March 23, 1994

Carpet Beetles


Now is the time when samples of carpet beetle adults and larvae become more numerous. The following drawings, reprinted from last years newsletter, should help with identification.

Black carpet beetle larvae are 1/4 inch long, tapered in shape and have a golden sheen over the brown body. The black carpet beetle adult is 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, elongate oval, and as the name implies, black in color.

Application of Preemergence Herbicides


Crabgrass is a common weed in many lawns. Crabgrass is an annual, warm-season grass that begins to germinate when soil temperatures reach 60 F. Germination usually begins about mid-April in southern Iowa, early May in northern parts of the state. Crabgrass continues to germinate over several weeks from spring into summer.

Digging Smart


How many times have you jumped into a gardening project that requires a large amount of digging only to wear yourself out before the project is completed? By assessing the job, matching the tools to the task, and practicing proper digging techniques, you can complete the job safely with a minimum of time and effort.

IPM On-Farm Trials in 1994: Bigger and Better


If you've attended meetings or field days sponsored by the IFVGA over the last two years, you probably know that Iowa State University and the IFVGA are cooperating in on-farm trials of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods with Iowa fruit and vegetable growers during 1993-1995. The funding for these demonstrations comes from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The purpose of these trials is to give growers a chance to try out the most promising and reliable IPM techniques in their own farm operations.

Pruning Roses in the Spring


The upper portion of rose bushes, such as hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras, often winterkill due to exposure to low winter temperatures and extreme temperature changes. When the winter protection is removed from the roses in early to mid-April, gardeners should prune out the dead wood.

Snapdragons


The National Garden Bureau has designated 1994 as the year of the snapdragon. Snaps, like many garden flowers, have a long history of enjoyment. Children love opening the jaw of the flower and watching it snap shut. Opening the dragon's jaw in just the right place is a skill passed down from parent to child just like the love of gardening. The Latin name for snapdragon is Antirrhinum majus. "Anti" in Greek means "like," and "rhinos" means "snout." Snapdragon flowers are available in every color but blue.