April 8, 1992

Termite Biology Update


Although there are 47 different species of termites in the U.S., Iowa is fortunate to have only one species that consistently attacks houses and other structures, the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes. Research on this termite has yielded the following interesting information.

Crabgrass Control


This last weekend I noticed a couple forsythia bushes starting to flower which reminded me that it's time to control the crabgrass in my lawn. Many may consider it strange that the blooming of forsythia is related to the presence of crabgrass, but there is a correlation. In general, crabgrass seed germination coincides with the time when forsythia blossoms start to fall. Thus, by observing the forsythia, one can determine early or late warming of the soil temperature.

Caring for Hanging Baskets


With the gardening season here, many people will soon be selecting hanging baskets to decorate their porches, decks, and other outdoor areas of the home. Hanging baskets, like other potted plants require special attention to perform their best.

Suggested Apple Varieties for Home Gardens in Iowa


Home gardeners can successfully grow apples in most areas of Iowa. However, before selecting and planting apple trees, gardeners should carefully consider the time and money required to produce high quality fruit. For many individuals, commercial apple orchards may be the best source of fresh, high quality apples.