GARDENING IN IOWA

Garden sales and compost pickup adapt for social distancing

Attendees stroll through one of the greenhouses during the annual Mother's Day Showcase May 13, 2018, at Noelridge Green
Attendees stroll through one of the greenhouses during the annual Mother's Day Showcase May 13, 2018, at Noelridge Greenhouse in Cedar Rapids. This year the sale moves online. Pickup of orders will be May 11 and 12. (The Gazette)

With social distancing guidelines in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus, everything from spring plant sales to compost pickup has had to adapt.

Compost

In Linn County, though most of the Solid Waste Agency is closed, people still can do contactless pickup of compost, which is free for Linn County residents at the site near Mount Trashmore, 2250 A St. SW, Cedar Rapids. People should write “compost” in bold letters on a piece of paper to show the gate attendant, then drive to the compost area where they can either fill their own buckets or have their truck bed filled. Compost is available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Wood chips are only available for purchase by commercial account holders at this time for $40 per ton.

Backyard Abundance

This Iowa City nonprofit has canceled its annual plant sale, but has a digital inventory list from local growers, including Echollective Farm, The Millet Seed and Beautiful Land Products. Purchasers can browse the inventory and schedule in person shopping appointments with the farmers at backyardabundance.org/plantsale.

Indian Creek Nature Center

The Spring Plant & Art Sale, hosted by the Friends of the Nature Center, also has moved online. Sales opened April 17 and close at noon on May 2.

Orders may placed through the Nature Center’s website, indiancreeknaturecenter.org/gallery/2020-online-plant-sale. Once orders are finalized and the sales window has closed, Nature Center officials will assign no-contact pickup times to ensure a safety-first process.

The sale, the Nature Center’s largest annual fundraiser, features a variety of native plants that members of the group dig by hand, including a variety of wildflowers, prairie plants, hostas, geraniums and much more. Additional vendors include Alpaca Fiber Arts, Echollective Farm, Feed Iowa First, Locust Grove Farm, MCG Biocomposites, Nirvana Garden Creations, Skyline Farms and Willowsprite LLC, selling items, including plants, herbs, garden accessories, home products, art and more. Maple syrup, honey and organic eggs from Etzel Sugar Grove Farm and milkweed also will be available.

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Linn County Master Gardeners

The Linn County Master Gardeners annual Charlene Woeste Memorial Plant Sale will open at 8 a.m. May 8 and close at 4 p.m. May 14 at extension.iastate.edu/linn/news/our-annual-plant-sale. Plants purchased may then be picked up at Lowe Park in Marion from May 18 to 21 at specified times. For safety, there will be five stations spaced around the parking lot, and staggered pick up times, with plants placed in the buyer’s trunk.

Plants for sale have been grown in the Lowe Park Greenhouse by Master Gardeners, and from their own personal gardens. There will be a variety of lawn, garden and house plants for sale, including succulents, hosta, tomato and peppers, and day lilies. Typically there have been approximately 3,000 plants available for purchase each year. To minimize personal contact, only check or credit card orders can be processed; no cash will be accepted. The plant sale is one of the main funding sources for the Master Gardener program.

Matthew 25

This Cedar Rapids nonprofit will offer online orders April 26 to May 6, with pickup 9 a.m. to noon at the Urban Farm, 437 G Ave. NW. Look for a sale link at facebook.com/matthew25ministryhub.

Noelridge Greenhouse Mother’s Day Showcase

The greenhouse has grown thousands of plants for the annual showcase, with emphasis on a wide variety of coleus, which this year has moved online. Find instructions and shopping link at cedar-rapids.org/residents/parks_and_recreation/noelridge_greenhouse_plant_sale.php. Create an account or sign in, select plants, pay online and bring the emailed receipt to the greenhouse parking lot when you pick up your plants. Pickup will be available 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. May 11 and 12. Call (319) 286-5762 with questions.

Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

 

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