So we have national days of things, and now here is a National Year and it is for the rose. The US National Flower first appeared around 35 million years ago and is part of the Rosaceae family which is very important for our food supply (think apples, strawberries, etc...). There are more than 150 species of Roses but very few are used in today's gardens.
Roses have been associated with the human population since the earliest recorded history. The oldest record is from China and dates back more than 7,000 years ago and their popularity has never faded since. Modern rose hybridization started in Western Europe in the 18th Century, and today there are more than 11,000 existing varieties of hybrid roses, with more being bred every year.
National Garden Bureau is proud to present the Year of the Rose in partnership with the American Rose Society. The rose industry is divided into 3 main areas, the Fragrance industry, the Fresh Flower/Florist industry and the Garden industry. The Fragrance industry uses mostly 2 species grown specifically for that purpose. R. Gallica and R. Damascena. The industry is concentrated on the Mediterranean basin where the climate is ideal for their culture. It takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 liter of Rose oil, one of the most widely used components in making perfumes.
The Florist rose industry produces more than 1 billion stems a year in more than 30,000 acres of greenhouses worldwide. The industry started in Europe and the US near the main urban centers in the late 19th Century and has moved into areas with climates better suited for their production. Columbia and Ecuador in South America, Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa and now China and India are the major producing areas, although there is a small but growing trend in the US to produce locally grown fresh flowers once again.
Last but not least, Garden roses have been front and center in the garden since the Middle Ages when they were widely grown for their medicinal qualities. The industry today is largely concentrated in developed countries (US, Europe, Japan, Australia...) but there are big developments in newly industrialized countries and especially in China.
More tomorrow about the care of the roses. Taken from http://ngb.org/year-of-the-rose/
more tomorrow about the care of roses
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
It’s that time. Spring is just around the corner, and fresh, tender spring greens are almost ours! There’s something about bright green sprouts peeking through dark spring soil that signals a new start. It’s more than fresh food or pretty plants – it’s a sign of things to come! If you’re planning on growing fresh spring greens this year, here’s what you need to know to get started.
Types of Greens for Spring Planting
Start with the greens you already know and love, for sure.
Spinach is a go-to, and the dark green leaves usually look nice against the lighter greens and reds of lettuces. Romaine and head lettuce are nice, but they take some time to form. It’s better to go with loose leaf greens for spring planting and early harvests.
Branching out from lettuce, we also have arugula, a spicy green with a distinct flavor and quick maturity. Chicory is another with a strong, unique flavor, though it will take a bit more time to mature. And don’t forget dandelions! In spite of its bad rap as a weed, the organic garden knows how to appreciate even the misunderstood plants. Dandelion greens are excellent in salads, and the flowers are edible as well.
Mesclun mixes make the choice easy, blending chard, kale, lettuces, beets, and more. Not only do you get a great mix of spring greens, but the visual contrast is nice, too.
If you want to keep succession planting going and grow spring greens through early summer (or later!), add in amaranth. The leaves are edible, the flowers beautiful, and it fares much better in the heat than some of the more tender greens.
When to Plant Spring Greens
As soon as the last frost has subsided and the soil can be raked and moved, you can begin planting greens. Some do okay started indoors, but mostly they need to be planted directly.
Another option is to build a raised bed garden and start with that fresh soil, which won’t have had time to harden and chill over the winter. Because most seeds for greens are small, you’ll sow them by scattering or broadcasting seeds onto soil that’s been worked with compost instead of directly planting one or two at a time. Toss some potting soil over the top of them and pat gently.
It won’t take long for greens to sprout, and at that point you can thin them carefully. Each variety has its own requirements – though this is another plus for a seed mix like mesclun. No thinning required!
A week or so after you’ve got sprouts, start another round. You’ll be harvesting greens more frequently than other plants, and sometimes that will mean taking a whole plant out of the ground. Make sure you don’t lose your whole garden with one salad by keeping successive plantings in the ground.
By the time spring is in full swing, I have some greens ready for harvest, some maturing, some sprouting, and some just barely in the ground. And until the summer heat tells me to stop, I’ll keep going!
Getting Creative with Spring Greens
Not only are most greens low-growing, but we can keep them trimmed down thanks to frequent harvesting. What does that mean for garden plans? Greens can go just about anywhere!
In the edible landscape, I like to use them as someone might edge a bed with flowering annuals. Their quick spring color adds fresh green early in the season, and it makes accessing them easy when it’s time for dinner. From my book, Gardening Like a Ninja.
