Annual Hawkeye Community College Plant Sale
After the snow two weeks ago (and hopefully winter’s final blast), my husband tilled and planted some things in the garden! We plant several things from seed and buy most of our plants from Hawkeye Community College during their Greenhouse Plant Sale.
I stopped in to visit the greenhouse and see all the plants they have to offer. I was also able to talk with students and heard about the plant sale as well as their plans after graduation.
The Hawkeye Community College greenhouse is part of Fayette Hall on the North side of the Main Campus. This past fall & winter, it underwent some major repairs and upgrades including a new roof block flooring, plant benches, as well as cooling and heating systems. The new floor will help with insect control and the benches will make it easier for customers to maneuver through the display to select their plants.
I talked with Wendy, a non-traditional student graduating in a few weeks. Wendy has enjoyed working in the greenhouse and will miss it there, especially during the winter months. Landscape students are required to spend at least 32 hours working in the greenhouse. They plant seeds, transplant, water, check for disease and insects among other things. They also keep records–probably one of the most important skills to learn. This gives them practical experience before they seek out employment. The greenhouse students are overseen by their instructor, Dan Lichty, who has been with Hawkeye Community College for almost 20 years.
Wendy started in the Welding Program, then transferred to the Landscape and Turf Management Program. She wants to use her welding skills to enhance landscapes. One of Wendy’s pieces is on display in front of Fayette Hall. It’s a large garden gate fence bedecked with giant metal leaves. This fence is both decorative and functional. I noticed the beautiful fence right away. However, I didn’t even see the dumpster hiding behind the giant metal leaves until Wendy clued me in on it’s purpose. Wendy hopes to build her own business using her welding and horticulture skills after graduation.
Raising Funds for Students
The plant sale raises funds for the Landscape and Turf programs. All proceeds go right back into the program to fund student opportunities to attend landscape and turf competitions and conferences throughout the year. These events give students the chance to see what is happening in the industry from all corners of the country. They can also talk to companies looking for people to join their team as interns and/or full-time employees.
Thousands of plants available this year. Annuals include: petunias, coleus, impatiens, geraniums, marigolds and verbena to name a few. Vegetables include: several tomato and pepper varieties, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, herbs and many others. Hanging baskets and planters are already filled and ready to go for Mother’s Day. There are also several perennials too! Dan & the students do a spectacular job getting ready for this event every year.
Check It Out!
The 2018 plant sale is going on right now through Thursday May 10th. Hours will be M-F 8am-4pm and Saturday, May 5th From 8am-2pm. It will be closed on Sunday, May 6th. You may want to call the greenhouse at (319) 296-1057 before stopping out, just to make sure someone is there to help you.
Now that spring is here, take some time to check out Hawkeye Community College’s Plant Sale for your vegetable and flower garden plants.
What bedding plants do you like to shop for? Let me know in the comments!