The public is invited to a Demonstration Garden Field Day at the Iowa State University Northwest Research Farm located in O'Brien County near Sutherland, Iowa.
The event takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. Root beer floats and roasted sweet corn will be served to all who attend.
Speakers will include Todd Brockshus of Del's Garden Center in Spencer who will give a presentation on options for fall-seeded vegetable gardens.
Melissa O'Rourke, ISU Extension Horticulture Educator will present information on the most common disease and insect problems that she has seen in northwest Iowa gardens during the 2010 growing season, with options for prevention, management, and fall sanitation techniques.
Research farm officials will give the public a tour of the 2010 demonstration garden. which is planted with a variety of annual flowers and vegetables.
For 2010, annual flowers including marigolds and petunias were planted in a quilt block pattern. Coleus and zinnia planted from seed are also featured.
The research garden also conducted a trial with compost from the ISU composting facility. A quarter of the garden was devoted to growing a variety of flowers and vegetables in soils to which the compost was applied and compared to other soils not amended with the compost.
A largest pumpkin contest is underway with competition among the managers of the various Home Demonstration Gardens across Iowa. All were provided with the same variety of pumpkin seed, but the garden managers could employ their choices of pumpkin-growing techniques.
A variety of eggplants with different colors and shapes will be on display in the gardens along with unusual plants, such as tomatillo and ground cherry.
The demonstration gardens are coordinated by ISU horticulture associate professor Cindy Haynes.
The event will take place at the research farm located at 6320 500th Street, Sutherland. The farm is situated at the intersection of US Highway 59 and O'Brien County Road B62, just one and one-half miles south of Calumet.