Plant Particulars

cool season vegetables growing in the home production garden

While many Iowa gardeners plant their vegetable gardens over Mother’s Day weekend, there are many cool-season vegetables that can be started much sooner. Unlike the tomatoes and peppers we plant in mid-May, these cool-season edibles do better in cool spring weather and suffer once Iowa’s hot, humid summers arrive. Potatoes and [...]

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usda hardiness zones

A cold, harsh winter may have you questioning if some of your favorite plants survived. If they didn’t, it may be that they aren’t cold-hardy to our “zone.” Back in 1960 the USDA published a Hardiness Zone Map. Updated in 2012, this map is divided into 5-degree gradients labeled numbers [...]

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Succulent and Cactus

This winter the Conservatory features the “Crash Landing” display, which shows off dozens of cacti and other succulents among flying saucers to evoke an arid setting not unlike that of Roswell, New Mexico. We are often asked, “What is the difference between a cactus and a succulent?” The answer is [...]

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common prickly pear

This winter the Conservatory is featuring dozens of cacti and other succulents. One group of cacti prominently featured will be the prickly pear cactus in the genus Opuntia. Prickly pear grow in very well-drained, dry rocky flat or slopes but are highly adaptable. Some types can even be grown in [...]

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holiday 2013 tree

December 2013 Christmas Tree Care Nothing beats the incredible scent and natural appearance of a fresh Christmas tree. But it’s important to take care of your fresh tree to keep it attractive as long as possible. Key is watering, and keeping it watered! Use clean fresh water and never allow [...]

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Town & Country Garden

With the autumn air turning crisp, many gardeners are putting their garden to bed for the winter. Below are some to make the process easier and more effective. • You may not have to rake those leaves off your lawn. Recent research has found that using a mulching mower to [...]

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Chrysanthemum Fall Autumnn

Chrysanthemums, pansy, ornamental kale and others provide beautiful color this time of year. They thrive in cool temperatures and are perfect for perking up containers now filled with tired annuals. Here are some of our favorite choices for fall flowers. You’ll see them in containers in Events Plaza, South Patio, [...]

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container garden

Each summer the front entrance to the Gardens is filled with containers of all sizes featuring annual plants bursting with color. This summer is no exception; although this year these containers feature “More than Meets the Iowa”. With the 2013 theme being all about Iowa, horticulture staff have used Iowa’s [...]

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Spring Lawn Care As the weather warms and the grass greens up many are wondering what needs to be done to our lawns. Spring and fall are busy times for the lawn, and mowing is just the start. Be sure to keep ahead of the fast growing turf. Cool temperatures [...]

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Every year the horticulture staff at the Gardens create beautiful mixed containers full of plants well-suited for early spring weather. Creating these spring containers starts with the plants. They need to be hardy and able to withstand the occasional cold dips in temperature so common in spring. Pansies (Viola) are [...]

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