Six-county NEIA Greenhouse tour May 6-7

Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, the Northeast Iowa Greenhouse Season Kickoff offers a wide range of offerings all across northeast Iowa. In Allamakee County, four greenhouses will join the slate of locations, including Beechy’s Greenhouse, Hochstetler’s Greenhouse and Pop’s Produce in Waukon and Windy Pines Greenhouse in Dorchester. 

Established by the Northeast Iowa Tourism Association, the greenhouse self-guided tour allows participants to experience over 1,000 flowers, plants and more at greenhouses across Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.  

In Allamakee County, the four greenhouses have rich traditions of growing and gardening, with products ranging from seeds, shoots and vegetable starters for gardening, hanging baskets, annuals and perennials, shrubbery, trees, as well as a full complement of decorations, pots, mulch, soil, compost and more. Some, like Pop’s Produce, even offers fresh produce in season, with melons, peaches and garden items.

It seems more people have taken up gardening since the COVID-19 pandemic, and with increasing prices at the grocers, visit local greenhouses early to get the best selection. Greenhouses have reported a noticeable increase in people wanting to get out, take care of their yards and garden to grow their own food since the lockdowns of 2020.  They’ve also adapted to meet the increased demand.

Stacy Linderbaum of Windy Pines Greenhouse noted, “Each year, we try to grow more kinds of tomatoes and peppers, and other vegetables and flowers as we can to offer more plants and a better selection of varieties.” 

She also noted that while the first weekend in May might be a bit early in the growing season for planting outside, it is still a great time to travel around, enjoy the beauty of the region with friends and family, and see for yourself what’s available at different greenhouses. 

“In the various greenhouses, we all seem to grow something a little different, and we all experiment with new plants.  You can get an idea of what’s out there, and always come back to pick up those items that can be planted when the soil is warmer,” she said.

Linderbaum assured that there is no such thing as a brown thumb, “Have patience and know you may fail, but keep at it and learn what works and you’ll get it.” 

She suggested that those less familiar with gardening can always ask the folks working at the greenhouse for suggestions on getting started. The most important part is to have fun and get out of the house. 

The full listing of Greenhouse Season Kickoff self-guided tour participants is located online at

Most greenhouses offer flats for purchases, but having an empty milk crate in the trunk can keep plants from tipping over on the greenhouse tour travels. Set that on a plastic tarp or trash bag to keep the trunk clean.  

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