So it has been really hot and humid very hard on all of us working at the greenhouse. We watered twice a day to make sure everything stays alive and growing. It did work as all looks really good. If you are in need of gardening stuff, stop on in....we are open 9-6 Monday thru Saturday Sunday 11-4. One of the plants I am really proud of growing is the tomatoes....this is a picture of the Celebrity plants in a large 4 pack. When asked what is my favorite tomato I would say this is it? It is still time to plant tomatoes, peppers, green beans and the garden stuff. When it comes to vine plants like cucumbers, squash, pumpkins you should wait till June 10th here in our zone. Bridget Conway told me that back in the 80's. If you wait till then, you are pass the first round of bugs. Not this year, but our nights are usually cool and the vine plants don't like cool nights. Also had a farmer tell me that he waits to plant his green beans when the field beans are up because then the bugs will stay in the field and not bother his garden. Give this some thought....till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com
What makes dandelion removal from lawns so difficult? Well, dandelions enjoy the best of both worlds. Above-ground, their seeds ride the wind currents, poised to drop into the slightest opening in your lawn to propagate the species. Meanwhile, below-ground, they strike down a taproot up to 10 inches long. Pulling the taproot as a means of removal is problematic. Thick but brittle, the taproot easily fractures and any fraction of the taproot that remains in the ground will regenerate. How to Kill Dandelions: Pulling Them
If you want to try to pull these weeds, despite the difficulty just mentioned, here's how to proceed:
■ To facilitate weeding, water the lawn first (weeds are more easily extricated from wet soil).
■ Make an incision into the soil, down along the side of the taproot, using a garden spade or similar tool. If you're really serious, you can even buy a tool designed specifically for dandelion removal.
■ Wiggle the tool to loosen the taproot
■ Using the ground as a fulcrum, try to pry up the weed. Get a good grip on the leaves (as many of them as you can close your hand over) and use them as your "handle" on which to tug.
■ Give the weed a gentle tug to see if the taproot is yielding.
■ If the taproot is yielding, remove the dandelion weed from the soil. Otherwise, make further incisions around the taproot and continue to tug gently at the leaves.
How to Kill Dandelions: Herbicides
I'm not a proponent of using herbicides when an alternative exists that works just as well.
But killing dandelions is a case where one might consider breaking out the big guns. As mentioned earlier, all it takes is leaving a fraction of the root behind, and your efforts at pulling dandelions will be for nothing. Furthermore, there are some herbicide options which are less toxic.
Examples of Herbicides for Dandelions
■ Organic: Vinegar
■ Weed-B-Gon (brand name), with the active ingredient, 2,4-D
■ Roundup (brand name), with the active ingredient, glyphosate
It's the acetic acid in vinegar that gives it herbicidal potential. The higher the percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar, the better. Vinegar used for culinary purposes is relatively low (5 percent) in acetic acid, but you can boil it down to increase its strength prior to the application.
If you use either vinegar or Roundup, apply the herbicide directly onto the leaves of the weeds since these herbicides are non-selective and would harm your grass. By contrast, Weed-B-Gon is selective (it targets broadleaf weeds) and won't harm grass, making it a popular choice for killing dandelions in the lawn.
When to Apply Herbicides on Dandelions
Early fall is the best time to kill dandelions with herbicides. Dandelions are broadleaf, herbaceous perennials. Since their leaves die back in winter, it is through their roots that the plants live on. In early fall, nutrients are transferred from the leaves down to the roots. This transfer, which continues until the first killing frost, presents you with an opportunity to hit them where it hurts! Herbicides applied during this time are absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots, following the same path down as the nutrients.
For at least two or three days prior to applying herbicides, don't mow the lawn. The bigger the surface area of the dandelion leaves, the more effective your application can be. Likewise, following the application of herbicide, wait at least two or three days before mowing, to allow time for the herbicide to be transferred to the roots.
