April 1, 1992

Tree Root Systems

Tree roots serve a variety of functions for the tree. Roots absorb and transfer moisture and minerals as well as provide support for the above ground portion. There are two basic types of roots, woody and nonwoody.

Larder Beetles

Now is the time we typically encounter larder beetle adults and larvae in the house. Larder beetles are common and widespread but often go undetected except during the springtime "wandering around" period.

Small Fruit Varieties for Iowa

Home gardeners can successfully grow many small fruits in Iowa. A key to successful fruit growing is to select varieties (cultivars) adapted to your area. Suggested small fruit varieties for home gardens in Iowa are listed below.

Strawberries Variety Adaptability to Iowa* Remarks June-Bearing Varieties Earliglow N,C,S Medium size berries, very good dessert and freezing quality, excellent early season variety. Honeoye N,C,S

1991 Honey Report

The USDA Agricultural Statistics Service in Des Moines released the 1991 Honey Crop Report February 19th. Once again the number of colonies increased over the preceding year and production per colony remained low. The state average was 56 pounds per colony on 92,000 colonies of bees. The total production for the state was 5,152,000 pounds at $0.55/lb. for a total value of $2,834,000.

Clover Mites and Millipedes

Clover mites and millipedes are both active now and may enter homes as "accidental invaders." A detailed explanation of these migrators was given in last year's newsletter on April 24, 1991, pages 61 and 62.

Where is All This Moss Coming From?

Recently I have been receiving quite a few identification/control samples of moss from homeowners' lawns. This plant is rather easy to identify because it forms a green mat on the soil surface. The mats are composed of threadlike growth that branches and clumps together into a slight mound. This plant is an excellent indicator of poor growing conditions; more specifically, an area low in fertility and very moist because of poor soil aeration and drainage. Other conditions that can encourage moss growth include: shade, soil compaction, highly acidic soil, and/or improper watering.