January 13, 1995

Growing Geraniums From Seed

Geraniums have been a popular bedding plant for many years. Plants traditionally are grown from cuttings. In recent years, however, seed-grown hybrid geraniums have become popular.

The popularity of seed-grown geraniums has increased because they often outperform the older geranium varieties propagated from cuttings. The new seed-grown hybrid geraniums possess excellent vigor, heat tolerance, disease resistance, and are free-blooming.

They're Hot!!

Peppers are becoming increasingly popular, especially the hot varieties. Peppers are used in cooking all over the world, however, the popularity of southwestern food (Mexican) has brought hot peppers the fashionable status they enjoy today. There are over 20 known species of pepper. Most of the peppers grown in the United States belong to the species Capsicum annuum. Capsicum annuum is a small shrubby member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. Although it is perennial in tropical climates, it is cultivated as an annual in colder areas.

Disease-Resistant Plants

Gardening catalogs have been arriving daily. As you browse through them this winter, you might notice that some of the plant descriptions contain information about disease resistance or tolerance. The use of resistant or tolerant varieties is an inexpensive and easy means of controlling plant diseases in crops where such varieties are available. Their use can also help cut down on the use of pesticides for disease control.

Iowa Community Tree Steward Program

The Problem -- In Iowa 2/3 of the original forest is gone. Much of the forest left in Iowa is found in our communities, but in most communities more trees are being removed each year than planted. Also, many trees that are being planted are not given proper care, and survival is often not as good as it should be.

Caring for our trees is important. Trees shelter us from wind and sun, reduce our energy consumption, buffer city noise, add beauty to our world, conserve soil and water, improve air quality, provide homes and food for wildlife, and much more.

Welcome to ISU

The Horticulture and Home Pest News staff would like to welcome Dave Minner to Iowa State University. Dave will be joining the Horticulture Department as the Extension Turf Specialist in January.

Dave has been the Turfgrass Extension Specialist at the University of Missouri since 1984. His area of special interest is sports turf management. Dave received his BS from the University of Delaware, MS from the University of Maryland, and PhD from Colorado State University.

The HHPN staff would like to welcome Dave and his family to Iowa and Iowa State University.