Preventive Dandelion Control
Promoting lawn health is the best method of dandelion control. Don't think of your lawn grass as a passive partner, which has to be rescued from weeds after the fact. If managed properly, your lawn can compete effectively against weeds, obviating the need for laborious dandelion removal. Follow these lawn care tips:
■ Leave grass clippings on your lawn. They will act as a mulch to prevent weed seeds from germinating. The benefits of grass clippings to your lawn, under the right conditions, are numerous.
■ Mow "high," leaving the lawn grass at a height of 2 to 3 inches. This will allow the lawn grass to "protect its own turf" better, depriving weeds of the light they need.
■ Don't let bare spots remain uncovered for long, or you're just inviting the invasion of opportunistic weeds. In the fall, fill in those bare spots by overseeding.
All of the foregoing remarks assume that your approach to dandelions will be hostile. But that needn't be the case.
Getting Rid of Dandelions the Smart Way: Harvesting Dandelion Greens
You've probably heard of dandelion wine but did you know the whole plant is edible? The greens are, in fact, quite nutritious. Dandelion root can be roasted as a coffee substitute, or boiled and stir-fried as a cooked vegetable. The flower can be made into wine or boiled and stir-fried. Dandelion greens (i.e., the leaves) can be boiled, as you would spinach, and used as a cooked vegetable, in sandwiches or as a salad green with some "bite." Consult recipes for dandelion greens for ideas.
hey're high in vitamins A and C, and iron. Just avoid harvesting near roads, since road salt or other toxins may be present. Likewise, you obviously shouldn't harvest from a lawn where herbicides have been used. But what about the taste, you ask? Dandelion greens taste like other salad greens like chicory and escarole.
How you go about harvesting and cooking them also plays a role in the taste. You should harvest dandelion greens in early spring before the flowers appear. That's when they're the tenderest and least bitter. After the first frost in fall is another time when dandelion greens aren't so bitter. Boiling them will further reduce their bitterness.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-control-dandelions-
till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
If your roses survived this fall and winter....here are helpful hints to take care of them.
How to Care for Your Roses in Spring By Marie Iannotti
Growing roses is not as difficult as we’ve been lead to believe. Roses will keep growing and blooming even if gardeners neglect them entirely. But they do benefit from some TLC and the efforts you make in caring for your roses in the early spring will mean that many fewer problems to tend to during the growing season.
Remove Winter Rose Protection
The first thing you’ll want to do for your roses in the spring is to remove any winter rose protection you did last fall.
Rake off any soil or mulch you used to protect the graft union and rake up and remove any debris or leaves you used to insulate the bushes for winter.
Spring Pruning of Roses
Not all types of roses need to be pruned, other than for clean-up and size control, but if you are going to prune your roses, early spring is a perfect time. Pruning before the leaf buds open causes the rose bush to put its full energy into new growth. If you are uncertain how to prune roses or which roses need pruning, you’ll find the basics of pruning roses here. You might also want to view this video on pruning hybrid tea roses.
Whatever type of rose you are pruning, early spring is the ideal time. Of course, early spring is different in different areas...
■ Spring pruning in warm climates can start in January. Gardeners in areas that don’t necessarily freeze during the winter but still have a prolonged period of cold weather can prune according to the type of rose they are growing.
■ Roses grown in areas with warm winters, like Florida and Southern California, don’t necessarily need to be pruned at all. But doing some thinning is advisable and always remove any dead or diseased wood.
■ Another technique that gardeners in these areas can try is to remove all the leaves from their rose bushes when they do their spring pruning. This fools the rose into a brief period of dormancy and lets it start fresh for the season. It’s also a good way to ensure you get rid of lingering diseases and insect eggs. Be sure to rake and remove all debris from the rose bed.
■ Roses grown in areas that get freezing winter temperatures should not be pruned until about April, or the canes could suffer more winter damage. Once the leaf buds begin to swell on the bush, it is safe to prune. This usually happens about the time the Forsythia starts to bloom.
Feeding Roses in Spring
As with most plants, roses enjoy a good feeding in the spring, when they are actively growing and need the nutrition. You can give them their first feeding at pruning time. There are several good all-purpose rose foods that you can use, but a general all-purpose fertilizer will also suffice. Slow release fertilizers will need to be applied less frequently than water-soluble fertilizers.
