Posts tagged composting

Great May events!

Following is a list of area gardening events in Eastern Iowa for the month of May 2008. If you know of other public events, add it in a comment or send an email to: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

Thurs. May 1 through Sat., May 3 – Annual tulip festival in Pella, Iowa. See schedule at: www.pellatuliptime.com

 

Sat. May 3 –  9 a.m. to noon, Indian Creek Nature Center annual spring plant sale featuring wildflowers, prairie grasses and flowers, hosta, geraniums, and a variety of garden perennials, as well as garden art and accessories.

 

Sat. May 3 and Sun. May 4 – Urban permaculture workshop at 3409 Seminole Valley Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids. See schedule at: www.myearthwatchexperience.com/pcw/

 

Sat. May 10 – 9-11:30 a.m.,  Project GREEN’s annual Garden Fair at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City. Perennials for shade and sun, hostas, wildflowers, trees and more will be sold.

 

Sat. May 10 – 9 a.m. to noon, Brucemore annual plant sale, featuring several types of perennials and annuals from Brucemore’s greenhouse, 2160 Linden Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids.

 

Sun. May 11 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Noelridge Park Greenhouse open house, corner of Collins Road and Council Street NE, Cedar Rapids. Blooming planted baskets will be sold at $30 each as a fundraiser for the greenhouse. The open house also will feature a gardening and nature book fair, Bonsai display, and beekeeper and mushroom displays.

 

Sat. May 17 – 8 a.m. to noon, Johnson County Master Gardeners Garden Flea Market and Plant Sale, Food Booth Building, Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds, featuring garden and lawn tools, plant containers, yard art, horticulture books and plants, seeds and bulbs for sale.

 

Sat. May 17 – 10-11 a.m., Garden Containers with Pizzazz for Decks & Balconies with Mike Duggan Wyatt – Class will be in the Hy-Vee Garden Center, 5050 Edgewood Road NE, Cedar Rapids. The class fee will cover soil, plants and instruction. $20.  Pre-register at Customer Service, (319)378-0762.

 

Sun. May 18 – 2-4 p.m., Second Annual Master Gardener “Top Gardening Tips,” Iowa City Public Library, Room A, Betty Kelly will present top organic gardening tips and Sherlyn Flesher will present easy composting.

 

Sat. May 24, 8 a.m. to noon (or until plants are gone) – Linn County Master Gardeners annual plant sale, Extension office parking lot,  3279 Seventh Ave.,  Marion. Many kinds of perennials for sun or shade,  hosta, daylilies, wildflowers, groundcovers, ornamental grasses and some annuals,  from Master Gardeners’ own gardens will be sold.

 

 

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Exceeding a gardener’s appetite

This post is from Master Gardener, Claire Smith:

    The old fashioned Pick-Up-Sticks game didn’t thrill my six year old granddaughter. For that matter, neither did picking up sticks in the yard, but it’s so great to be outside with the riding mower and wagon that even picking up sticks isn’t all bad.  Next comes cleaning up the flower beds.  Now I think compost. Compost is so wonderful as soil enrichment.  Did you know that about anything but the kitchen sink can go into a compost bin?  And the “bin” can be anything from a pile on the ground to a garbage can to a commercial container?  We’ll have more on compost in future articles.

    This year, my first goal is to be better organized.  I’m learning to be realistic in how much time I have to devote to gardening because gardening for me is like eating; my eyes always exceed my appetite.

·         To create less labor and more curb appeal, we’ll reshape a right angle corner to a soft angle in one of the beds.  It will be so much easier to ride the mower around a curve than to kneel and pull weeds or use a hand edger.  A border grouping between an old concrete water tank, a water way and a wooden fence where the lawn mower won’t fit will eliminate weed whipping there. 

·         An old rake head, attached to a wall will hold garden tools.           

·         The mower blades—that should have been sharpened last fall will be sharpened this week.

·         While weeding is easiest right after a rain, I’m adding a pair of pliers to my tool box to pull mulberry tree seedlings and other stubborn weeds that grow in my xeriscape.

·         Speaking of weeding, a good recycling use for old newspapers is as mulch. Create overlapping layers six to eight deep (black and white, not colored pages). Cover with a thin layer of mulch (i.e. wood shavings) for weight. You’ll eliminate weeds, conserve moisture, and save so much time watering.  And, as the paper disintegrates, it encourages earthworms who will aerate the soil for you. 

·         While I’m not a real bird aficionado, I like bugs less, so we’ll be adding some birdhouses.  Did you know a wren feeds as many as 500 bugs to her young in ONE AFTERNOON?  And, the many colors and designs will enhance the gardens esthetically as well.

·         Remember you can call the Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Hotline at the Linn County office with any gardening questions at 319-447-0647.  Happy Cleanup! 

                       

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April is full of…

Gardening events! 

Here are  upcoming area events I’ve come across for April 2008. If you know of changes or additions, add a comment, or if you’re aware of events in May or future months, send me an e-mail at: cindy.hadish@gazettecommunications.com

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, April 1 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Visualizing changes in your landscape,” by author Janet Macunovich, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Tuesday, April 8 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Growing perennials in cold climates,” by Ambergate Gardens owner Michael Heger, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Saturday, April 12 – Linn County Master Gardeners Creative Gardening Hands On: 10:30 a.m. to noon – Build a toad house; noon to 2 p.m. – Containers with pizzazz; 2:15-3:45 p.m. – Twig art;  all at Linn County Extension Office, 3279 Seventh Ave., Suite 140, Marion. Cost per session is $10. Call (319) 377-9839 by March 31 to register.

Saturday, April 12 – 7 p.m., Indian Creek Nature Center, “Food Matters,” by local foods farmer Laura Krouse of Cornell College, free to Iowa Academy of Science members, $3 for Nature Center members and $5 for non-members.

Sunday, April 13 – 1 p.m., Indian Creek Nature Center, “Find abundance in growing food,” by Iowa City Backyard Abundance and Food, Not Lawns. $3 for Nature Center members; $5 for non-members.

Sunday, April 13 – 2-4 p.m., Iowa City Public Library, “Proven winners – annuals that make a difference,” by Sandy Wentworth of Proven Winners Annuals, part of the Project GREEN Sunday Garden Forums.

Tuesday, April 15 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Beyond burning bush”, by Illinois Central College horticulture professor Glenn Herold, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Tuesday, April 15 – 7 p.m., Coralville Library, Harshbarger Hosta Society meeting.

Saturday, April 19 – 8:30 a.m. to noon, spring restoration of tallgrass prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch. Call Adam Prato at (319) 643-7855 by Friday, April 18 to volunteer.

Saturday, April 19 – 1:30-2:30 p.m., Hy-Vee Garden Center, 5050 Edgewood Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, “Turn your kitchen scraps into gardening gold: Composting 101” with Cathy Wyatt and Mike Duggan. Pre-register at customer service, (319) 378-0762.

Thursday, April 24 – 6 p.m., Seasonal landscape hike at Brucemore, 2160 Linden Dr., Cedar Rapids, $10 per person. Call (319) 362-7375 to register.

Saturday, April 26 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., first floor of Hy-Vee, 5050 Edgewood Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, “Kids garden takeover: Plant a seed, watch it grow!” (ages 3 and up.) No registration required.

 

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