We are really excited to offer a cute little planter for $5.00. We have others at 14.00, 18.00 and 25.00. We have hanging baskets at 12.00, 14.00, 18.00 so if you are need of a memorial planter we are here to help you. Open Mon thru Saturday 9-6, Sunday 1-6 and also I will be here on Memorial day. HAVE to always water so I am here. Come and see us. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 641-903-9365
BOY is it humid. We all worked hard yesterday moving plants out of the greenhouse and organizing the wagons and tall racks. Today, I am just going to wait on gardeners and the rest of the stuff will come out another day. Too humid too early. Tomorrow again it looks like with temperatures in the 90’s and heat level about 100. It looks like next week more seasonable weather with temperatures in the 70’s.
We moved out almost all the tomatoes outside on a wagon and tall racks. With this warmer weather, they are looking just right. So now hardening them off for you before you put into the garden.
What did you grow in tomatoes and peppers this year, Becky? Here is the list.
Before the list, here is a short article about planting tomatoes.
Tips For Tomato Planting – How To Plant A Tomato
Tomatoes are probably the most popular summer vegetable for experts and novices alike. Once all danger of frost is past and nighttime temperatures have risen above 55 F. (13 C.) degrees, it’s time to think about tomato planting. If you live in the South, tomato seeds can be sown directly into the garden. In cooler zones, you’ll be setting out transplants, and questions about how to plant tomatoes will arise.
Tips for Planting Tomato Plants
When planting tomato plants for family consumption, here’s a helpful tip. If you only want fresh fruit, purchase about three plants per person in your household. If you’re looking for fruit to process, you’ll need from five to ten seedlings per person.
Before we talk about how to plant a tomato, let’s talk about what to look for before planting. Tomato plants should be straight and sturdy and six to eight inches (15 to 20.5 cm.) high. They should have four to six true leaves. Those six-cell packs will transplant just as well as the individually grown tomato. Planting will be the same for both, but make sure to tear the peat pot off around the top of the individual or make sure it sits beneath soil level.
How to Plant a Tomato
When asking about how to plant tomatoes, the first question is how deep. Tomatoes have the ability to grow roots along their stems, so when planting tomato plants, plant deep; right up to the first set of leaves. This takes care of those leggy tomato seedlings. If the plant is too long and wobbly, dig a small trench and lay the plant on its side, gently bending it into a right angle. Bury the stem in this position leaving those first two leaves exposed. Some gardeners believe those leggy starters will form a healthier plant than those with a more compact form.
Water your seedlings in with a weak solution of high phosphorus fertilizer . Now is the time to choose your support: stakes, cages or unsupported. How far apart to plant tomato seedlings depends on your chosen support. If you decide to use cages or stakes, place them now so you don’t damage the growing roots later.
How Far Apart to Plant Tomato Plants
Plants should be about 3 feet apart when tomato planting with cages. Staking only requires about 2 feet (0.5 m.) between plants. Loosely tie the plants to their stakes as they grow, but set the stakes when you set the seedlings. You’ll need 3 feet (1 m.) between the plants and 5 feet (1.5 m.) between the rows if you’re planting tomato plants to grow naturally.
What did you grow in tomatoes this year, Becky? Here is the list.
tomato amish paste
tomato better bush $
tomato big beef $
tomato big boy $
tomato candy land red
tomato choc sprinkles
tomato grape gabrielle
tomato La Roma
tomato lemon boy
tomato midnight snack
tomato red large cherry
tomato sunsugar $
tomato sweet 100
tomato yellow pear
I have some more in the seed trays so will be adding more to this list. All I need is time to get it done.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Question is asked "What is new this year?' For me, we are selling fingerling potatoes. You will have to try some.
Just came off a great Saturday for weather, and had gardeners come to the greenhouse. Just can’t get 2 days in a row nice. So Sunday was cooler, windy and wet. NOW Monday it is very windy, and warming up with a front coming thru from the south. This will be hot, humid weather for the rest of the week. With that and the moisture we have there are 20% chance of rain each day. Tonight could be some severe weather, just have to see what the weather man said the CAP. If it stays in place, that will help with keeping the storms under control. See what happens. Have to keep an eye on the sky, because of severe weather then we can put under cover the wagons, and the tall racks. I hope to be back daily to share with you something from the greenhouse.
WHAT is new this year? Is a question always asked…..so how about fingerling potatoes? Give them a try and this is how.
