June 14, 1996

Bug Zappers are Harmful, Not Helpful

Insect electrocuter light traps, also known "bug zappers" have been extensively marketed for the past several years with claims they can provide relief from the annoyance of biting mosquitoes and other pests in your back yard. Their effectiveness has been widely doubted and a few studies have shown they are very poor at killing mosquito females (the sex that bites).

Falling Leaves

Even though the growing season is in full swing now, some tree species are losing their leaves. The extended cool, wet weather this spring has created prime conditions for foliar diseases, especially anthracnose and apple scab.


Fall Planting of Pansies

The spring garden may not be completely planted yet and here I am discussing fall planting. Pansies are popular bedding plants in the garden. In fact they ranked fourth in total bedding plant sales in 1994. They are available in almost every flower color imaginable, from vivid yellows and blues to delicate pastel colors and mixes. Flowers can be solid, bicolored, or possess those famous ÒfacesÓ. Flower size varies from over two inches across to the one-half inch blooms found in the viola mini pansies.

Hardy Roses for Iowa

The harsh winter of 1995-1996 was hard on the modern garden roses (hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras). Many were severely damaged, some were completely destroyed. While the modern garden roses can be difficult to successfully grow in Iowa, there are many less demanding, disease resistant, cold hardy roses. This group of low maintenance, hardy roses includes old garden roses (those introduced before 1867), species or wild roses, hybrid rugosas, and others. Though these hardy roses will survive winters in the upper midwest, some winter injury may occur.