Tag Archives: selecting Native Plants

Benefits of Planting Live Wildflower & Grass Plant Plugs

The plugs in the 84 Nova trays measure 1 1/8 inch diameter by 2 7/8 inches deep and taper like a cone with a bottom drain opening. The interior ridged design of the plug directs root growth downward & avoids the wrap around growth allowed by smooth sided plugs. As the roots develop & escape through the drain opening of the plug the atmosphere will burn off the protruding root material, in effect pruning them to encourage constant development of fresh root growth. When the plugs are placed into the ground, the roots are ready to rapidly establish themselves down into the soil. It has been our experience with planting both 3” square pots & the 84 Nova plugs that the plugs will compete with & sometimes surpass the growth of the larger potted plants in the first growing season. Some species planted as plugs will flower & set seed in the first year-we had Sawtooth sunflowers that were planted in June reach nearly 8’ & flower in the same season. The size of these 84 Nova plugs makes them easy to handle in planting & transporting. Native Plant Plug

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CRP Acres To Benefit Bobwhite Quail and Other Upland Birds

This is a joint news release from the DNR and the USDA.


MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, contact Vickie Friedow, FSA, at (515) 254-1540 ext 440; Todd Bogenschutz, DNR, at (515) 432-2823; or Mark Lindflott , NRCS, at (515) 284-4370.

DES MOINES – Iowa producers can enroll up to 10,500 additional acres of cropland into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to benefit upland game birds and other small birds.

“The program is designed to provide much needed habitat and brood rearing areas for quail, pheasant and songbirds in the state,” said Todd Bogenschutz, a wildlife biologist with the DNR. “At the same time, set aside programs protect the most vulnerable land from soil erosion and improve water quality for everyone.”

The additional acres were announced by the U.S.D.A. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at the national Pheasant Fest in March. Producers can sign up at any time at their local U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency. However, the sign up is “first-come, first-served,” according to Vickie Friedow, of the Farm Service Agency’s conservation and compliance department. “With a limited number of acres available, I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact their local U.S.D.A. office as soon as possible” she added.

Eligible areas include cropland and cropland around the edges of existing grain fields. The average width of the enrolled area must be between 30 and 120 feet wide. At least half of the field must be in crops. To be eligible, the land must have been cropped or considered cropped for four of the six years from 1996 to 2001.

Producers will not be able to enroll land that is used for turn rows, roads, or for storage of crops or equipment. In addition, cropland adjacent to a stream filter or buffer strip is not eligible.

Annual payments will be based on the average rental rates for the county. A combination of cost-share and incentive programs will pay up to 90 percent of the cost of establishing the field border. A sign-up bonus of $100 per acre is available. Contracts run for 10 years.  Enrolled areas must be seeded to a combination of native plants including at least four grass species and a combination of at least five wildflowers and legumes.

For technical assistance, landowners can contact their local U.S.D.A. Service Center (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ia/) or their local DNR or Pheasants Forever private lands biologists (http://www.iowadnr.gov/wildlife/privatelands/index.html).

Producers can contact their local U.S.D.A. Office for more information

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Howard Bright will speak at Master Gardeners Event at Muscatine IA

Howard will be speaking this month on some of the popular gardening topics for this upcoming season. To learn more visit this site.
Howard Bright owner of Ion Exchange has been invited to speak at the Masters Gardeners Annual Event

Invasive Species Field Day

What are Invasive Species?
Non-native invasive plants, typically transplants from distant places, that threaten native habitats in Iowa. There are a variety of non-native invasives that have been introduced into the United States and Iowa that are significant threats to the quality of many different ecosystems (i.e. prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, and lakes).Why are they a problem? • They have a variety of survival strategies that enable them to out-compete and replace native species.• Insects and birds that rely on native species are also displaced as invasives take over.• They can alter entire ecosystems by changing soil chemistry or hydrological processes.• They cause a heavy economic toll. On a national level, invasive species are costing Americans approximately $140 billion annually in tax dollars spent on control, lost recreation, health hazards, and decreased land values.

Hawkeye Cooperative Weed Management Area Invasive Species Field Day June 11, 2009Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center 10260 Morris Hills Road Toddville, IA 52341Managed by the Linn County Conservation Board Field Day Brochure (includes map) <http://www.extension.iastate.edu/NR/rdonlyres/ABCE6DF3-724E-4752-962F-64BB1DEDF983/97257/InvasiveSpeciesBrochure_forPRINT.pdf>

Directions From I-380 northbound: go west on Blairs Ferry Road. Turn north (right) on Feather Ridge Road; From I-380 southbound: Exit west (right) on the E-34, Toddville/Robins exit, follow WHOLC signs through Toddville to Feather Ridge Road, turn south (left); go to Morris Hills Road, turn west.Proceed approx. 1.2 miles to Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center.

Agenda 8:30am –9:00am Registration 9:00am –9:10am

Welcome 9:15am –10:00am Potential Impacts of 2008 Floods on Iowa’s Natural Resources Keynote Speaker: John Pearson, Botanist/Plant Ecologist, Iowa Department of Natural

10:15am –11:10am (select session A or B)

session A – outdoors Woodland Management and the Use of Prescribed Fire in Woodlands Mark Vitosh & Ryan Schlater, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau

session B – indoors Wetland Beautification & Selecting Native Plants for your Home Landscape Howard Bright, Ion Exchange, Harpers Ferry

11:25am –12:20pm (select session A or B)

session A – outdoors Identification & Management of Invasive Plants in Prairies Rob Roman, Linn County Secondary Road Department (Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management)& Chris Taliga, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development

session B – indoors Water Infiltration & the Establishment of Backyard Rain Gardens Wayne Petersen, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship & Liz Maas, Transition Ecology, Iowa City

12:20pm –1:20pm Lunch & Learn provided by the Living Roadway Trust Fund at the Outdoor Learning Center1:00pm Weed Seed Free Forage & Mulch Certification Program Eileen Wuebker, Iowa Crop Improvement Association, Iowa State University

1:30pm –2:25pm (select session A or B)

session A – outdoors Identification and Management of Invasive Plants in Woodlands Dana Kellogg, Linn County Conservation Board & Dave Wehde, Johnson County Conservation Board

session B – indoors Got Goats? A conservationist’s exploration of browsing and grazing to restore natural areas Loren Lown, Polk County Conservation Board Field Day Reservations There is no charge for this program; however, lunch is provided, so please make reservations by Noon June 9th (Tuesday). Register online at http://www.linncountyparks.com/ <http://www.linncountyparks.com/> by clicking on the “Events” area or call (319) 892-6450.