How to Grow Fingerlings
Grow fingerling potatoes just as you would any potato. But keep in mind that all but 'French Fingerling' need at least 90 to 100 days of frost-free weather to produce tubers. Plant seed pieces in the garden after the last frost in your area. To avoid diseases, plant where potatoes or related plants (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) have not grown for at least a year.
Make fingerling seed pieces smaller than those for ordinary potatoes. Cut tubers into 1-ounce disks that have at least 2 to 3 eyes per disk. Larger potato varieties usually require a 2-ounce piece.
Set the seed pieces in 4- to 6-inch-deep planting holes or trenches. Because fingerling plants are usually larger and rangier than modern varieties, give them more room than you would typical potatoes: Space seed pieces about 18 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Like other potatoes, fingerlings need a loose, deep, sandy, or sandy loam soil, or soils generously amended with organic matter such as compost. Ideally, cultivate a 3- to 4-inch layer of composted manure into the planting bed early in the season. All potatoes need regular irrigation or rainfall throughout the season. But be especially careful to keep fingerlings' soil moist. Even brief dry periods will produce misshaped or smaller tubers.
Once the plants have emerged from the ground, hill soil up, covering all but one-third of the sprout. Repeat hilling three to four weeks later. Mulch the rows with a 4- to 6-inch-thick layer of straw mulch when plants emerge to help conserve moisture and stop weed seeds from germinating.
How to Grow Fingerling Potatoes in a Container By: Caryn Anderson
Thanks to the ease of container gardening, you don't even need a garden to grow a bumper crop of elegant, delicious fingerling potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). These small, finger-shaped potatoes typically take 90 to 110 days to mature, and they grow well in soil temperatures ranging from 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for early- or late-season gardening. Place the container-grown fingerlings in a spot that receives direct sunlight for six hours or longer.
You can use nearly any type of container to grow fingerling potatoes, including barrels, garbage cans, terracotta or plastic planters, or commercially available potato growing bags, which can be found online or at garden centers.
Drainage and container size are two of the most important factors to keep in mind while choosing a planter. If the container lacks drainage holes or only has one hole, drill at least three to five 1/4-inch holes on the bottom to prevent soggy conditions. Allow 2 to 3 gallons of planter space for every fingerling potato you plan to plant. If you intend to plant three or four potatoes, select a 15-gallon container. If you're only planting one, a smaller container may suffice.
Thanks to the ease of container gardening, you don't even need a garden to grow a bumper crop of elegant, delicious fingerling potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).
Growing potatoes from fingerling potatoes purchased from the grocery store typically yields disappointing results because the potatoes are treated with a substance designed to retard sprouting. Instead, buy certified disease-free fingerling potato seeds from a local nursery or from a garden catalog.
Growing fingerlings in a container
Many varieties of fingerling potatoes grow well in containers, including "Russian Banana," a variety with 1- to 3-inch potatoes with yellow skin and yellow waxy, moist flesh. "Swedish Peanut," which yields tubers that grow 1 to 2/1/2 inches long, has yellow, nutty-flavored flesh. For show-stopping color, try growing "Purple Peruvian," which grows 3/4- to 2-inch potatoes with purple flesh and skin.
Prepare the fingerling seeds by cutting tubers into small 1-ounce rounds with at least two eyes on each piece. Choose a high quality, soil-less potting mix to reduce exposing the fingerling potatoes to the diseases and pests that naturally occur in garden soil.
Growing potatoes from fingerling potatoes purchased from the grocery store typically yields disappointing results because the potatoes are treated with a substance designed to retard sprouting.
For show-stopping color, try growing "Purple Peruvian," which grows 3/4- to 2-inch potatoes with purple flesh and skin.
Place 3 to 4 inches of the potting mix on the bottom of the container. Mix in two handfuls of organic starter fertilizer and arrange the seed pieces in the container. According to the National Gardening Association, fingerling potato plants generally grow larger and need extra room between seeds than other potatoes. Allow approximately 18 inches of space between the seed pieces. Cover the seeds with another 4 to 6 inches of soil, lightly tamp it down and water the container thoroughly.
Caring for Plants
Water the container regularly, adding at least 1 inch to the container weekly. Feel the potting mix every few days, and add water as needed to maintain evenly moist -- but not wet or soggy -- soil. As the young potato plants grow, hill them by adding enough soil or compost around the seedlings so that only 3 inches of the plant shows.
Place 3 to 4 inches of the potting mix on the bottom of the container.
Cover the seeds with another 4 to 6 inches of soil, lightly tamp it down and water the container thoroughly.
