By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Typically, we are told that the week after Mother’s Day is a safe time to plant flowers and vegetables in gardens and containers because there is little danger of frost. So this is the perfect time to visit Lincoln High School’s greenhouse!
There, you can find bedding plants such as begonias, geraniums, petunias, impatiens, edging plants, coleus, violas, zinnias, marigolds, and dianthus – to name a few – and you’ll see them in different varieties and colors. If you’re in the market for hanging baskets, you will find those too … even mixed combo baskets that can add some gorgeous lush color to your porch, deck, balcony or other outdoor space.
The greenhouse offers more than cheery flowers too. The students also cater to gardeners with 15 varieties of tomatoes, 10 varieties of peppers, cabbage, and yes, even a selection of herbs – all reasonably priced!
Lincoln High School faculty member Brandon Sollars teaches the Agriculture Science & Horticulture Greenhouse class. Sollars said the greenhouse is a year-round operation with the students doing the hands-on work.
“Of course they are not all in there at one time; there are several classes that work in the greenhouse, but there are a total of about 70-75 students participating,” he explained. “In the fall, there is classroom time spent on learning about plants and propagation of plants. The students are involved in all aspects of the greenhouse – from ordering seeds to planting them, propagating them, transplanting them, labeling them and preparing them for sale.”
Seeds are planted by the students in mid-January, and the annual greenhouse sale usually begins the last week of April.
Sollars stated that there has been a fairly steady stream of customers coming through already.
“But our recent weather may have hurt us somewhat thus far,” he added. “It’s hard to go outside and do any planting when it is pouring down the rain, but it will pass. And we hope to see the public lend us their strong support again.”
It is more than just school time that is spent in the greenhouse, Sollars said. Some students stay after school to help and some come in on weekends to water. They even work on holidays and spring break to ensure that the plants receive the proper care. In order for the greenhouse sale to be successful, it requires a strong commitment from the students.
Lincoln’s greenhouse is located behind the school, above the baseball field. The sale will continue until the plants are all gone and winds down at the end of the school year. Greenhouse hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and for the convenience of those who work, you can also visit the greenhouse on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.