May 2, 2003

Expect Some Deformed Leaves This Year

Large Shrubs or Small Trees for the Home Landscape

Trees and shrubs are vital components of the home landscape. Most woody plants are clearly either trees or shrubs. However, several plants (because of their intermediate size) can be utilized as large shrubs or small trees. Brief descriptions of several dual-purpose plants are provided below.

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

Size: 15 to 20 feet tall

Hardiness Zone: 3

Leaf Characteristics: Foliage is dark green in summer. Fall color varies from yellow to orange to red.Fruit: The winged fruit (samaras) turn pink to red by midsummer.

Planting Tomatoes

How and where you plant tomatoes is an important first step for a bountiful harvest. Deep, loamy, well-drained soils are best for tomatoes. As with most garden vegetables, tomatoes prefer a slightly acid soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. I also recommend a soil test if one has not been taken in 4 or 5 years.

Bluegrass Billbugs In Iowa

The map shows the predicted date of first adult emergence of bluegrass billbug in Iowa, based on actual temperatures recorded this spring. Bluegrass billbug is recognized as an occasional pest of Kentucky bluegrass. Although it prefers Kentucky bluegrass (as its name implies), the bluegrass billbug also feeds on perennial ryegrass, fescue, and timothy.