picture from commonsensehome.com
Sharing with a couple of articles about planting when the garden is too wet. That has been and will be a problem this spring in the midwest. I am still saying this is spring as summer isn't till the June 21st. We have time to plant that garden, plant our vegetables, plant our flowers. When the soil is ready the plants and seeds and plants will grow. I promise you it isn't too late. If you plant when too wet or work up the soil too wet you will be fighting lumps and problems all season long. I have done this so this is the words of experience.
Excessive Rain On Plants: How To Garden In Wet Ground
To a gardener, rain is generally a welcome blessing. Wet weather and plants are usually a match made in heaven. However, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Excessive rain on plants can cause plenty of trouble in the garden. Overly wet weather causes diseases via bacterial and fungal pathogens fostered by long term moisture on foliage and root systems. If your garden is in region of plentiful rainfall or has just been hit by storms, you might be wondering how to garden in wet ground and what are the effects of wet weather on the garden.
Effects of Wet Weather in Gardens
As mentioned above, excessive rain on plants promotes disease often evidenced in stunting, spots on foliage, decay on leaves, stems or fruit, wilting and, in severe cases, death of the entire plant. Extreme wet weather also keeps pollinators  at bay affecting bloom and fruiting.
If your plants exhibit these symptoms, it may be too late to save them. However, by monitoring and early recognition, you may be able to avert disaster in the garden due to excessive rain on plants and the resulting diseases that plague them.
Wet Weather Diseases
There are a number of wet weather diseases that may afflict the garden.
Anthracnose – Anthracnose fungi spread on deciduous and evergreen trees during overly wet seasons and usually begin on lower branches, gradually spreading up the tree. Also called leaf blight, anthracnose appears as dark lesions on leaves, stems, flowers and fruit with premature leaf drop.
To combat this fungus, rake and dispose of tree detritus during the growing season and fall. Prune in the winter to increase air flow and remove infected limbs. Fungicidal sprays can work, but are impractical on large trees.
Powdery mildew – Powdery mildew is another common disease caused by excessive rain. It looks like a white powdery growth on leaf surfaces and infects new and old foliage. Leaves generally drop prematurely. Wind carries powdery mildew spores and it can germinate even in the absence of moisture.
Sunlight and heat will kill off this fungus or an application of neem oil, sulfur, bicarbonates, organic fungicides with Bacillius subtillis or synthetic fungicides.
Apple scab – Apple scab fungus causes leaves to curl and blacken and black spots appear on rose bush leaves during rainy seasons.
Fire blight – Fire blight is a bacterial disease that affects fruit trees, such as pear and apple.
Iron chlorosis – Iron chlorosis is an environmental disease, which prevents roots from in taking enough iron.
Shot hole , peach leaf curl , shock virus, and brown rot may also assault the garden.
How to Garden in Wet Ground and Prevent Disease
As with most things, the best defense is a good offense, meaning prevention is the key to disease management during rainy seasons. Sanitation is the number one cultural technique to manage or prevent disease. Remove and burn any diseased leaves or fruit from not only the tree or plant, but from the surrounding ground as well.
Secondly, select cultivars that are resistant to disease and situate them on high ground to prevent root rot . Plant only those cultivars that thrive in wet environments and avoid those that are native to drier regions.
Disease spreads easily from plant to plant when leaves are wet, so avoid pruning or harvesting until the foliage has dried off. Prune and stake the plants to improve aeration and increase dry time after heavy rainfall or dewy mornings. Improve soil drainage if it is lacking and plant in raised beds  or mounds .
Remove any infected plant parts as soon as you see them. Remember to sanitize the pruners before moving on to other plants so you don’t spread the disease. Then either bag and dispose  or burn infected leaves and other plant parts.
Finally, a fungicide may be applied either prior to or early in the development of disease.
When is your garden soil ready for planting? Here are some tips from The Old Farmer's Almanac.
• Grab a handful of your garden soil. If you can form it into a ball, the soil is too wet for planting. (Chances are the seeds will rot.) If it crumbles through your fingers, it's ready for planting.
• Here's another soil test. Make a ball of soil and drop it. If the ball crumbles, your garden is ready for seeds. If it holds its shape or breaks into two clumps, it's still too wet for planting.
• You can also step into the garden and then step back and look at the footprint you've left in the soil. If it's shiny, then there's too much water near the soil's surface to dig and plant. If it's dull, then excess water has drained away and it's time to plant.