Many rose gardeners also like to give their roses a handful (about 1/4 - ½ C.) of Epsom salts at feeding time. Whether the extra dose of magnesium really benefits the plants has never been proven, but many experienced gardeners swear by it.
If you prefer to mix your own rose food, members of the Rose Society share several of their own recipes.
For established rose bushes, balance ingredients such as:
■ 1 C. Cottonseed Meal
■ 1 C. Bone Meal or Superphosphate
■ ½ C. Blood Meal
■ 1/4 C. Epsom Salts
Spread the mixture around the perimeter of the rose bush, at the drip line, and gently scratch it into the soil.
Spraying to Prevent Rose Diseases
The one point where roses tend to live up to their troublesome reputations is their proclivity for fungus diseases. Hopefully, you’ve chosen roses that are disease resistant and suited to your area. But a preventative spraying in the spring is something to be considered, even for roses grown organically. Lime sulfur is a good choice for spring spraying. It will generally kill any fungus spores of black spot or whatever, that may have over-wintered. An additional spray of horticultural oil will help to smother any insect eggs and larva.
For a while, there was a lot of interest in products using harpin protein, promoted as a health activator. The first product, Messenger®, showed promise, but subsequent research is not as enthusiastic. There may still be some similar products on the market.
It could be worth experimenting with but have a backup plan.
These spring rose care efforts should get your roses off to a good, healthy start for the season. Other than the above steps, make sure your roses get plenty of water and monitor them regularly for signs of problems. They should reward you all season for the care you took in the spring.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/spring-rose-care-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
This is just a short blog note about why roses died this winter, some large trees died, and you lost some of your perennials. Usually it is because of the spring thaw early, so they start to grow and then it gets cold. But I was told by my tree and shrub salesperson it was because of our dry fall. AND then it got really cold. So the damage was done early last year. It did help if you did spend time and water all your landscape plants and perennials. We will just have to remember that for next year if it is a dry fall, we need to make sure we water all of these.
Now it has been a hot and humid couple of days and will continue again for a week. DARN we didn't have much spring...but I hope it will be more seasonable after this week of hot and humid weather. NO fun in the greenhouse that is for sure. Got 4 fans moving the air so hopefully that helps. Drinking, drinking and drinking water....Everyone have a safe Memorial Holiday...till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry I haven't posted lately....but we have been busy at the greenhouse. We had an awesome open house at the end of April....3 days of sunshine. Next 2 weekends were good. We have had cold weather, we have had lots of rain, and now we are having summer like with lots of humidity and high temperatures. It has been work to keep the plants looking good. I do believe we have done that and will continue this weekend with the hot temperatures....water, water and water. So with that with us, it has been for you the gardener to plant. We are still open 7 days a week. Come and see us...have you thought about mulching your garden. Interesting information on the different ways to do it.
Mulch is any material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil’s fertility, as they decompose.
Types of Organic Mulch
■ Bark, Shredded or Chipped
■ Composted Manure
■ Grass Clippings
■ Shredded Leaves
Organic mulch will decompose and have to be replaced, but in the process, it will also improve your soil’s fertility and its organic content. The dryer and woodier the mulch, the slower it will decompose and the fewer nutrients it will give to the soil.
It pays to know the origin of manure, compost, and straw since these materials can contain viable weed seeds. The last thing you want is to spread a mulch that is going to start sprouting and make more work for you. Each type of organic mulch has its own use.
Bark mulches are best used around trees, shrubs, and in garden beds where you won’t be doing a lot of digging, like front walkways and foundation plantings. These woody mulches don’t mix well into the soil, and it can become a hassle to have to keep moving them aside to make way for new plants. They will, however, last longer than finer organic mulches.
Compost and composted manure can be used anywhere, as long as they are relatively well composted and weed free.
You can use them as a coating of mulch or simply side dress plants with them during the growing season to insulate and give a boost of slowly released nutrients.
Grass Clippings are a mixed bag and are best suited to remote areas of your garden where you want to suppress weeds. Grass clippings, like most green plant debris with a high water content, decompose very rapidly, and in the process, they can get somewhat slimy, with an unpleasant odor, so use with discretion.