“Instead of planting a ground cover of vinca vine or impatiens, sow seeds for a colorful lettuce blend and Swiss chard. You get the same green foil under and around larger plants, but you can actually walk through the garden harvesting the largest leaves as you go, and end up back at the house with a salad’s worth for dinner.” Think outside of the box.
To grow them even closer to where you’ll use them, container gardens are spruced up nicely with spring greens. You can use creative DIY containers or simply keep a couple near the kitchen to have greens on hand at all times.
Wherever you decide to grow spring greens, they’re sure to brighten up the space and act as a frontrunner for a fresh (and delicious!) new year in the garden.
Taken from https://www.thespruce.com/growing-fresh-spring-greens-
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
I didn't know they have a day for lots of things but WEEDS. I have been getting a daily devotion from The Iowa Methodist Conference, so want to share with you this one about National Weed Day.
Weeds Creep In
By: Jon and Lana Williams
Spring is upon us on this National Weed Appreciation Day. Most of us consider weeds to be a nuisance. By their definition, a weed is any plant that grows where it doesn’t belong. Plants that are weeds could be very good plants if planted in another location. A plant may be beautiful, strong, delicious or desirable in one location but a weed in another. Beautiful and lovely flowers growing in our vegetable garden are weeds. Unwanted trees growing in our yard are weeds. We all know the dandelion is only loved by a child. I have yet to see a perfect yard or garden that wasn’t the result of much work. The results of a beautiful yard or garden come after much work, including tilling, fertilizing, and weeding.
Weeds are much like sin in our lives. Weeds creep in and can overtake our heart, separating us from God. Weeds and sin spread and grow when ignored.
We need to spend time with God, in prayer and in His word, so God can prune and pluck the weeds from our lives. As He weeds the sin from our heart we move closer in our relationship with Him. As we continue preparing our hearts for Easter, are we allowing God the time and ability to prune and weed our hearts?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise you for this day and the reminder to spend time opening my heart to your work this day. I ask that you do your work, weed out the sin from my heart, so that I may draw closer to you t0day. In your name I pray. Amen.
About the Authors: Jon and Lana Williams are the Lay Leaders for the Northwest District of The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Interesting comment with the start of this article. WHO doesn't like spinach? I now a lot that don't. But I have been having it a lot this winter season, all of them cooked spinach with vinegar. LOVE it. Will put some seeds into some large pots in the greenhouse so I can have fresh growing. I am lucky so I can do that. Soon you will be able to plant in your garden.
It's National Spinach Day!
Who doesn't love Spinach? It's delicious, nutritious, and incredibly easy to grow! It's fitting that National Spinach Day falls in the end of March, the perfect time to sow your first crop of the season in most areas of the country.
Spinach seeds can be sown directly into the garden as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. Simply rake out your planting bed and amend the soil with compost, well-rotted manure or an organic fertilizer. Sow the seeds 1/2" deep every 1/2" or so in rows 12" to 18" apart. Keep the soil moist and the bed weeded, and you should see seedlings emerge in 10-14 days.
Even if Spinach wasn't a nutritional powerhouse, we would eat it all the time. What a delicious, versatile veggie.
Taken from email@example.com
till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Just a quick post on being thankful. I will post another gardening blog later today.
Today's Bible verse is from Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Patience and Wisdom Goes Hand in Hand
God wants us to use wisdom, and wisdom encourages patience. Wisdom says," Wait a little while, until the emotions settle down, before you do or say something, then check to see if you really believe it's the right thing to do." Wisdom is grateful for what you already have and patiently moves into what God has for you next.
Emotions urge us toward haste, telling us that we must do something and do it right now! But godly wisdom tells us to be patient and wait until we have a clear picture of what we are to do and when we are to do it. We need to be able to step back from our situations and see them from God's perspective. Then we can make decisions based on what we know rather than on what we feel.
Dear Lord, Thank You for that patience is a fruit of the spirit I can demonstrate in my life. With Your help, I am determined to make decisions today with wisdom and patience. Thank You for guiding me along the way. Amen
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
I didn't get any thing posted yesterday. I had some good help come and help in the greenhouse, so needed to do that. Then had to run errands, and had a community supper at church. I am tired today, but here we go.
Tips from the Old Gardeners "How to make friends and influence plants"
Among the most helpful tips to come down to use from observations and the practical experience of generations of gardeners are those that concern the protective qualities of certain plants.
