high blueberries possess greater cold hardiness and ....

What is the proper way to prune blueberries?

Early spring is the best time to prune blueberries.  In Iowa, late March or early April would be an appropriate time to prune blueberries.  Young plants require little pruning.  Pruning of young plants mainly consists of pruning out broken, dead, or diseased stems.  Blueberry yields and fruit quality decline when blueberry canes ....

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