Grass clippings also tend to mat down and not allow water to pass through.
Ideally, you should use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn to add fertility to that soil. If you do bag your grass clippings, don’t throw them away unless you have used weed killer or some other herbicide or pesticide on your lawn. Synthetic lawn care products can be bad for some flowers, and you certainly don’t want to use them in your vegetable garden. Untreated grass clippings can either be dumped into your compost bin or used to mulch open, unplanted areas.
Newspaper as mulch is becoming more and more popular. Most newspapers have switched over to organic dyes, especially for their black & white sections. Shredded newspaper has been used for years to keep plant roots moist while shipping. Layered sheets of newspaper also have great moisture retention abilities, and they act like other organic mulches as far as suppressing weeds and controlling soil temperatures. They are also great for smothering existing grass, to jump-start a new garden bed.
To use as a mulch in the garden, spread a layer of four to eight sheets of newspaper around the plants. Moisten the sheets to keep them in place.
On windy days it’s easier to moisten the sheets before you place them down. Cover the newspaper with a one to three-inch layer of another organic mulch and the weed protection should last throughout the growing season.
Shredded Leaves are natures favorite mulch. They can be used as mulch anywhere and have the added bonus of being free. You will also entice more earthworms to your garden soil. Some gardeners don’t like the look of leaves in their garden, and they probably aren’t appropriate for a formal setting. If you spread a layer in the spring before plants spread out, the leaf mulch tends to blend into the view within a short time. Shredded leaves are perfect for woodland gardens, and if you spread a layer over your vegetable garden in the fall, it will begin decomposing over the winter.
Unshredded leaves can mat together and repel water in rainy areas. If that happens, you can always rake and fluff them up a bit if they appear to get matted.
Straw and Hay
Straw and salt hay are popular mulches for the vegetable garden. They keep the soil and soil-borne diseases from splashing up on lower plant leaves and make paths less muddy. Straw decomposes very slowly and will last the entire growing season. It also makes a nice home for spiders and other beneficial insects who will move in and help keep the pest population in control. Finally, it’s easy to either rake up or work into the soil when it’s time to plant a new crop or put the vegetable garden to bed.
Examples of Synthetic and Inorganic Mulches
■ Black Plastic
■ Landscape Fabric
Synthetic and inorganic mulches do a good job of holding moisture and blocking weeds. They don’t add any fertility to the soil, but they don’t decompose and require replacing as often as organic mulches.
Uses for Synthetic and Inorganic Mulches
If you like the functionality of plastic or landscape fabric but not the look, you can always add a thin layer of bark mulch on top of the plastic or fabric for camouflage. As the bark decomposes, weed seeds will be able to take hold on top of the plastic or fabric. You will also need to replace the bark as it disintegrates. If you’re building raised beds, consider making them the width of your plastic or fabric so that you can cover the bed without seams.
Plastic and Landscape Fabric
Plastic and Landscape Fabric are good choices for around foundation plantings and other shrubs and trees. These plants don’t require frequent fertilization and, for the most part, you won’t be working in these beds regularly, so you don’t want to have to worry about weeding them throughout the summer.
Plastic gets very hot in the summer and, besides smothering weed seeds, it can also kill all the good things in the soil, including plant roots, unless there is sufficient moisture. Be sure to cut holes in the fabric to allow sufficient water to pass through.
If you are seeing puddles accumulate on top of the plastic or fabric, you don’t have enough drainage. Landscape fabric is porous and shouldn’t be a problem unless it gets blocked.
Gravel and Stone
Gravel and Stone work well as mulches in areas that require good drainage or beds with plants that like a little additional heat, like Mediterranean herb gardens and rain gardens. Stone is hard to remove, so give it a lot of thought before using stone or gravel as a mulch.
