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We are having summer like weather today and tomorrow. BUT really it isn’t too bad out with the wind blowing. It is humid that is for sure, so different than last week. You know what I am doing but watering, watering and watering more. Plants still look so good, I want to keep them that way. Lyle watered inside this morning so that is done. I water with the sprinklers on wheels outside so they do the work I just move them. Wind is helping watering 2 wagons at a time for sure.
Plants look good. Good selection of annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs. Vegetables are really good. Good selection of peppers and tomatoes yet. And ALL are on sale. I need to make up some pots for customers, so will work on that today. THEN I will work on mine.
I have to say I have had 2 grandchildren here 12 and 11 who have worked on my garden on the dog kennel area. IT is looking so good and lots of color. You will have to notice it is on the west side of the greenhouse under the trees. I would never have it done yet if it wasn’t for them.
How is your gardening doing? It is an on going project isn’t it. Now after you have your containers and pots planted you will need to water. I think we have had enough rain for the vegetable gardens no watering. BUT I am hearing horrid stories about critters getting into your vegetable garden. Always something.
We use colored tape to enclose the whole rack area here at the greenhouse. Now I noticed one deer must be getting in. She likes the BIG leaf begonias. We will try to take another sprinkler and cover that area where we think she is getting in. Might be a little one???? Salad bar for the deer…
Freezing Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Beet Greens
Have more greens than you can eat? Freezing spinach and hardy cooking greens is so easy—and you can enjoy them all year long in soups, quiches, smoothies, and more! Here’s how to freeze leafy greens—spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and beet greens.
It’s doesn’t matter where you get your leafy greens—the garden, farmers’ market, farm stand, CSA, grocery store). As long as they are fresh, tender, and not wilted, you can preserve them.
You can freeze any hardy cooking greens; note that lettuce and tender salad greens are to delicate to freezer properly and not recommended.
If you are harvesting your own spinach and greens, pick early in the morning before the heat of day.
1. Wash the Greens
Select the tender leaves. Wash carefully in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Sometimes leaf greens can even have a bug hiding out in its leaves, so rinse more than once if you’re freaked out by insects.
For spinach: Tear any larger leaves into small pieces, discarding the stems.
For kale: Wash young, tender leaves thoroughly and cut off woody stems.
For Swiss chard: Put into the steamer whole or tear smaller pieces away from the stems, placing the ribs aside.
For beet greens: Treat like Swiss chard.
2. Blanch Greens
All leafy greens need be blanched before freezing. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes that would lead to spoilage—and helps vegetables keep their bright color, flavor, texture, and nutrition. Plus, blanching wilts the leafy greens making them easier to package into freezer safe containers.
You’ll need to a large pot that can hold a steamer basket, strainer, or colander.
Fill pot with water so that 1 to 2 inches of water are underneath the basket or colander. Bring the water to boil. Place the greens into the basket or colander and cover the boiling water pot with a lid to steam-heat. Cook greens until wilted—3 minutes for collard greens, 2.5 minutes for kale, and 2 minutes for all other greens.
3. Plunge into Ice Water
The greens now need to be cooled down quickly before being placed in freezer bags! Have a large bowl of ice water prepared. We mean near-freezing! You need to stop the greens from overcooking or they will lose their vibrant green color.
In order not to lose their nutrients via leaching, the greens should be kept separated from the cooling water. It’s easiest to do this by placing the greens inside one bowl which is then inserted into a larger bowl of ice water. Using the tongs, move them around until cooled down (2 or 3 minutes). Add more ice cubes to keep the water ice cold.
The last step is to drain the spinach and dry. A salad spinner is very useful for this purpose; otherwise, drain in colander and dry leaves by placing them on a towel. Fill the towel with leaves, then roll it up and gently squeeze to remove excess water.
4. Pack Greens into Freezer Bags
The dried spinach and greens are ready to be placed in freezer bags. For greens, bags are best (versus containers) to remove air to avoid freezer burn. Remove as much air as possible before sealing bags. (If you have one, a vacuum sealer system works well with kale.)
Avoid over-packing bags. Flatten bags before sealing to create kale portions that thaw quickly.
Label your bags so you know when you put them in the freezer. You can keep spinach and greens for 10 to 12 months. See how long you can freezer foods for.
How much you pack in each bag depends on how you think you’ll use it. If you’re not sure, pack about one cup of spinach per bag. You could pack in smaller sandwich baggies, but I would still put everything in a gallon freezer bag which has thicker plastic. Into the freezer they go!
Your frozen spinach and greens can be nutritious additions to soup stock and labeled “soup.” In later months, these greens can be spread around at the bottom of a quiche, used in numerous recipes, or tossed with butter (and cheese) and made into a yummy side dish. Enjoy!
