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The following FAQs were found to be helpful by others.

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 ....

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 ....

When is the proper time to harvest blueberries?

Harvest blueberries when the fruit are fully ripe.  The best indicators of ripeness are color, flavor, and picking ease.  Fully ripe blueberries are uniformly blue in color, have a good flavor, and separate easily from the plant.  (Do not harvest blueberries on color alone as the berry is often blue ....

Is it safe to plant currants and gooseberries in home gardens in Iowa?

Early in the 1900's, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) became a serious disease problem in the United States.  White pine blister rust requires both a currant or gooseberry (Ribes species) and white pine to complete its life cycle.  The disease causes little harm to currants and gooseberries, but is ....

Is it necessary to plant more than one gooseberry variety to obtain fruit?

Most gooseberry and currant varieties are self-fruitful.  It is not necessary to plant two or more varieties for cross-pollination and fruit set.  However, a few currant varieties (such as ‘Crusader’) are self-unfruitful.  When planting a self-unfruitful variety, another variety must be planted for pollination and fruit set.  ....

What are jostaberries?

Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries.  Plants are vigorous and may grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet.  Jostaberry fruit are similar in size to gooseberries and black in color.  Plants possess excellent cold hardiness and can be successfully grown throughout the state.   ....

I have several rows of grapevines. What would be a good cover crop between rows?

Kentucky bluegrass is an excellent choice.  Bluegrass provides good cover, yet is less competitive than other cover crops.  Late summer (mid-August to mid-September) is the best time to establish bluegrass by seed.  Do not sow bluegrass seed underneath the trellis.  The area directly beneath the trellis should be kept free ....

When can I plant grapevines in my garden?

The best time to plant dormant, bare-root grapevines in Iowa is early spring (late March and April).  If planting must be delayed for several days after purchase or their arrival in the mail, moisten the packing material around their roots, place the plants in a plastic bag, and store them ....

When should grapes be harvested?

Grapes should not be harvested until fully ripe.  The best indicators of ripeness are color, size, and flavor.  Depending on the variety, the berry color changes from green to blue, red, or white as the grapes approach maturity.  At the fully ripe stage, the natural bloom on the berries becomes more ....

How do you construct a grape trellis?

Construction of a grape trellis is similar to constructing a farm fence.  The trellis must be substantial enough to carry the weight of the vines plus a heavy crop during high winds.  Basically, the trellis consists of two or three wires, one above the other, stretched tightly and secured to ....

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