March 22, 1996
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther to a receptive stigma of a flower. In nature, wind, insects, birds or mammals accomplish the task. Plant breeders or home gardeners can hand pollinate or artificially pollinate plants. Although pollination is one of the steps necessary for fruit and seed development, fertilization is also necessary. The two terms are often confused and should be distinguished from each other because fertilization does not always follow pollination.
The "Asian lady beetle" (Harmonia axyridis), an introduced species that has been common in many areas of the eastern U.S. for the past several years, is now found in a limited number of sites in Iowa. This new biological control natural enemy is not just a lovable and beneficial inhabitant of the garden. It is a serious household pest in those areas where it has become well established and abundant.
Fresh blueberries are one of summer's best tasting treats. They are excellent in pies, muffins, and pancakes. Blueberries are also a great topping for breakfast cereals. Blueberries can be successfully grown in Iowa. However, they do have special growing requirements.