Which mulch you choose depends on the function and aesthetic you are looking for. There are more and more choices each year, so review your options before you start spreading and choose a mulch that will please you and aid your garden for many years.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-mulch-
till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com
We are so blessed with many gardeners coming. It has been busy taking 2 of us more days. But this is good. I will get back to posting soon. Have lots to share with you. I hope the picture issue with facebook is working. How is your gardening going? I can't believe May is almost over with....enjoy this weekend. I will be posting soon. TIll next time,this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry I haven't posted for a few days....business is really good, so still planting, restocking and working with customers. I need to get facebook to accept pictures then you can see how well everything is. I am the messenger. This is the Lord's work with the color and the plants. Now this is some information posted before about container gardening but it is good to read it again. GOOD luck and enjoy....I am thinking the shearing part is really good advice. Becky
Common Container Gardening Mistakes By Kerry Michaels
New to container gardening? Learn how to avoid the ten most common container gardening mistakes.
Filling a Large Container in the Wrong Place
Ever tried to lift a large container garden filled with dirt and plants? It can be overwhelmingly heavy. When using a large or unwieldy container make sure to place your pot where it will live and then fill it – you’ll save your back!
Also, if you know you are planting shallow rooted plants in a very large container, you can fill the bottom third with empty plastic bottles and cover them with plastic screening.
You can also use a product called "Better Than Rocks" to take up space. It will make your container lighter and less expensive because you won't need as much potting soil.
Overwatering Your Plants
To avoid over-watering your container gardens, use containers that have drainage holes – lots of them. Also, make sure to read the moisture requirements for your plants and then follow them. Before you water, check if your soil is moist. To do this, put your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If the soil at your fingertip feels dry, water your plant.
If you do over-water, leaves may turn yellow and fall off, or your plants may get limp. If your soil is too wet, move the container to a dry, breezy spot until it dries out. If you have the room, you can also move your container garden into a garage or sheltered spot to dry it out, particularly if the weather is continuing to be wet.
Underwatering Your Plants
Most container gardens need watering at least once a day in the heat of the summer.
Many, especially hanging planters or small containers, need watering even more often because there is less soil to hold moisture. When you water, make sure to really soak your plants – if you just give them a sip, the water will only wet the top layer of soil. Water until you see it coming out of the bottom of your pot.
Lots of people use water crystals, but they are expensive and some tests have shown that they aren't particularly effective.
If your plants do dry out, don’t despair; even the most pathetic, limp plant might revive with a good drink. If the container is small enough, submerge the whole thing in a bucket of water until the air bubbles subside. For a large container, take a skewer or stick and gently poke holes deep into the soil to allow water to reach the roots. Then, water generously.
Awkward Plant to Pot Ratio
Make sure to consider the proportions of your plants to your container. A large container stuffed with short plants can look stunted. If you need a rule of thumb, try to have at least one plant that is as tall as the container. Also, try plants that will spill over the sides.
Buying Sick and Weakly Plants
Buying plants at a reputable local nursery is a good place to start in your quest for healthy plants. You have a greater chance of getting plants that are disease and pest free and well cared for than at a big box store. At a nursery, you can often get a wealth of information and advice from knowledgeable staff. Don't be afraid to ask someone to help you pick out a good plant.
If you can’t resist the prices of buying plants from a big box store, try to buy them on or close to the day they’re delivered.
Don’t be shy to ask someone who works there which day new plant stock arrives. Delivery is usually the same day every week.
Fear of Pruning
When your container gardens start looking leggy or ragged, don’t be afraid to cut them back. You may want to put them in an out-of-the-way spot until they rebound, but chances are they’ll come back healthier and happier with a good haircut.
Selecting Plants With Different Requirements
Make sure that all the plants in your container garden share the same sun, soil, and water requirements. You can find out this information from your seed packets or plant labels.
Staring Your Plants
Most potting mix has very few of the nutrients that plants require to grow and be healthy, so you will need to add those nutrients to the soil. There are many fertilizers to choose from, and flowering plants have different needs than vegetables and herbs.
In container gardening, what nutrients there are in your potting soil are either quickly used by the plants or are washed out with repeated watering. Fertilizing container gardens regularly is a key to their success. You can start with a slow release fertilizer mixed in with your potting soil and then add a diluted, liquid fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, every couple of weeks. Try organic or all natural fertilizers.
