June 28, 1996
While bearded irises are easy-to-grow, long-lived perennials, they need to be divided every 3 to 5 years. If not divided, the plants become overcrowded and flower production decreases. Crowded plants are also more prone to disease problems. The best time to dig, divide, and transplant irises is in July and August.
Hoses are an extension of your plumbing system and should be treated accordingly. They are normally sold in lengths of 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet. Shorter hoses have greater per-foot costs than longer ones, but are easier to drain and coil. The volume of water delivered by a hose per minute drops as its length increases. For the fastest water flow, use a hose that is as close to the exact length you need rather than one that is too long. The construction of the hose plays a big role in performance and endurance.
Phytophthora root rot on raspberries is caused by several species of soil-borne fungi in the genus Phytophthora. Root rot is most common on red raspberries, although purples and blacks may also be affected. Phytophthora has been identified as the cause of the decline of stands of red and purple raspberries previously thought to be suffering from winter injury or "wet feet."
The rainy weather in May and June has prevented some Iowans from planting their vegetable garden. Fortunately, there is still time to plant some vegetables. Chinese cabbage, for example, actually performs best when planted in summer for a fall crop.
Chinese cabbage is a versatile garden vegetable. It has a sweeter, milder flavor than true cabbage. The crisp, tender leaves may be used like lettuce in salads, shredded for cole slaw, steamed, or stir-fried.
The removal of faded flowers or deadheading annuals, perennials, and roses is an important gardening chore. Deadheading prolongs the blooming period and increases the number of later season blooms.
Pinch off the faded flowers on annuals, such as petunias, geraniums, marigolds, zinnias, and snapdragons, on a regular basis to prevent seed formation and promote additional flowering.