• Old farmers had an even easier guideline: When the weeds start to grow in your garden, it's time to plant your hardy vegetables.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/content/when-soil-ready-planting#
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa email@example.com
How about iris's? They seemed to be blooming now. They are a lovely perennial to have in your spring garden.
picture from almanac.com
Iris Plant Profile By Jamie McIntosh
Few flowers can boast the diversity and distribution of the Iris genus. This hardy perennial truly deserves its moniker that comes from the Greek goddess of the rainbow, for irises come in every color of the rainbow and then some, offering quirky black and brown hues for those who long for something different in their garden designs. Irises also tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, adapting to habitats on every continent except for Antarctica. Explore this genus of over 300 species, and you will find a perennial for steamy, swampy spots as well as dry alpine gardens.
Why is the iris such a multifaceted and versatile flower? Perhaps it's because the iris evolved around 82 million years ago, giving the plant ample time to diversify, making it possible to deliver so many colors and forms to our landscapes. With the help of modern hybridizing, even more exciting new cultivars are made available each year.
■ Botanical Name: Iris genus
■ Common Name: Bearded iris, Siberian iris, Japanese iris, Dutch iris
■ Plant Type: Hardy perennial
■ Mature Size: Eight to 38 inches
■ Sun Exposure: Full sun to dappled shade
■ Soil Type: Average with good drainage
■ Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic, 6.8-7.0
■ Bloom Time: Spring to summer
■ Flower Color: Red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, brown, white, black, pink
■ Hardiness Zones: 3-9
■ Native Area: Southern Europe and the Mediterranean
How to Grow Iris
The most popular of the irises, bearded irises, are easy to grow provided that you plant them in a sunny site with well-drained soil. Plant irises in late summer, when they are finished actively growing. One major departure of growing irises compared to other perennials: They do not like mulch. Mulches (as well as deep planting) encourage the rhizomes to develop rot, so let your soil remain bare. Space plants at least 12 inches apart to prevent the need for frequent dividing.
Irises need full sun to thrive. Irises in full shade produce fewer blooms and may suffer from an increase in diseases.
Heavy clay soils do not work well for iris growing. Sandy soils are excellent, but if your native soil is heavy, you can plant irises in raised beds to help drainage. You may also amend your soil with gypsum or organic matter like compost to lighten the soil.
Although irises like moisture, they need good drainage to go with it to prevent rot problems. Water them when the top two inches of the soil feels dry.
Temperature and Humidity
Irises are notorious for their hardy disposition. They don't mind temperature extremes, as long as the soil allows excess rain or snow melt to drain away.
In the spring, apply a low nitrogen 6-10-10 fertilizer around your irises. Too much nitrogen will encourage foliage at the expense of blooms. Bone meal is also a good fertilizer.
Potting and Repotting
For irises growing in containers, plant up in a loose soil-free potting mix. Irises in containers may need dividing and transplanting more frequently than those growing in the ground, about every other year or so.
Dividing irises will not only yield more plants for your garden, but it will also keep your existing irises healthy and vigorous. Dig rhizomes in August, and cut them apart, making sure each rhizome has one foliage fan. Divide irises every three to five years.
Varieties of Iris
Craving early blooms? Petite purple Iris reticulata bulbs bloom with the crocus and snowdrops in March. If you equate brown flowers with dead flowers, behold the bronze beauty of the 'Terre de Feu' bearded iris. Two-tone 'Panama Hattie' adds curbside appeal. Yellow flag iris is a sure bet in wet soils.
Toxicity of Iris
Irises are toxic to cats and dogs, especially the rhizomes. Consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Trimming back foliage fans to about six inches in the fall makes the garden look tidy, reduces leaf surface area that might host fungal disease, and removes caterpillar eggs. Destroy all foliage that you remove, and do not add it to the compost bin.
Being Grown in Containers
You can grow irises in pots 12 inches or greater. Leave the tops of the rhizomes exposed, and don't overwater the plants.
Common Pests and Diseases
The iris borer is the most serious insect pest of irises. In the spring, caterpillars hatch and tunnel through leaves, reaching the rhizome by summer. Feeding tunnels allow the rhizome to become infected with bacterial rot, compounding the damage. Remove all iris leaves after frost, and you will remove caterpillar eggs as well.
Iris vs. Gladiolus
Both members of the Iridaceae family, irises and gladiolus flowers both have large showy flowers in a wide range of colors and strap-like foliage. However, the gladiolus is a tender perennial and will not return in zones colder than 7. Gladiolus flowers grow in groups staggered along a single stalk, making them valuable cut flowers.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/iris-plant-profile-4589585
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org
picture from finally gettingdowntobrasstacks.wordpress.com
Memorial Day and a time to remember our veterans and all they have given us. FREEDOM....