The onion family ( onions, chives & garlic-alliums) In the old days there was a widespread habit in the countryside of hanging strings on onions in the house to keep it free of infectious diseases because, it was believed onions absorbed poisons. Modern science knows that onion and garlic both have the power to prevent blood clotting and the build up of cholesterol but, despite much research, has still not pinpointed exactly what gives the onion family its remarkable hearing powers. In the garden, this family performs as well for its fellow plants as it does for human health. Garlic and onion especially have a pungent smell and like the foxglove, contain repellent as well as stimulating properties.
To keep rabbits away from the crops, it is said plant a row of onions, chives or garlic. They will never pass through such a border.
If Dracula can't cope with garlic, what hope has the humble rabbit? It's also recommended to plant garlic and chives among roses to keep greenfly away and to Keep pests off raspberries and vines by planting garlic among them. If you boil the leaves of wild garlic in water, you can use this as a part to repel scale insects and aphids, and prevent tomato blight, bean rust and mildew in cucumbers. More food for thought. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
It isn't spring like weather here for these early spring vegetables but I thought you would like to think about it as soon it will be time. I promise you, it will.
Spring is a hectic time for gardeners, but planting a spring vegetable garden will pay off in big dividends. Fresh picked vegetables are never more welcome than after a long gray winter. Spring temperatures are a bit too chilly and the ground is still too damp for many vegetables to be planted, but there are a handful of hardy performers that can go in the garden, even before the last frost date has passed. As an extra bonus, there are fewer insects and disease pests around in early spring, so. performers that can go in the garden, even before the last frost date has passed. As an extra bonus, there are fewer insects and disease pests around in early spring, so you vegetables should get off to a good start.
The first vine ripened tomato may still be a few months away, but there’s plenty to keep you busy in the vegetable garden. Take advantage of the cool, wet weather of spring to put in multiple crops of peas and lettuce. It’s also a great time to get your perennial vegetables, like asparagus and rhubarb, started.
There are many perennial vegetables - vegetables you can plant once and harvest for many years to come - but we only seem to grow a handful of them in our gardens. It's true you have to devote space to them, sometimes for decades, but it's worth it. Asparagus plants get more productive every year and a mature harvest can last for months. Looking forward to the first tender, pencil sized spears of asparagus poking through in the garden is a rite of spring. If you thought you didn’t like ...MORE asparagus, you haven’t tried it freshly picked.
The cool, wet weather of Spring is the perfect time to grow lettuce and there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Lettuce may take a little protection to get it going in the early spring, but, oh, it never tastes better than when it’s grown in the crisp spring air. You will get the earliest and longest harvest from the cut-and-come-again varieties. Lettuce may require a little frost protection in spring, but it won’t bolt and you will probably have time for 2-3 succession plantings.
There’s a tradition of planting the first peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Many of us don’t always get to take part in that tradition because of the snow covering our vegetable gardens. However even in years when you can manage to get out there early, the peas planted later in April will quickly catch up to the peas planted in March. Peas don't like freezing temperature, but they really do not like heat. So don’t miss the window of opportunity. Get out their and plant a crop of your favorites, whether its shelling peas, snow peas or sugar snap peas.
Rhubarb is a vegetable we prepare like a fruit and it is the first sweet "fruit" of the season. Rhubarb is another perennial gem of the vegetable garden. It really is a shame rhubarb is so underused in cooking, because it’s very easy to grow. Once you get your bed established, you can look forward to a rhubarb harvest every spring. One word of warning: the rhubarb crown quickly turns into a very dense brick that is hard to divide. If you need to move your rhubarb or want to divide the plant, do it while the plant is young.
Spinach must be grown in cool weather or it will quickly bolt to seed. There are varieties that claim to be bolt-resistant, but sooner or later, (usually sooner), they all go to seed. Luckily it also grows extremely quickly - which means you don’t have to wait long to enjoy it, but you’ll also have to keep planting new spinach, to extend the harvest. Getting spinach to grow is easy. Keeping your spinach growing takes some extra care, but it's worth it. Fresh spinach is crisper, tangier and more tender than any you'll find in a cellophane bag. And it can grow in the shade of crops that will be taking off just as your spinach fades.
Taken from https://www.thespruce.com/cool-weather-vegetables
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Here is one of the many plants we are planting for your garden. Night Sky Petunia which was new to our area last year. LOOKS awesome to grow. Enjoy the picture as we are enjoying watching the plants grow. Here is the information about it.
Spacing: 24" (61cm)
Scientific Name: Petunia cultivars
Hardiness Degree: 40°F (4.4°C)
Blooming Season: Spring, Late Spring, Summer
Plant Habit: Mounded, Trailing
Fertilize: Once a week
Height: 10 - 16" (25 - 41cm)
Width: 24 - 36" (61 - 91cm)
General Information: Ground Breaking new color pattern on a mounded trailing petunia variety.