Fertilize the plants once every month with an organic fertilizer formulated for vegetables. Blend approximately 2 tablespoons of the fertilizer for every 1 square foot of planting space into the top 1 to 3 inches of potting mix.
Avoid overhead watering and check the plants once a week for signs of a Colorado potato beetle infestation, heralded most commonly by the presence of orange eggs located on the leaves' undersides. Remove and crush the eggs. Spray the leaves of the plant with Bacillus thuringiensis san diego, a food-safe insecticide, to kill larvae.
Good luck and give these a try.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Just had the best Mother's Day gift...a hummingbird came into the greenhouse and was only one foot away from me. WHAT a thrill!!!! Also I forgot to show you the newest display.
What a thrill to have a hummingbird fly into the greenhouse and just a foot from me. He will find lots of nectar with all these blooming plants. I forgot to show pictures of my newest display. Potted plants ready to go into your home or office. Pick up, enjoy and watch them grow. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa 641-794-3337 cell phone 641-903-9365 Enjoy this warmer day and sun is going to be out.
Looks like a better Friday, and Saturday sounds like it will be an awesome day. How we appreciate when the weather is like that. We have been working hard to get plants outside for your shopping and really make room inside for more planting to do. Yes, we are still planting.
What do you have for my mom this Mother’s Day?
I will name and show you a few ideas.
We are OPEN. Monday thru Saturday 9-6, Sunday 1-6. We have moved plants outside, and the greenhouse is still full. We are still planting so adding more and more things. Pictures from walking around the front and inside the greenhouse. Lots of plants and more color.
What I have taken in these pictures is what we have grown here in the greenhouse. I am a grower,so we have been planting since Feb. When asked," Did you get your plants in?' Yes little plugs in Feb. March and April. We plant, we water and then the plants grow in this miracle greenhouse.
We have in our trees/shrubs/roses. The perennials are here too. These were brought in and didn't grow just maintain now. It has been busy moving plants out and all of that. Sorry I haven’t written much. I will be continuing to do more talking about the plants that are here. Stop in and see us. Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 641-903-9365 cell
Some different ideas with growing vegetables in containers. Best part is seeing what varieties to plant in the containers.
image from trueleafmarket.com
It is raining out, wind is blowing so looks nasty but the temperature is at 50 degrees. So finally we are having a WARM spring rain. NOW things will pop. Looks like rain all morning, and then again rain tomorrow. Might be slight storms on Saturday. I am so thankful that I waited another week to have the opening weekend of this greenhouse. Monday April 25 opening up at 9 -6 and every day Monday thru Saturday 9-6. Sunday 1-6 till the end of June. Here we go. We are excited about sharing with you what we have been doing all winter. This week I have been working on turning the greenhouse into that small garden center. I am excited about a couple of new displays. I will be sharing with you as I get them completed. Growing plants and planting yet…thankful for Lyle and Ann Chambers to keep up planting. It takes many hands to do this.
I will do some container vegetable gardening again this year. What I found helpful is the variety of the plants to use in containers. Hope you find helpful too. I promise soon we will be planting.
Container gardening is a fantastic way to grow vegetables, especially when you lack yard space! If you have a small gardening area or only have access to a patio, balcony, driveway, or rooftop, consider trying your hand at gardening in pots.
Why You Should Try Container Gardening
Container gardening allows those of us who don’t have room for raised beds or a huge garden plot to grow our own food, too. Want to have more control over growing conditions and fewer weeds? Container gardening is a great way to maximize your gardening space and streamline your gardening tasks.
Where to Put a Container Garden
The beauty of a container garden is that it can be placed almost anywhere. Even if it’s only one or two pots on the side of your driveway or in the corner of your balcony, gardening in containers allows you to maximize all of your available space. Just as with a standard garden bed, consider things such as sunlight exposure, water accessibility, and protection from wind when deciding where to put your containers. To maximize your veggie harvest, you’ll want to place your pots in an area that gets full sun (i.e., 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day). Lettuce, spinach, and other greens can grow well in less sunlight (3 to 5 hours per day), but for fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash, or eggplant, full sun should be the goal. Southern and western exposures will provide the most sunlight and warmth, while northern and eastern exposures will be shadier and cooler.
It’s also a good idea to put your pots somewhere that you can reach with a watering hose. Keep in mind that container gardens tend to need more water than standard in-ground gardens, and there’s nothing worse than having to lug a gardening can across your yard a dozen times every morning—and then having to do it again in the evening! Having an easily accessible source of water nearby will save you a lot of time and effort.
