February 28, 1997

Attic Flies

"Attic Flies" are especially abundant this spring. Last summer's abundant rainfall was favorable for development of cluster flies. The result has been a greater-than-normal abundance of these large, black, pesky flies in houses this winter. Unfortunately, this annoyance will persist through the spring.

Cluster flies are named for their habit of clustering in large numbers on outside walls in September and October and inside attics during the winter. Their abundance varies from year to year in relation to the weather.

Growing Cauliflower

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis group) is also called "heading broccoli". It is a type of cabbage that originated in southern Europe. For many gardeners, cauliflower is one of the most temperamental crops to grow in the vegetable garden. Unlike broccoli which produces side shoots for additional harvests, there is only one opportunity for a good crop with cauliflower because the plant produces only one head.

Growing Garlic in the Home Garden

Garlic has been cultivated since ancient times. Today it is used as a condiment and as flavoring in gravies, tomato sauces, soups, stews, pickles, salads, salad dressings, and breads.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the onion family. Other edible members of the onion family include chives, leeks, and shallots.

Upcoming horticulture meetings

Upcoming horticulture meetings of possible interest to HHPN readers are listed below.

For program information, contact the individual listed for each meeting. Credits for Continuing Instruction for Commercial Applicators will be given in categories 3O, 3T, 3OT and 10.

Shade Tree Short Course
March 11-12, 1997
Scheman Bldg., ISU, Ames, IA
Program Information: Jeff Iles

1997 -- Year of the Mesclun

Mesclun is a mix of leaf lettuces, herbs, and tender greens. Various mixes are sold by seed companies. These mixes offer gardeners complete salads within a single package. Mixes are packaged with maturity in mind. Most plant varieties within a given mixture mature at roughly the same time. Since mesclun doesn't require a great deal of space, it is ideal for gardeners with limited space or those gardening in containers.