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Spring: Time to plan, plant a garden

By Staff | Apr 24, 2009

Todd Brockshus shows early plantings of tomatoes and other key vegetables to gardeners. The bulk of the spring vegetable planting will beginning very soon to have plants ready in time for this year's vegetable gardening.

SPENCER – If trends from the past few years continue, the interest in home gardening in 2009 will again be sharply elevated.

“During the last two years we have seen an increase in vegetable gardening,” said Todd Brockshus, one of two sons of Del and Sharon Brockshus, of Del’s Garden Center.

Young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 are approaching the vegetable garden idea with an awareness that they can grow better, fresher vegetables themselves, while at the same time promote a healthier lifestyle.

Other reasons for the uptick in gardening, Brockshus said, are that people are looking at ways to save money and are nesting. Instead of taking expensive vacations they are spending more time at home. They want to get the full benefits of being outdoors, so are turning to gardening, a rewarding, and tasty, pursuit.

Gardening is not limited to vegetables, Brockshus said. Landscaping for 12 months of the year has become popular. They are gardening indoors with house plants and outside with annuals and perennials. Edible gardening is becoming more prevalent with plantings of aronia berries, grapes, cherries. People like to just go out to their back yards grazing on raspberries, blackberries and even blueberries, Brockshus said.

For 42 years, Del’s Garden Center has been striving to meet their customers needs. “When I started in 1967,” said Del Brockshus, “I had two typewritten single-space sheets of items available. This year the annuals list alone is 20 pages.”

There are a huge number of plants available now. Improvements have been made in hardiness of plants, length of bloom time, extended color selection and ease of care. Brockshus attributes that to the fact that many plants are now patented, where the designer is paid a royalty for 10 or more years.

Del’s Garden Center restocks its seed selection weekly, ordering from a half dozen different companies. Todd Brockshus said they’ll make special orders to satisfy customers.

To assist the gardener, they carry almost everything possible for starting seeds. Potting soil, containers, gardening gloves, tools, organic and non-organic herbicides and fertilizers.

Throughout the year, educational seminars are held. Subjects vary from vegetable garden workshops, container gardening, landscaping and growing roses. They are also sponsors of last month’s Siouxland Garden Show in South Sioux City.

This time of the year their acre of greenhouses are filling with plants, some are started from seed on site, Others come from plant nurseries from around the world. Two acres of nursery stock tended by 50 part and full time employees.

For anyone interested in vegetable gardening, Del’s Garden Center will be a good starting point for advice, plants and general garden knowledge.

Contact Renae Vander Schaaf by e-mail at renaefarmnews@gmail.com.

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