Protecting containers from direct wind keeps them from drying out as much and prevents accidental tipping over. Depending on the size of your containers and the plants you’re growing, they may get top-heavy as the season goes on, which makes them more vulnerable to tipping over in strong winds. Place containers in sheltered locations or plan to secure them (e.g., with cinderblocks, stones, or ropes).
Finally, think about the microclimates that exist on your property. Microclimates are small pockets of space in which the climate of the immediate area doesn’t match the greater climate of your location. For example, an asphalt driveway will hold onto warmth longer than a patch of grass will, so any pots placed on the driveway will be exposed to that extra warmth. On one hand, this could mean that the pots dry out more quickly, but on the other hand, the plants may grow better thanks to the warmer soil.
Choosing the Right Container
The most fundamental part of container gardening is—surprise—picking the right container! From plastic pots and cinderblocks to whiskey barrels and wheelbarrows, almost anything that holds soil can be gardened in. However, when it comes to growing a productive container veggie garden, there are three key aspects to keep in mind while picking a suitable container:
A container should have a drainage hole or some other way to allow water to pass through it. Water-logged soil promotes bacterial and fungal growth, which will stunt plants’ productivity or kill them outright. Your climate factors into this as well; gardeners in drier areas may want to choose containers that retain more moisture, while those in more humid environments way want containers that allow for more air flow.
In general, the more space you can offer your plants’ roots, the better they will grow. For growing large vegetables such as beefsteak tomatoes or squash, large pots are recommended. However, bear in mind that larger containers will be heavier and harder to move, and may be too heavy for somewhere like a balcony. Small containers, on the other hand, are more mobile and versatile, but also tend to dry out faster, requiring more attention on hot days.
The final important factor to consider is what the container is made out of. These days, containers come in all sorts of types, each with its upsides and downsides. Here are a few of the most popular container materials:
Plastic: Plastic pots come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes, which makes them one of the most popular choices for container gardening. Plastic pots also tend to be the cheapest option. They are relatively lightweight, hold in moisture well, and are easy to clean and reuse for many gardening seasons down the line.
Ceramic (terra-cotta): Ceramic pots are another popular choice. They tend to be more decorative than plastic pots, but are also quite a bit heavier—especially when filled with soil. Ceramic pots come in glazed or unglazed styles; the main difference being that glazed pots hold in more moisture than unglazed pots. The great thing about ceramic pots is that the clay is porous, which allows some level of air and water to flow through it. This ensures that soil doesn’t get overly wet, but also means that soil in (unglazed) clay pots will dry out more quickly than in plastic pots.
Fabric: Fabric pots have become more popular in recent years thanks to their lightweight nature and the breathability they offer. They often come with handles, too, which makes moving them around very easy. Plus, they can be washed and reused fairly easily. The fabric allows air and water to easily flow through it, which is beneficial to plants’ roots, as they are encouraged to become more fibrous and, therefore, more efficient at taking in water and nutrients. One downside to fabric pots is that they dry out rather quickly, so consistent watering will be required.
Again, almost anything can be used as a container, so get creative! Hanging baskets make good use of extra space, and herbs, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries grown at eye level can be easily tended and harvested. Use whiskey barrels (a wooden half-barrel can yield an amazing amount of food), buckets, baskets, boxes, bath- and other tubs, window boxes, and troughs—anything that holds soil. Just be sure that it has drainage holes in the bottom and is a size that you can manage.
Soil for Containers
In order to grow healthy plants, you need healthy soil. Plants in containers need the best possible nutrients, aeration, and drainage in order to encourage healthy root growth and to produce a good harvest.
Do not use soil from the garden! Most garden soils are too heavy, can become easily waterlogged and compacted, and harbor disease and insects. Instead, use a “soilless” potting mix that’s specifically formulated for use in containers. It will be quick-draining and lightweight, and shouldn’t contain any diseases or pests.
Soilless potting mixes tend to consist of some combination of peat (or coconut coir), perlite, and vermiculite, as well as other additives such as ground limestone and granulated fertilizers to provide nutrients. Here’s how to make your own soilless mix at home.
Got compost? Humus is a fantastic material to add to your container mix, as it contains plenty of nutrients and loosens the media. Read all about making compost!
How to Water Containers
Because they are more exposed to sun and wind, containers tend to dry out more quickly than traditional gardens or raised beds. Especially during the hottest days of summer, many plants grown in pots must be watered as often as twice a day!
Containers can be watered in a number of ways—hoses, watering cans, drip irrigation. Choose a method that makes the most sense for you and the size of your garden.