How to Plant Peonies By Marie Iannotti
Peonies are classic garden plants that can thrive for decades with minimal care when planted in a spot they like, in soil that meets their needs. One of the longest-lived of all garden plants, peonies are sometimes handed down from generation to generation in families. But it is very important to do the initial planting correctly, because peonies can be temperamental about being moved once they are established.
Types of Peonies
By some estimates, there are as many as 33 different species within the genus Paeonia, known collectively as peonies. Most are herbaceous perennials, though a few are woody shrubs. Peonies have tuberous roots that are a combination of thick storage roots and thin roots designed to absorb water and nutrients. Careful handling of these roots is critical to planting or transplanting peonies, as well as dividing plants to propagate them.
Peonies are categorized in many different ways, such as by flower type, or by growth habit. In addition to the familiar garden-variety herbaceous peonies with all their flower variations, there are special types such as fern-leaf peonies (Paeonia tenuifolia), a particularly sensitive and prized species; and tree peonies, which are woody, upright forms. These types have some special planting needs.
Sun and Soil Requirements for Herbaceous Peonies
Peonies need a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun each day and a full day of sun is even better. Without sufficient sunlight, you’re get fewer blooms and smaller flowers, and the plants will have a greater risk of fungal diseases, such as gray mold.
Choose a location that is sheltered from strong winds. And plant your peonies well away from other trees and shrubs, since they don't like to compete for nutrients and water.
Peonies are very adaptable, but ideally, they like a well-drained, slightly acidic soil( 6.5 to 7.0 pH). If you are planting in heavy, clay soil, amending with compost or a soil mix labeled for azaleas and rhododendrons will make it easier for your peony plant to settle in. Since peonies can remain in the same spot for upwards of 70 years, taking the time to prepare the soil before planting is time well spent.
Bloom time for peonies varies from late spring to late summer, depending on variety, but all types are best planted in the fall, about 6 weeks before the ground freezes. This gives the plant time to settle in and establish roots before winter. This is especially true when planting bare root peonies or when transplanting, but even when planting potted peonies, fall planting gives better results than spring planting.
Potted Peonies vs. Bare Roots
Peonies are typically purchased as potted plants in 1/2-gallon or 1-gallon containers at the nursery, or as bare roots, often packaged with peat moss or wood shavings in plastic bags. The peonies offered at plant society sales or plant swaps are very often the tuberous bare roots.
When choosing potted peonies, look for healthy specimens without leaf spots or weak-looking stems. When planting from bare tuberous roots, make sure the root clump has at least 3 to 5 "eyes"—small reddish buds like potato eyes. These eyes will eventually elongate and become the plant's stems. A mature peony should be at least 3 or 4 years old before it is divided into bare roots. Peony eyes start off as small reddish buds, similar to the eyes of potatoes. Tuberous clumps with only 1 or 2 eyes may still grow, but they will take longer to become established plants.
Give each peony plant enough space to grow to maturity without being crowded. That means a 3- to 4-foot diameter for each plant. Peonies are especially prone to gray mold (botrytis) when planted too closely and air cannot flow freely between plants.
Peonies like a good chill in the winter. In order to set their flower buds, peony roots should be planted relatively close to the soil surface—only about 2 to 3 inches deep. It may feel odd to leave roots so exposed, but peonies actually need this chilling to attain dormancy and set buds.
How to Plant Bare Root Peonies
01 dig a hole about 2 feet deep and 2 feet across. The soil should be well-drained and humusy; if necessary, add organic material in the planting hole. If the soil is heavy or very sandy, compost makes a good amendment.
02 Add one cup of bonemeal into the soil, since peonies need the phosphorus it provides.
03 Mound up the soil in the center of the hole to a height just below the surface level.
04 Set the root clump on top of the mound so the eyes face upward, with the roots only about 2 inches below the soil surface.
05 Backfill the hole, taking care to bury the roots no more than 2 inches deep. Compress the soil gently.
06 Water by thoroughly sprinkling the area; do not flood the planting site.
How to Plant Potted Peonies
01 Prepare a fairly large planting hole, amending it with compost and mixing in a cup of bonemeal.
02 Remove the peony from its nursery container, and slightly loosen the root ball. Position the plant in the hole at the same height it was in the nursery container.
03 Backfill the hole around the plant, compressing the soil firmly.
04 thoroughly water the planting site.
If an established peony needs to be moved, transplanting should be done carefully to avoid disturbing the roots any more than necessary. As with any planting, fall is the best time to move a peony.
01 At the new planting site, till up the soil 12 to 18 inches deep, and mix in a 4-inch layer of compost or peat moss.
02 Water the peony plant with 1 inch of water one or two days before transplanting. Your peony must be well hydrated before moving it.
