February 7, 1997

Indices for Horticulture and Home Pest News

Recent back issues of the HHPN form a valuable reference. To help locate and retrieve information,the following indexes are available.

Annual Index

Printed within the December issue each year.

Spring Pruning of Raspberries

Proper pruning of raspberries is essential to obtain top yields. Pruning produces higher yields by increasing berry size. It also helps control diseases. Pruning procedures are based on the growth and fruiting characteristics of the plants.

The growth and fruiting characteristics of raspberries are unique. The plant's roots and crown are perennial, while the stems or canes are biennial. A raspberry plant may grow and produce fruit for many years. However, individual canes live only 2 years and then die.

Seed Persistence

One of the most frequently asked questions about unwanted plants (weeds) is "How did they get there?" Actually, the plant you have growing originated from seed that has been lying in the soil since last fall or longer, waiting for the appropriate environmental cues such as moisture, warm soil temperatures, and light to trigger its germination. The weed seed could be in your own garden soil, the soil that was transplanted along with a new plant from a neighbor, relative, or friend, or possibly even in the soil of a purchased container-grown plant.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious crop than can be grown successfully in Iowa, if given a little extra attention. Sweet potatoes have two basic flesh types, dry or moist. Moist-fleshed types convert more of their starch to sugars during cooking, becoming softer and sweeter than the dry-fleshed types. Moist-fleshed types are often called yams, although a true yam can only be grown in tropical climates. The skin and flesh of sweet potato roots range from white to orange to red depending on the cultivar.