Living With Ick
After you’ve tried everything your plant still looks dreadful, cut your losses and toss it on the compost pile or in the trash. If only one plant in your container garden is icky, just pull out that plant and replace it.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
Before you make your container gardens, evaluate how you live. Do you travel a lot during the summer? If so, either get self-watering containers, an automatic drip irrigation system, enlist some help to keep your plants healthy and alive while you’re gone or get plants that don't need a lot of water.
Garden how you live. Are you casual or formal? Some people like neat, well-planned, formal containers.
Remember, this isn’t brain surgery –- there’s lots of room for error. Have fun and experiment. Whatever your lifestyle or personality, you can make container gardens that will give you joy and bring beauty to your surroundings.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/common-container-gardening-mistakes-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com
We have 6 different varieties of lettuce, kale, swiss chard, water cress growing in salad bowl pots. THEY are ready for you to cut and eat. So have a spot in the part shade this is even better....
Top 10 Vegetables That Grow Well in Shade
Harvest your own vegetables even in spotty sunshine. By Niki Jabbour
Shade-friendly vegetables are a must for backyard gardeners who struggle with the light needs of other, more needier veggies, like tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers. If you have a garden that gets more shade than sun, any one of these shade-friendly vegetables is a great choice. With each veggie pick, we’ve included how many hours of light it needs per day, so you can pick the right shade-friendly vegetable for your garden.
Easy Ways to Give Your Plants More Light
1. See if branches are casting shade over your food garden. If so, get an arborist to thin the overhanging trees.
2. Paint nearby sheds, garages, or fences white to reflect light back to your plants.
3. Grow your edibles in portable containers or ones with wheels so you can move the crops to sunnier spots in your yard as needed.
4. Place light-colored flat stepping-stones between your rows to reflect light and absorb heat, which encourages faster growth.
Light needs: 4 hours per day
Lettuce is fast and easy to grow, and it can be seeded as soon as the garden is ready in early spring. In shade, stick to loose-leaf varieties, such as Green Salad Bowl and Black Seeded Simpson, that are ready to pick just four to five weeks from seeding. Avoid heading types of lettuce, which take longer to mature when there
is less light.
Why we love it: Low on space? No problem! Loose-leaf lettuce thrives in pots, planters and window boxes for weeks of fresh salads.
Spinach grows well in shade.
Light needs: 4 hours per day
Spinach grows best in the cool weather of spring and fall, thriving in little sunlight. In fact, growing it in the shade prolongs the harvest by delaying bolting, especially in warm regions. For a solid harvest, try Space, a smooth-leaf type with great disease resistance, or the classic heirloom variety Bloomsdale Long Standing, with deep green, crinkled leaves.
Why we love it: Popeye was right—spinach is good for you! It’s packed with vitamins and can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s a rich source of vitamins A and K, plus folate, manganese, magnesium and iron, and includes flavonoids that can help fight certain cancers. It also adds variety to your homemade salads. Win-win!
3. Bush Beans
Light needs: 6 hours per day
Homegrown snap beans are a tasty summer treat and do well even in shady spaces. Sow seeds in beds or pots after the last expected spring frost, planting more seed every two to three weeks for months of tender pods. Early maturing bush varieties include Capitano, which yields buttery yellow beans, and Mascotte, an award winner that sets a heavy crop of slender green pods and is great for containers.
Why we love it: Bush beans are simple to grow and an ideal choice for a children’s vegetable garden.
Light needs: 4 to 6 hours per day
Also called bunching onions, scallions are a nonbulbing onion with narrow, upright foliage and a mild onion flavor. Start seeds indoors under grow lights, or direct-seed in the garden in early spring. Water regularly, as scallions have shallow root systems. Begin to harvest when the shoots are
about 6 inches tall.
5. Hakurei Turnips
Light needs: 4 to 6 hours per day
A farmers market favorite, Hakurei turnips are also easily grown in a home garden and ready to pull 40 days after seeding. For a nonstop supply of gourmet turnips, sow more seed every few weeks from spring through autumn. Begin to harvest when the roots are 1-11/2 inches across.