A few watering pointers:
Water in the morning (or as early as possible). Ideally, container plants should be watered as early in the day as possible. Watering early in the day provides plants with enough moisture to get them through the hotter midday hours. It also ensures that their leaves dry off by the time that night falls; having moisture on leaves at night can encourage the spread of disease.
Water deeply. Plants need water at their roots, so simply spraying the surface of the soil with the hose isn’t enough. Water plants—especially those in containers—deeply and thoroughly to ensure that water reaches down to their roots. After a watering, the soil should be saturated and water should run out the bottom of the pot. Alternatively, try watering from the bottom: Place a tray under the pot and fill it with water. The soil will absorb the water through the drainage hole(s). Repeat until no more water is absorbed, then dump out any excess water from the tray.
Don’t water too frequently! It may sound counterintuitive, but watering a plant with a small amount of water very frequently is worse than watering with a large amount infrequently. Frequent, shallow waterings encourage plants to develop weak, shallow roots, while infrequent, deep waterings encourage them to put down deeper, healthier roots. Most plants can tolerate—and actually benefit from—having a little break between deep waterings, so don’t be afraid to let the soil dry out a little bit between waterings.
Other key things to keep in mind are the size of the pot and the weather. Smaller pots will dry out a lot more quickly than larger pots, and will require more frequent waterings. Hot, sunny days are naturally more drying than cool, cloudy ones, so expect to water more during heat waves. Overall, pay attention to the speed at which your container soil dries out as well as how your plants react; you will soon get a sense for how often you need to water!
One way to keep container plants adequately cool and moist during hot summer days is to double-pot them: Place a small pot inside a larger one and fill the space between them with sphagnum moss or crumpled newspaper. When watering the plant, also soak the filler between the pots. Caution: be sure to check your double-potted plants often, as the extra layer can also be a nice spot for pests to hide!
Water flows through containers quickly, flushing nutrients out with it. This can be a good thing, as it will flush out any buildup of salts in the soil. However, this also means that it’s necessary to replenish those nutrients by feeding container plants more regularly than those grown in the ground.
In general, we recommend adding a slow-release fertilizer to your potting mix at the start of the gardening season. This can be done by either mixing it into your potting mix at planting, or by sprinkling fertilizer on top of the potting mix (i.e., “top-dressing”) right after planting. This will give your plants a good head start on growth.
While they’re actively growing, flowering, and fruiting, use a liquid fertilizer to feed container plants at least twice a month, following the instructions on the label. It’s always a good idea to test your soil first, if possible, to gauge whether or not additional fertilizer is necessary. An occasional application of fish emulsion or compost will add trace elements to container soil as well.
To keep vegetable plants growing, feed them organic soil amendments, like liquid seaweed, fish emulsion, or manure tea. Read more about fertilizing container plants here!
Supporting Container Plants
While we won’t discourage you from chatting with your plants every now and then, in this case, we mean physical support. Support tall or climbing vegetables with trellises, stakes, netting, twine, or cages. Here’s how to build your own trellis or wooden supports.
A teepee of bamboo stakes will hold pole beans or snap peas well. Cucumbers trained to climb up a nylon mesh fence will develop fruit that hang down and grow straight. To avoid damaging the plants or their roots, put supports in place at the time of planting.
Which Vegetables Grow Best in Containers?
When it comes to being grown in containers, some veggies do actually do better than others. Vegetables that can be easily transplanted are typically great candidates, as they will adjust easily to the potted environment. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or started at home.
In general, gravitate toward vegetable varieties that are considered “dwarf” or “container,” as they tend to stay smaller and are better suited to the container lifestyle. Check in your favorite seed catalogs; many list varieties of vegetables bred specifically for growing in containers. Among tomatoes, for example, choose “bush” or “determinate” varieties, as they will grow to a set height and won’t get unwieldy in a container.
To maximize space and thus your harvest, try planting low-growers and tall climbers together in the same container. The climbers will eagerly scramble up a trellis, while the small plants spread around their base. You’ll hardly need to weed because there won’t be any room for weeds to gain a foothold, and during the height of summer, some low-growers (leafy greens, for example) will thrive in the shade provided by the taller plants.
Mix quick-maturing plants, such as lettuce or radishes, with longer-growing ones, like tomatoes or broccoli. Learn more about growing salad greens in containers here!
Group plants with similar needs for sun and water, such as pole beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and beets; tomatoes, basil, and onions; and peas and carrots.
