March 30, 1994

Comparison of Winged Ants and Termites


Ants: Wings of different sizes; antennae "elbowed"; pinched "waist." Termites: wings of equal size; antennae straight; no pinched "waist."

This article originally appeared in the March 30, 1994 issue, p. 38.

Disease Watch for Spring 1994--Apples and Strawberries


Apples and Strawberries

It's the time of year to get your sprayers out of the shed and take them for a test drive. Green tip has already occurred in far-southern Iowa as this is written (March 25), and strawberries won't be far behind. After the rain-soaked nightmare of 1993, we're looking for a better growing season in 1994. To help insure a good crop, now is a good time to anticipate the major disease problems, take preventive action when possible, and plan spray programs when necessary. A look at the major springtime diseases on each crop:

New Guinea Impatiens


New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens x hawkeri) are still considered new comers to the world of bedding plants. Most are grown in hanging baskets or patio containers. Gardeners who have tried New Guineas in the past may have been disappointed in their garden performance. Uninformed retailers sold them as impatiens for full sun. In Iowa, full sun is not a good location for best growth. New Guineas grow best where they will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. An eastern exposure is ideal. Gardeners who can water the plants frequently may want to try them in full sun.

Mosses in the Lawn


Mosses are common in many lawns this year. Mosses are small, thread-like plants that form green mats on the soil surface. Mosses are adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions. Mosses can be found in moist and dry sites, sun or shade, and in acidic or alkaline soils.

The appearance of mosses in a lawn is usually a sign of poor growing conditions. Conditions that encourage moss growth include excessive shade, low fertility, poor drainage, compacted soil, or any combination of the above.