In later months, these greens can be spread around at the bottom of a quiche, used in smoothies or numerous other recipes, or tossed with butter (and cheese) and made into a yummy side dish. Or, just saute fresh greens in olive oil with garlic. Before serving, top with crushed red pepper. Or, make pesto! The list goes on… Enjoy!
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/how-freeze-spinach-and-other-greens
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365 email@example.com
tomatoes growing here
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Good morning, this is Saturday of a great week of weather for gardening. Temperatures were in the 70’s, night time in the 50’s. So enjoyable and so spring like. We haven’t had much of these days in May or April, so we can have some in June. Now next week, it will change. After all the rain we have gotten, the jet stream will be bringing us some more heat and humidity. I know the farmers will be happy for that because then the crops will really grow. For me, it will be watering twice a day but we can do that. I have to tell you the rains we did have “God’s water” really did brighten up the plants and the foliage. Nothing is better than that rain from the sky.
As the title says, we are starting the sale. Annuals, vegetables, geraniums, herbs, perennials, trees, shrubs are all on sale. I can’t say it enough how well everything looks, and it will really look good in your gardens or containers. Lots of color and it will be instant color for you.
We are open Monday thru Saturday 9-6, Sunday 1-6. Stop in and see us.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa 641-794-3337 cell phone 641-90-9365
Love my gardeners..."you have lots left" Truth is I plan on having plants to see in June. So this is all planned.
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Yes love my gardeners..." You have lots of plants left."
I say Thank YOU because this is what I planned on having plants to see the whole month of June for the gardens that need them. What you see in the pictures are the perennials. BUT lots of herbs, vegetables and annuals are still looking good. Right now the sale is all hanging baskets are $10.00, shrubs and roses are $10.00 off.
"I have had trouble with vegetable seeds coming up"
We have a large assortment of vegetable seeds in bulk. Asparagus crowns 2 for $1.00 The zinnias plants are probably the most impressive as they are just starting to bloom. Marigolds are all in bloom. We have coleus, begonias, of course the wave petunias in large 4 packs. Many other kinds of annual plants to add to your flower garden.
I have heard that the rabbits ate off the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. Those plants look really good, so time to add more to your garden. Tomatoes and peppers are ready to go into your garden and still have a nice selection.
What can I say...but this is in the plan for June so if you are in the need of plants we do have them for you. Monday thru Saturday 9-6 Sunday 1-6. Stop in and see us. Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa 641-794-3337 641-903-9365
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We are having some rainy weather this last weekend, and again today. The rain for us is going south but as close as Hampton. We are having clouds, and cooler temperatures but no rain. We are having gardeners stop and have a look. We have lots of variety of tomatoes and peppers. Our annual plants are looking good. Perennials are doing well. Shrubs and roses are 10.00 off this week. Hanging baskets are on sale. 10.00 or 12.00 Have you been looking for lemon grass? We have lots. We just took out lilies, daylilies from the greenhouse. We have hostas here. Are you looking for rhubarb plants, how about horseradish? We have them. We have lots of asparagus roots. Start a new bed or add to yours.
We have bulk seed for pole green beans in Blue Lake variety. I am hearing the gardeners are not finding the seeds in packets. We have them. .50 per Tablespoon
So how do you grow your green beans? Here is what the almanac says.
Green beans are a staple of so many vegetable gardens because they are so easy to grow—even in limited space—and incredibly productive! Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest green beans, including both the pole and bush types.
About Green Beans
All green beans (also called “string beans” or “snap beans”) are tender annuals. Though most green beans are indeed green, they also come in purple, red, yellow, and streaked varieties.
What’s the Difference Between Bush Beans and Pole Beans?
The main difference between the many types of green beans is whether their growing style is classified as “bush” or “pole.”
Bush beans generally require less maintenance due to their size, but pole beans typically yield more beans for longer and are mostly disease-resistant.
Bush beans produce in about 50 to 55 days; pole beans will take 55 to 65 days.
Bush beans often come in all at once, so stagger your plantings every two weeks to get a continuous harvest. Pole beans need their vines to grow and will produce for a month or two if you keep harvesting.
Beans grow best in well-draining soil with normal fertility and an acidic to neutral pH (6.0–7.0). They don’t typically need supplemental fertilizer because they fix their own nitrogen in the soil. However, particularly poor soil should still be amended with aged manure or compost in the fall prior to planting (or about a week before planting in the spring).
Beans don’t like having their roots disturbed, so set up any supports for pole beans prior to planting.