Finally, here are some suggested vegetables for containers, along with recommended container sizes and varieties:
Container: 5-gallon window box
Varieties: Bush ‘Blue Lake’, Bush ‘Romano’, ‘Tender Crop’
Container: 1 plant per 5 gallon pot, 3 plants per 15-gallon tub
Varieties: ‘DeCicco’, ‘Green Comet’
Container: 5-gallon window box at least 12 inches deep
Varieties: ‘Danvers Half Long’, ‘Short ‘n Sweet’, ‘Tiny Sweet’
Container: 1 plant per 1-gallon pot
Varieties: ‘Patio Pik’, ‘Pot Luck’, ‘Spacemaster’
Container: 1 plant per 5-gallon pot
Varieties: ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Ichiban’, ‘Slim Jim’
Container: 5-gallon window box
Varieties: ‘Ruby’, ‘Salad Bowl’
Container: 5-gallon window box
Varieties: ‘White Sweet Spanish’, ‘Yellow Sweet Spanish’
Container: 1 plant per 2-gallon pot, 5 plants per 15-gallon tub
Varieties: ‘Cayenne’, ‘Long Red’, ‘Sweet Banana’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Yolo’
Container: 5-gallon window box
Varieties: ‘Cherry Belle’, ‘Icicle’
Container: Bushel basket
Varieties: ‘Early Girl’, ‘Patio’, ‘Small Fry’, ‘Sweet 100’, ‘Tiny Tim’
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/content/container-gardening-vegetables
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Good morning. The thermometer says 47 but there is dampness and cold wind out of the SSE at 22 mph so there is a wind chill of 40. 100 percent of rain this afternoon. Low tonight of 36 but tomorrow looks like almost perfect day. Sunny high of 66, and the wind is low. Good day to work in the garden getting ready to plant.
We are busy planting in the greenhouse. We moved out pansies, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussel sprouts yesterday. They had a little greenhouse wilt, but the hardening stage as set in, so they will be over that by the time you plant in your garden.
I am working on the front part of the growing greenhouse, to make it into a garden center. It does so change. Seed potatoes, onion sets are here. Bulk seeds are ready for you. Perennials, trees, shrubs, air plants are all on order and will be coming next week.
Ann and Lyle Chambers are busy planting how this planting season has gone so quickly. I have been planting houseplants, ferns, succulents, and more succulents. As we have in the past a very nice selection of succulents. I have potted some up all ready in nice pots, so you can take home and just enjoy.
HOURS THIS WEEK. MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 9-6, I WILL BE AROUND ON SATURDAY, BUT I MIGHT BE AT THE HOUSE GETTING READY FOR OUR FAMILY EASTER. WE ARE CLOSED ON Sunday APRIL 24TH. Starting April 25th, open every day Monday thru Saturday 9-6, Sunday hours are 1-6. Here we go.
I better close with this spring is late this year, but I do remember other springs cold and wet. It all will come in time, and we will have a lovely spring. At least, I am hoping.
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
image from harrisseeds.com/bare
Good morning. Hope all of you had a Blessed Easter we did with our church family. Our family Easter is next Sunday so that is something Larry and I are looking forward to. NOW the weather is the talk, and it is still cold here in Iowa. We had snow flurries, but some places in Iowa had 2 to 3 inches of accumulating snow. My friend in Northern Minnesota had several inches, our daughter in Wyoming had snow and snow drifts left on Easter and so did a nephew in North Dakota have lots of snow. It is 26 degrees this morning. Only a high today of 40 and then tonight lows in the mid 20’s. No plants going outside or to the unheated greenhosue today. We will work on moving plants and having them on tall racks in the heated greenhouse. It looks like it will change this week with temperatures in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. But still predicted rain. And possible thunderstorms this week. I know what the date is, but Mother Nature is for sure telling us when we can plant. Spring like weather is coming and you will be out in your gardens I promise.
I order June bearing strawberries, they are not here yet, but should be soon. If you want some for your garden stop in and pick some up. Give this week for them to be shipped. Remember our hours this week is Monday thru Friday 9-6. Saturday and Sunday will be my last free weekend I need to get ready for our family Easter. Hope those hours work for you. We are still planting and work in progress but have cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli transplants look awesome. Of course, the pansies are blooming for your instant flower color.
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Strawberries by Catherine Boeckmann
Strawberries are one of the easiest fruit to grow and great for beginners! Plus, they’re very rewarding because the taste is far more flavorful than what you’ll ever find in a grocery store. Why? The sugar in berries converts to starch soon after they’re picked. Learn more about growing strawberries in the home garden.
