May 10, 1996

Ivy Geraniums

American visitors have always admired the colorful window boxes on Swiss homes. These planters are filled with mound of cascading ivy geraniums. Gardeners want to know if these plants can be grown like that in our part of the world. The answer is yes, if the proper growing conditions are provided.

Algae on Turf

Algae are primitive green plants. They can be a problem on turfgrass when surface conditions are overly wet. They tend to occur in low, shaded, or compacted areas. Algae form a greenish to black scum on the soil or in thin turf. As this blackish scum dries, it appears as a crust that later cracks. Turfgrass plants may become chlorotic (yellowed), weak, and eventually die.

Algal scums can be controlled by:

Care of Newly Planted Trees

The first year is the most important period in the establishment of newly planted trees. Good cultural practices help trees overcome transplant stress and create a favorable environment for tree growth.

Carpenter Ants

Now is the time of year many will be noticing carpenter ants in the home. These "large, black ants" are very abundant in Iowa and a common household pest. See pamphlet IC-411, "Carpenter Ants and Their Control" for drawings and details.