March 21, 2003

Vegetables and Flowers Suitable for Early Planting

Early spring is the proper time for several vegetables and flowers. Cool-season vegetable crops, such as cabbage, lettuce, and peas grow best in cool temperatures. Others, such as onion, require a long growing season and should be planted in early spring for maximum crop yields. This listing is designed for central Iowa, northern Iowa would be about one week later, about one week earlier for southern Iowa.

Anthracnose of Raspberry

Anthracnose is a common disease problem on raspberries. The fungus that causes the disease survives the winter in infected canes, so a primary means of control is sanitation.

Thus, properly pruning raspberries in the spring is important to maximize fruit production, but it also plays an important role in disease control.

Medium-Size, Deciduous Shrubs

Medium-size, deciduous shrubs (those that grow 4 to 8 feet tall) are important components of the home landscape. Some can be used in hedges, screens, or naturalized areas. Others are excellent accent plants in the landscape. Several medium-size, deciduous shrubs that are suitable for Iowa are listed below.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

Size: 6 to 8 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 4
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are dark green in summer. Fall color is red to purplish red.
Flowers: Clusters of small white flowers are produced in spring.