The best thing about strawberries is that they’re very easy to grow in almost all climates and soils across the United States and Canada—as long as you plant them in a location that gets full sun.
Strawberry plants come in three types:
June-bearing varieties bear fruit all at once, usually over a period of three weeks. Day-length sensitive, these varieties produce buds in the autumn, flowers, and fruits the following June, and runners during the long days of summer. Although called “June-bearing” or “June-bearers,” these strawberries bear earlier than June in warmer climates.
Everbearing varieties produce a big crop in spring, produce lightly in the summer, and then bear another crop in late summer/fall. These varieties form buds during the long days of summer and the short days of autumn. The summer-formed buds flower and fruit in autumn, and the autumn-formed buds fruit the following spring.
Day-Neutral varieties produce fruit continuously through the season, until the first frost: Insensitive to day length, these varieties produce buds, fruits, and runners continuously if temperature remains between 35° and 85°F (1° to 30°C). Production is less than that of June-bearers.
For the home garden, we recommend June-bearers. Although you will have to wait a year for fruit harvesting, it will be well worth it.
Growing Strawberries From Planting to Harvest
See some really great tips on growing strawberries in this demonstration garden—and then read the guide below for more information on every stage from planting to harvesting!
When to Plant Strawberries
Plan to plant as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. See your local frost dates.
Establish new plants each year to keep berry quality high each season. Strawberry plants will produce runners (daughter plants) that will root and grow into new strawberry plants.
Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site
Strawberry plants require 6-10 hours a day of direct sunlight, so choose your planting site accordingly.
Strawberries are tolerant of different soil types, although they prefer loamy soil that drains well. Ideally, begin working in aged manure or compost a couple months before planting. If you have clay soil, generally mix in 4 inches or more of compost, and rake the clay soil into raised mounds to further improve drainage. If your soil is sandy, simply cultivate lightly to remove weeds, and mix in a 1-inch layer of rich compost or rotted manure.
Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 7. If necessary, amend your soil in advance of planting. If soils in your area are naturally alkaline, it is best to grow strawberries in half-barrels or other large containers filled with compost-enriched potting soil.
The planting site must be well-drained. Raised beds are a particularly good option for strawberry plants.
Practice crop rotation for the most success. Unless you plan to amend your soil each year, do not plant in a site that recently had strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant.
How to Plant Strawberries
Provide adequate space for sprawling. Set plants out 18 inches (1-1/2 feet) apart to leave room for runners and leave 4 feet between rows. Strawberries are sprawling plants. Seedlings will send out runners, which in turn will send out their own runners.
Make planting holes deep and wide enough to accommodate the entire root system without bending it. However, don’t plant too deep! The roots should be covered, but the crown should be right at the soil surface. It is very important that you do NOT bury the crown (central growing bud) of the plant or it could rot. The leaves, flowers, and fruit must be exposed to light and fresh air.
To settle their roots into the soil, water plants well at the time of planting.
It is also possible to grow strawberries from last year’s runners. See this video to find out how.
How to Grow Strawberries
Keep strawberry beds mulched to reduce water needs and weed invasion. Any type of mulch—from black plastic to pine straw to shredded leaves—will keep the soil moist and the plants clean. Read more about mulching.
Be diligent about weeding. Weed by hand, especially in the first months after planting.
Moisture is incredibly important to strawberries due to their shallow roots. Water adequately, about one inch per square foot per week. Strawberry plants need a lot of water when the runners and flowers are developing and again in the late summer, when the plants are fully mature and gearing up for winter dormancy.
Fertilize with all-purpose granules for strong growth. In warm weather, berries ripen about 30 days after blossoms are fertilized.
In the first year, pick off blossoms to discourage strawberry plants from fruiting. If not allowed to bear fruit, they will spend their food reserves on developing healthy roots instead, which is a good thing. The yields will be much greater in the second year.
Eliminate runner plants as needed. First and second generations produce higher yields. Try to keep daughter plants spaced about 10 inches apart.
Row covers are a good option for protecting blossoms and fruit from birds.
Winter Care of Strawberries
Strawberry plants are perennial. They are naturally cold hardy and will survive mildly freezing temperatures. So, if your area has mild winters, little care is needed.
In regions where the temperature regularly drops into the low twenties (Fahrenheit), strawberries will be in their dormant stage. It’s best to provide some winter protection:
When the growing season is over, mow or cut foliage down to one inch. This can be done after the first couple of frosts, or when air temps reach 20°F (-6°C).
