June 22, 2001

Hardy Hydrangeas

Having problems with hydrangea shrubs flowering? Have you waited several years to see those knockout blue or pink ball-like blooms in your shady backyard?

Purple Loosestrife Prohibited in Iowa

Beginning July 1, 2001, the state of Iowa will prohibit the importation, sale, and distribution of purple loosestrife and its seeds. Iowa joins 27 other states that have prohibited purple loosestrife. Dense infestations of purple loosestrife form a monoculture crowding out native plants that are used by wildlife for food and nesting habitat. Purple loosestrife can invade ditches, stream banks, lakes, and reservoirs. Boat ramps and shorelines may become overgrown with purple loosestrife. This can spoil recreational boating and fishing opportunities.

Growing Rutabagas in the Home Garden

The rutabaga or Swede turnip is thought to have originated in the Middle Ages. It is a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. While the rutabaga resembles the turnip, there are distinct differences. The rutabaga has smooth, waxy, blue-green foliage. The thickened root of most varieties is yellow-fleshed. Most turnips are white- fleshed and have rough, hairy leaves.