When to Plant Beans
Beans grow best when direct-seeded outdoors. Sow any time after the last spring frost date, when soil have warmed to at least 48°F (9°C). Don’t plant too early, as cold, moist soil will delay germination and could cause the seeds to rot.
Tip: To get a head start on planting, place black plastic or landscaping fabric over your garden beds to warm the soil prior to sowing seeds.
Do not start green bean seeds indoors. Due to their fragile roots, they may not survive transplanting. Plus, they’re such fast growers that there’s no real advantage to starting them early indoors.
How to Plant Beans
Sow bush beans 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart.
Sow pole beans 1 inch deep, placing them around supports.
Tip: Plant pole and bush beans a little deeper in sandy soils, but not too deep. Seedlings cannot push through soil that is too deep, heavy, dense, packed, and/or mulched; they will break their “necks” in trying to emerge.
For pole beans, set up trellises, stakes, or other supports prior to planting so that the plants’ fragile roots are not disturbed.
One option is to create a tepee: Tie three or four (or more) 7-foot-long bamboo poles or long, straight branches together at the top and splay the legs in a circle. Then plant three or four seeds around each pole. As vines appear, train them to wind up the poles. For more stability, wrap string/wire around the poles about halfway up, encircling the tepee; this gives the vines something to grab.
Another easy support for them is a “cattle panel”—a portable section of wire fence—16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will climb with ease and you won’t have to get into contorted positions to pick them.
For a continued harvest that lasts all summer, sow seeds every 2 weeks. If you’re going to be away and unable to harvest, skip a planting. Beans do not wait for anyone!
Practice crop rotation (planting crops in different areas each year) to avoid the build up of pests and diseases in one spot.
Mulch soil around bean plants to retain moisture; make sure that it is well-drained. Beans have shallow roots, so mulch keeps them cool.
Water regularly, about 2 inches per square foot per week. If you do not keep beans well watered, they will stop flowering. Water on sunny days so that foliage will not remain soaked, which could encourage disease.
If necessary, begin fertilizing after heavy bloom and the set of pods. Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizer or you will get lush foliage and few beans. A side dressing of compost or aged manure halfway through the growing season is a good alternative to liquid fertilizer.
Weed diligently but carefully to avoid disturbing the beans’ roots.
Pinch off the tops of pole bean vines when they reach the top of the support. This will force them to put energy into producing more pods instead.
In high heat, use row covers over young plants; hot weather can cause blossoms to drop from plants, reducing the harvest.
When it comes to green beans, the options are endless. Here are several types and varieties to consider:
Chinese (aka Asian) long beans (aka yardlong or asparagus beans): slender, 1- to 2-foot pods. Try ‘Orient Wonder’, ‘Red Noodle’, or ‘Yardlong.’ All pole.
French green beans (aka filet or haricots verts): thin, tender, 3- to 5-inch pods. Try ‘Calima’, ‘Masai’, or ‘Maxibel’; in a container, plant ‘Mascotte’. All bush.
Italian/Romano: wide, flat 6- to 8-inch pods even in the hottest summers. Try ‘Early Bush Italian’, extra-large-pod ‘Jumbo’, or ‘Roma II’. All bush.
Purple beans: 5- to 6-inch pods are deep purpose when raw and turn green when cooked. Try ‘Amethyst’, ‘Royal Burgundy’, or ‘Velour’. All bush.
Snap beans (aka string or stringless): slender, 5- to 7-inch pods. Try ‘Blue Lake 274’ (bush), heirloom ‘Kentucky Wonder’ (bush or pole), or ‘Provider’ (bush).
Yellow wax beans: 5- to 7-inch pods have a milder flavor than green varieties. Try stringless ‘Cherokee’ (bush), classic ‘Golden Wax’ (bush), or ‘Monte Gusto’ (pole).
Harvest beans in the morning when their sugar level is highest.
Pick green beans every day; the more you pick, the more beans grow.
Green beans are picked young and tender before the seeds inside have fully developed.
Look for firm, sizable pods that are firm and can be snapped—generally as thick as a pencil.
Snap or cut the beans off the plant, being careful not to tear the plant. Fresh beans should snap easily when broken.
Once you see the seeds inside bulging, green beans are past their peak and will taste tough.
How to Store Green Beans
Store beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Beans will toughen over time even when stored properly.
Alternatively, blanch and freeze immediately after harvesting.
Beans can also be canned or pickled.
WIT AND WISDOM
Beans are commonly used in everyday expressions to indicate something of little value. Something that “isn’t worth a hill of beans” is not worth much.
According to folklore, in order to get rid of a wart, rub it with a bean and cast the bean over your shoulder without looking back.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/beans
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.