Why we love it: These turnips offer a double harvest; smooth, crisp roots and nutrient-filled, tender greens.
Light needs: 2 to 3 hours per day
Jazz up your homegrown salads with peppery leaves of arugula. Extremely fast-growing, this cold-weather veggie is tolerant of low light conditions, especially when grown during the warmer months of summer. Harvest often to encourage heavy leaf production.
Why we love it: The delicate white blooms of arugula are also edible; sprinkle them on salads, stir-fries, pizzas and other dishes before serving. Besides the typical super nutrients, arugula (like all green veggies) contains chlorophyll, which can help ease inflammation.
7. Spring Radishes
Light needs: 4 to 6 hours per day
Going from seed to harvest in just three weeks, spring radishes are perhaps the fastest-growing vegetable. They’re perfect for both children and those new to gardening, and there are many colorful varieties like Easter Egg, Roxanne and Amethyst.
Why we love it: All parts of the radish plant are edible—from root to leaf to seedpod.
Light needs: 4 hours per day
Growing your own kale is an easy way to add more of this superfood to your diet. It grows well in partial shade, and can be planted in containers or garden beds. For the quickest crop in shade, stick to varieties with smooth leaves, like Red Russian. These types are fast-growing and quick to mature.
Why we love it: Harvest kale as a baby green just one month from seeding for a super tender salad.
Light needs: 3 to 4 hours per day
any herbs tolerate shade, growing happily with just a few hours of light each day. Chives (pictured here) produce beautiful blooms and beloved kitchen herbs. Stick to leafy herbs like cilantro, parsley, lemon balm, chives and mint. Avoid heat-loving herbs such as basil, thyme and rosemary, which grow best when planted in full sun.
Why we love it: Growing your own fresh herbs saves you money at the grocery store.
10. Swiss Chard
Light needs: 4 hours per day
Swiss chard was made for the shade. With its large, dark green leaves and colorful stems and veins, it does well in vegetable gardens, flower borders and containers. For sheer production, you can’t beat Fordhook Giant, the classic variety with white stems. But don’t overlook the showy colors of Bright Lights and Peppermint, which are almost too pretty to eat!
Why we love it: Enjoy baby Swiss chard as a salad green or as a cooked vegetable.
taken from http://www.birdsandblooms.com/gardening/top-10-lists-for-gardeners/vegetables-grow-well-shade/
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Garden Problems Tips for Preventing Weeds
A better idea than pulling weeds is to keep them out of your garden in the first place. You can't stop every bird from dropping a weed seed here and there, but there are several things you can do to limit the amount of weeds brought into your garden and prevent weeds from getting out of control.
Tips for Limiting Weeds in the Garden
01 Border Patrol: Inspect all new plants for hitchhiking weeds. The longer a plant sits in a pot at the nursery, the more likely a weed seed will settle in and germinate. Make sure you don’t plant the weed along with the plant you’ve bought.
02 Don’t Disturb: Keep cultivation to a minimum. There are always weed seeds in the soil, but many will not germinate unless they are exposed to sunlight. While some scratching and cultivating of the soil around plants is good to keep the soil from compacting, frequent cultivating just leads to more weeds. You are better off applying an organic mulch and letting the earth worms do the cultivating for you.
03 To Till or Not to Till?: For years tilling has been recommended for clearing a new garden bed. Tilling is a quick way to break up the soil and incorporate some of the green material into the bed, but you’ll never get rid of all the existing plants that way. And just like with shallow cultivating, you are also turning up buried weed seeds that will sprout now, with exposure to the sun. If you do choose to cultivate, it’s easier to do when the ground is damp, but not too wet or the soil will stick together.
04 Cover Up: Mulches are still one of the best ways to keep weeds from taking over your garden. Mulches, whether organic or synthetic, will smother weed seeds, while cooling the soil and retaining moisture. Remember that mulches will also smother seeds of self-seeding plants that you might want as volunteers in your garden. If so, don’t mulch until later in the spring, when you can see which young seedling you want to keep and which should be weeded out and covered.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/preventing-weeds-
till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a master gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.