Newbie here.........advice requested

graceandlilsmomMarch 8, 2007

Good Morning Everyone......

I'm new here. I've never gardened before, never really had any desire. However, the last few months I have really wanted to plant some flowers outside of my house and start a little (teeny) vegie garden in the back.

I'm just wondering if you anyone could provide any advice or suggestions about which flowers work best in eastern Iowa. The place where the flowers will be is shaded a lot. The sun only hits it directly for a couple hours a day.

The garden will be fine.....full sun all the time.

Any suggestions would be very very helpful (since I basically have no clue-and I mean no clue:)-what I am doing).



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I trellis mellons to reach the sun and have had good luck.They have to be the smaller mellons.Vertical helps to save space and you can plant smaller veggies around them like radishes , lettuce. Shade lovers hosta , My favorite pulmonaria, annuals wishbone flower , impatients. Good luck

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:24AM
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Maude_IA(z5-SE Iowa)

I second the flower choices unless the couple of hours of sun is the hottest part of the day. If so, try the old standard - geraniums. Talk to the garden center people about your site.

Veggies --- plant things that are easier to grow, like beans, small melons, radishes, tomatoes. You'll need to figure out which things can be planted early in the spring, and which ones must wait for consistently warm weather, and how much space the plants will need. Seed catalogs have that information, and most of them have an online catalog where you can browse and learn.

I'd also recommend that you check out a gardening book from your library right now to help you plan.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 8:24AM
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jspece(Josh - z4 IA)

For your shaded area (all perennials):



Asarum (Ginger)


Dicentra (Bleeding Heart - I highly recommend the gold leafed variety 'Gold Heart' and any of the smaller, ever-blooming fern leaf types)

Cimicifuga (any of the purple leafed varieties are especially nice...fall blooming)

Ligularia (again, the purple leafed 'Brit-Marie Crawford is a favorite...lots of water for these!!)

Tricyrtis (fall blooming)


Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder...'Stairway to Heaven' has colorful variegated foliage)

Creeping Phlox does reasonably well in shade

There are bunches of other neat shade plants, but these should be pretty easy to find locally.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Thanks for your quick replies. I have definetely decided on hostas for the flower area (apparently they are fairly hard to kill-and that may be important this first year!!!)Still checking out options for color.

As for the vegie garden.......I'm thinking tomatoes, cucumbers, maybe green onions, zucchini, and some type of melon.

I'm very excited. Thanks all for your help. I'm going to start looking up the plants you all mentioned. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 10:28AM
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