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Thoughts Turn To Gardening

January 19, 2017
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

When the weather is cold and blowing and the ground is covered with ice and snow, thoughts turn to gardening. It's a great escape.

Before Christmas, we received a news release from Beth Doran, ISU?Extension and Outreach Master Gardener. She was writing about the perfect gift for a gardener.

Guess I didn't know about the ISU?Extension Store and its variety of publications for sale. Need to look at this site:

Anyway, she said their most popular item is the 2017 Garden Calendar. This year it features indoor flower power and photos of favorites and exotic indoor plants. So those of you who do not have a 2017 calendar yet ... this is definitely and option.

Here are some publications available at the ISU?Extension Store:

Annuals features 106 plants with 186 photos

The Garden Guide to Midwest Annuals and Perennials focuses on 300 plants and special uses, such as container or butterfly gardening

Perennials for Sun discusses 100 perennials that work in zones 3 to 5

Perennials for Shade contains 130 photos of 70 perennials suitable for shady gardens

Ornamental Water Features for the Midwest emphasizes considerations and basic guidelines on developing a water garden

Home Landscape Understanding the Basics of Landscape Design offers a step-by-step approach and worksheets to create a pleasing and functional landscape

Sustainable Home Landscapes explains how to create landscapes that require less time and money

Landscape Plants for the Midwest provides helpful info on putting the right plant in the right place

Deciduous Shrubs lists shrubs by height, ornamental value and specific planting needs, such as shade or food for wildlife

Destination south Texas for a few days over the holidays. There we enjoyed seeing winter pansies in bloom, along with green grass in most yards. We walked around in short sleeve shirts most days, and returned home to winter.

Waiting in the mail was a catalog new to me:?Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This is a family company out of Missouri.

Scanning through the catalog, I came across pictures of sweet potato. There were half a dozen varieties, some orange, others white and even purple sweer potatoes. Last year I planted a sweet potato plant for the first time and harvested a crop of one. It was very tasty and I will probably give it a try again this year. Not so sure about purple sweet potatoes, though.

The heirloom seeds catalog featured just about everything, from carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers, to radishes, rutabagas and radicchio (we hear about that on the cooking shows). The bulk of the catalog features garden seeds, transitioning to herbs and flowers on the last 30 pages.

Just looking at the bright photos of tomatoes and peppers, marigolds and petunias, makes the day feel warmer. It's time to start planning your garden.



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