03 Dig around the root ball of the peony using a sharp spade, getting as much soil as possible.
04 slide a tarp under the root ball to keep it intact, then lift the plant from the ground and carefully carry or slide it to the new location.
05 the new location, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the peony's root ball, and exactly as deep as the root ball.
06lant the peony at exactly the same depth as it was in its old location. Backfill around the plant. Tamp the soil down with your hands, but do not pack it too tightly.
07ater thoroughly. Add a 3-inch layer of compost or mulch around the base of the plant. This will keep the roots moist and cool while the plant is establishing in its new location.
Peonies are best propagated by lifting and dividing the root clump, and immediately replanting the divided pieces. A peony may require this after about 10 years when it begins to lose its vigor and becomes rootbound. Here, too, fall is the best time for this activity.
01 In fall, just before you plan to divide, cut the foliage of the peony back down to ground level.
02 Dig up the entire plant and remove as much soil as possible by soaking with a hose
03 Using your hands, manipulate the roots into dividable portions, each with 3 to 5 eyes, then use a sharp knife to cut the tuberous root clump into divisions.
04 Cut away all the tiny roots on each division, leaving only the large, fleshy roots.
05 Replant the divisions as soon as possible, following the instructions above.
Tips for Caring for Peonies
■ Feed lightly. An annual application of compost mixed with a very small amount of fertilizer around the base of the plant is all that is needed.
■ When you do feed with compost and fertilizer, do it just after the plants have finished blooming.
■ Support the flower stems with metal rings or cages to prevent them from breaking.
■ Deadhead flowers as soon as they begin to fade, cutting the stems back to strong leaves.
■ Cut the foliage to the ground in the fall to prevent overwintering diseases.
■ Don’t smother peonies with mulch in winter. In the first winter season, you can mulch loosely with pine needles or shredded bark, but mulch should be promptly removed in spring.
Special Notes for Fern Leaf Peonies
Fern leaf peonies are planted and cared for in a manner similar to standard peonies, but it is especially important to keep them well watered. Feed them each fall before the foliage fades with a mixture of bonemeal and compost. If you use commercial fertilizer, avoid products heavy in nitrogen, because this reduces flower production. In the first year or two, fern leaf peonies may die back in mid-summer immediately after flowering. This is expected and is no cause for concern. Fern leaf peonies take several years to mature and flower, so don't get discouraged. Fern leafs have especially sensitive roots, so use great care when moving or dividing them.
Special Notes for Tree Peonies
Tree peonies like a slightly more alkaline soil than standard herbaceous peonies, and they do not want to compete with other shrubs. And do not cut them back to ground level in the fall.
Tree peonies need iron and phosphate and do well with an annual feeding of sulfate and bone meal in spring. Unlike herbaceous peonies, they need regular feeding with a 5-10-5 fertilizer.
Taken from https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-plant-peonies-
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com
The sun was shining so I was busy at the greenhouse. IT was awesome. Plants look great. I am saying as I always say. IT is the Lord's work with the plants, I am just the caretaker.
I will post another writing later today to keep up with 7 in a week. Thanks for reading.
Good morning, welcome to my Garden show, Gardening and you. I am Becky Litterer from Becky’s Greenhouse in Dougherty. This show is about more than just the different aspects of gardening, it’s about how we can help you with your gardening needs.
This is Sunday so I am going to share with you a devotion. I have been using a devotion on my radio show that I have done for over 20 years. I have been rewarded many of times with sharing about the Lord. So enjoy and know that the Lord cares about you.
A time to Remember
Psalm 78: 35 And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer.
There are times to forget and things to forget. For example, when the apostle Paul said that he forgot what was behind, he was talking about not being condemned over past mistakes. In Isaiah, we are taught not to remember the things of old because God is doing a new thing. That simply means we are not to get stuck in the past.
We hear a lot of teaching about forgetting the past, and although there are times to do that, we should also be taught to remember with gratitude all the good things God has done in the past, passing that gratitude on to future generations. A thankful heart is a heart that remembers God's love and miraculous deeds and shares them with the world.
Lord I thank You for the amazing things You ahve done in my past. Help me to always remember Your goodness and use it to build my faith for even bigger and better things to come. AMEN
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty, Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great day here at the greenhouse. Love the gardeners this morning that stopped. There was a line waiting at the cash register so that is such a blessing for us. We have worked really hard to have plants, vegetables, and all look good. They do look amazing outside on the racks. One story from this morning. Gentleman came last week for zucchini plants. I just had planted them so of course they were not up. Then he heard I really don't want you to plant them before June 1. So today he came and they were up and growing. He was amazed how quickly they grow. That is what the growing greenhouse does. He was happy. AND that is what we need to do help with Gardening and you and make our gardeners happy.
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a master gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.