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University of Idaho Extension provides reliable, research based education and information to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future.

Through our statewide network of faculty and staff in 42 counties and 12 research and Extension centers, we work to transform knowledge into solutions that work.

We focus on contemporary topics that matter to you most, including small and large scale sustainable agriculture, home horticulture, natural resources, health and nutrition, food safety and preservation, personal financial management, 4-H and youth development, and community development

(This group currently has 9 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Permaculture next to a conventional hay field

Hey!! We are in contract on 30 acres in Idaho. We are under the impression that the hay field across the street was all natural, but after taking to the farmer it most definitely is not. We want to follow all natural, organic and permaculture practice to grow our own food. We plan on taking your course this winter. I’m going to contact Chs the company that sprays the field to see what they do to prevent drift. They use Axiom, 2,4-D, quilt, headline, and bravo weather stik. He seems to think they are very careful with the spray and said, even the weeds in the ditch don’t get killed. My question is, is it possible to have the farm we want close to this field. We are trying to decide if we should walk or not but I worry we are going to run into this all over Idaho. Any advice and expertise is welcome. Thank you Jess Sent from my iPhone

Benewah County Idaho Posted 3 days ago

how do I install a waterfall retaining wall?

Hi I am trying to install a waterfall retaining wall and can't finding info on how to combine those 2 aspects. Should I use road base, 3/4 inch crushed rock or soft dirt under and behind the wall. Also how much Georgia do I use and how do I use it in conjunction with the materials and under the liner? Also how do I maintain the integrity of the wall while still allowing drainage but not cut or puncture my liner?
Any info would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

Bannock County Idaho Posted about 1 month ago

Grapes are dropping

My grapes are dropping from the bunches after they are set-on. Once they drop, we are not getting any production. We pruned in July to help thin the vines, but now they are starting to flower again. Is it a watering problem or is it because I pruned them this Summer?

Gem County Idaho Posted about 1 month ago


We planted nine of these probably eight years ago and they have been doing great. About a month ago some of them started to look dried out and very unhealthy. WE started to increase their watering and they continue to look terrible and now are dropping leaves. I don't see any bugs to speak of. Any ideas?


Payette County Idaho Posted 3 months ago

Tough green beans in Boise

I didn’t get a confirmation that this went through so I will ask it again. Apologies if this is a repeat. I just picked my first crop of green beans excited to have them for dinner, and though the beans are very slender and small they are they are hollow and tough and even the smallest ones have strings. I’m used to picking and eating them straight off the vine hardly needing to cook them, and these are not like that. I will findOut tonight if I can cook them tender, but I am doubtful. Also wondering if I can pick all these and whether that will make them tender. Or should I just give up and call them compost? I’m wondering if this is a watering issue, a nutrient issue or what. Probably don’t have to tell you that it’s very hot at this point in Boise, but I am watering my raise beds once a day in the morning for 15 minutes. Most beds are watered with spider or micro spray and emitters. Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide. FYI I also planted pretty old seeds but figured if they germinated then I’m good, but is the quality of the fruit affected by the age of the seed?

Ada County Idaho Posted 3 months ago

Unusual bug that I can't identify

This little fellow greeted me on one of my patio throw pillows the other morning. I've never seen anything like it, and neither has anyone else I've asked. Some say, "Buffalo tree/leafhopper (but this one has long legs, short wings, and is colorful; others say it's an odd form of a katydid, but again, when you look closely at the two, the bodies are different, and "my" little guy has little "angel" wings on its back. It looks like a tiny tropical fish with long legs and short wings! Can you help me to identify? Thank you!!! Much appreciated, Wendy

Ada County Idaho Posted 3 months ago

Cost of Custom Farming Versus Self

I am looking for a spreadsheet that will help me figure the real cost of custom farming versus owning all your own equipment to do it yourself. Talking about medium sized farm of several hundred acres.

Bingham County Idaho Posted 3 months ago

Cherries brown on the inside

Fresh cherries From my fruit tree. Most are glorious deep maroon or burgundy.When I cut some open they appear to be brown in the inside. . Why?

Ada County Idaho fruits and vegetables fruit cherries cherry trees Posted 4 months ago

Acidifying soil

I heard years ago that berries prefer acidic soil. Is there an organic way to acidify the soil around my berries? I live in northern Idaho. Thank you.

Kootenai County Idaho Posted 4 months ago

Spraying Peach, Nectarine and Apricot trees for Peach Borer worms

I know the Peach borers will start emerging in the next week or so. Do I need to spray repeatedly June - September to get the new larvae? How often do I spray if I use a lambda-cyhalothrin type pesticide? Thank you. Eric Cavanaugh

Idaho County Idaho Posted 4 months ago