Boldly goes where no petunia has gone before…Light years from usual! This might be the most distinctive bloom you’ve ever seen on this planet. Matches Headliner in habit, timing and vigor. Due to the varying color pattern of Night Sky, we do not warrant Night Sky to flower in a consistent color or pattern and no claims will be accepted.
This part taken from http://www.ballseed.com/PlantInfo
I have been looking up information to share with you about combination plants for combination planters. There are many on the grower's market of having 3 plants in a plug so all we as growers have to do is transplant and grow into hanging baskets, terra cotta containers or single pots for you as a gardener to take home and add to your garden. We have been planting many different kinds, and when they are full grown I will take pictures of them. We will have them in 12" baskets for $12.00 each, we will have them in 14" sphagnum peat moss baskets for $25.00. ( the reason why is the price of the hanging basket for the look of sphagnum and wire.) We will have 10" landscape terra cotta pots full ready to use in your gardens for $15.00. Plus single 4 " pots of these plants for you to do whatever you want to in your garden for $4.99. Keep that in mind when you are looking to add to your gardens. I suppose I better quit this post and get ready to plant as we have 1000's of little plants to transplant. I have to love this when I see all the work we have to do. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
So when green beans and peas are done blooming and producing should you dig them completely out? Or just leave the foliage cut down? Old Gardeners advice.
Sorry I didn't post yet today. BUSY day with the girls coming to transplant, and do we have the plants to do!!! I have to love it, love it and love it more. Planting is fun and here we go in full production getting ready for spring.
So here is what I found some more from the Book, Tips from the Old Gardeners
Don't pull up the roots of beans and peas. When you've had your fill of beans and peas and they have nothing left to give, they leave a straggly, untidy mess behind. It's very tempting to pull the whole lots up, keep the growing frame or sticks for next year, and chuck the rest on the bonfire or compost heap. BUT hang on a minute!
Those little white globs, a bit like small boils, that you see on the roots are not some unmentionable fungus or the handiwork of malicious but unidentified insects. They are storage pods for valuable nitrates which will do your soil no end of good if you leave them in peace to get on with it. SO by all means tidy up the bean and pea patch by cutting off the tops just above the soil, but leave the roots where they are to enjoy the winter unmolested, and they'll repay you by replenishing your soil in time for next season.
Pruning the general rule of thumb for trees and shrubs that need an annual prune is: if it flowers before midsummer, prune in the autumn, if after midsummer, prune the next spring. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
How pansies remind us of spring. Yes spring is here by the calendar and see how our weather will react to it. We have pansies blooming now, so it is fun to see them bloom in the greenhouse. Here is some information about pansies.
Gardeners recognize pansies for their cheerful “faces” that make them stand out in the cool weather garden despite their diminutive size. You can also buy pansies in solid colors, which growers refer to as clear colors. Although horticulturists technically classify pansies as biennials, nurseries treat the plants as cold weather annuals.
Pansies belong to the Viola genus, and the common garden species belong to Wittrock's hybrids, so you may see the plant labeled as Viola x wittrockiana. What is the difference between a pansy and a viola? You may see your favorite spring flower listed as heartsease, Johnny-jump-up, or sweet violet. Labeling gets muddled, but a beginner can tell the difference by observing the larger flowers of pansies, while violas produce a greater number of smaller flowers on plants that tend to be hardier...MORE
Pansy plants display single blooms with five petals each. The flowers average two to three inches in diameter, and get smaller as the weather warms. Some varieties sport ruffled blooms. Healthy pansy foliage is dark green, with lobed leaves. Pansy plants are compact, rarely exceeding 8 inches high. Plants can trail as much as 20 inches, softening the edges of borders and containers.
Over the years, hybridizers have expanded the available color combinations of pansies to include apricot, blue, bronze, black, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow. Popular pansy varieties include: Joker series (purple with an orange face), Crystal series (a range of 11 clear colors), Imperial series (vibrant colors that don’t fade), Springtime series (which perform in a wide temperature range).
Pansies are excellent candidates for the spring container garden, where they can show off their colors and fragrance close to eye level. In the garden, they serve to camouflage the fading foliage of spring bulbs like tulips. Besides their versatile colors, pansies are sweetly fragrant and edible, lending their delicate scent to salads and desserts. The expansive color offerings of pansies make them a suitable garnish for wedding cakes, especially if you candy the flowers with superfine sugar.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/pansies-face-of-spring
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.