March 25, 1992
If you have a well-drained, fertile soil in full sun, then you can grow potatoes. In Iowa, optimal planting season is fast approaching. See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from March 16, 2016 for suggested potato varieties and tips on planting.
Are you looking for something different to try in your garden this year? Why not plant some edible flowers? Edible flowers aren't a new idea. Their history dates back to the Roman era. However, they are enjoying an increase in popularity with restaurants and home cooks wanting to offer something different at mealtime. In addition to adding interesting flavors, flowers add color appeal to food.
The following information comes from the Iowa Department of Public Health and is adapted from the State of Iowa Disease Bulletin, Volume XVI, Number 1, February, 1992. Readers desiring additional information are encouraged to contact Dr. Russell Currier, Division of Disease Prevention, Iowa Department of Public Health, Lucas Building, Des Moines IA 50319-0075.
The warm weather this spring may have tempted some gardeners to remove the mulch from their strawberry beds. However, a portion of the strawberry crop may be lost if the mulch is removed too early in the spring. Removal of the mulch plus a few days of unseasonably warm weather may encourage the plants to bloom before the danger of frost or freezing temperatures is past. Temperatures of 32 F or lower may severely damage or destroy open flowers. Damaged blossoms have a darkened center. Since the first flowers produce the largest berries, a late spring frost can drastically reduce yields.
Occasionally the need arises to move existing trees or shrubs within the home landscape. Small plants may be moved by homeowners. Older, larger trees and shrubs should be left to professional nurserymen with the proper equipment.
The best time to transplant deciduous trees and shrubs is while they are dormant -- early spring before growth begins or in the fall after leaf drop. Evergreens are most successfully transplanted in April and late summer (late August to mid- September).