Mulch plants about 4 inches deep with straw, pine needles, or other organic material.
In even colder regions, more insulating mulch should be added.
Natural precipitation should appropriately maintain sufficient soil moisture.
Remove mulch in early spring, after the danger of frost has passed.
Keeping beds weed-free and using a gritty mulch can deter slugs and bugs. Spread sand over the strawberry bed to deter slugs. (This also works well for lettuce.) Pine needles also foil slug and pill-bug damage.
For bigger bugs such as Japanese beetles, spray your plants with puréed garlic and neem seed oil.
When birds threaten your strawberries, position balloons with scare-eyes above the beds and use reflective Mylar bird tape to deter them.
Try planting more than one variety. Each will respond differently to conditions, and you will have a range of different fruits to enjoy.
‘Northeaster’ is best suited for the northeastern US and southeastern Canada. Fruit has strong flavor and aroma.
‘Sable’ is hardy to zone 3, early season, great flavor.
‘Primetime’ is a mild-flavored, disease-resistant variety, best adapted to the Mid-Atlantic.
‘Cardinal’ is a good variety to try in the South.
‘Camarosa’ is a good variety to try on the West Coast.
‘Tristar’ is a day-neutral variety that’s very well-suited for hanging baskets.
How to Harvest Strawberries
Fruit is typically ready for harvesting 4-6 weeks after blossoming.
Harvest only fully red (ripe) berries, and pick every three days.
Cut by the stem; do not pull the berry or you could damage the plant.
For June-bearer strawberries, the harvest will last up to 3 weeks. You should have an abundance of berries, depending on the variety.
How to Store Strawberries
Store unwashed berries in the refrigerator for 3–5 days.
Strawberries can be frozen whole for about 2 months.
WIT AND WISDOM
Why Are Strawberries Called Strawberries?
One theory is that woodland pickers strung them on pieces of straw to carry them to market. Others believe that the surface of the fruit looks as if it’s embedded with bits of straw. Still others think that the name comes from the Old English word meaning “to strew,” because the plant’s runners stray in all directions and look as if they are strewn on the ground.
The June full Moon is called the Strawberry Moon because when this Moon appeared, it signaled that it was time to start gathering ripening fruit.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/strawberries till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
image from Bluemountain.com
It is cold out this morning with temperature at 27 and wind blowing. Not as strong as yesterday. Registering at 16 mph. IT was very windy yesterday. Even hard walking back to the house from the greenhouse. In driving it was hard. When I got up there was a clear, blue sky but now the clouds are moving in. Supposed to be partly cloudy today. I always need to see how much sun we have. Yesterday even with the cold wind and low temperatures, with the sun shining it got very warm in the greenhouse. Very humid too. Plants love it, but it is hard on the planters when it is too hot. So we open the doors to keep the temperature so we can work in it. BUT you should have seen the plants grow with the sun shine. HAPYY! Now today with the clouds, and cool temperatures I will keep track of the inside temperature of the greenhouse and keep it from getting too warm again. Full time job just taking care of the plants.
I was asked how our greenhouses were with the wind. Doing ok. There is a noise with the blowing. But two layers of plastic with a fan blowing air in between. Keeps the plastic tight so it does not ripple just darn cold with the temperature and the wind. I have to have doors open as the sun heating up the air and the moisture it gets really warm. Plants like it all.
I am planting cacti yesterday. It is a bit tricky to get them in the dirt. You can tell when you touch them in the wrong place. Watering all the time. Lyle and Ann Chambers have been helping me with planting and they are doing a great job. I am excited when I water to see how well the plants are doing. They are growing. As I tell my customers, it is a magical place the greenhouse, we plant, we water and they grow.
Good Friday today. I know some are going to be planting potatoes. I just wonder what the ground temperature is and how wet the soil it? Give it some thought. We will have spring like weather soon, then it will be time to do all of this. Have a Blessed Easter with family and friends.
When we garden, don’t look at the calendar, see what is happening in nature will tell us when to plant. I know all of you are anxious to start the gardening season. I promise you it will be here soon.
We all have seen this before but feel like it is worth sharing today poem. ENJOY
Plant For A Good Life Poet: Unknown
Plant three rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul
Plant four rows of squash:
Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be obedient
Lettuce really love one another
No garden should be without turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another
Water freely with patience and
Cultivate with love.
There is abundance in your garden
Because you reap what you sow.
To conclude our garden,
We must have thyme:
Thyme for God
Thyme for study
Thyme for prayer
All have a very Blessed Easter. This is what it is all about. Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a master gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.