Master Gardeners spring plant sale

Penn State Master Gardeners of Berks County will hold their spring plant sale on Friday, May 10, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. The sale is held at the Berks County Ag Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Bern Township.

What’s the difference in this sale? “Our knowledgeable Master Gardeners are on hand to answer garden and landscape questions,” explains Dee Dee Kerscher, event chairperson. “They can help you select the right plant for the right place and explain how to care for that plant after you take it home.” Customers may even request their own personal shopping assistant to guide plant choices.

In addition to helping with plant selection, Master Gardeners will offer information on soil preparation, planting techniques, vegetable gardening, lawn care and composting. They are adept at finding appropriate plants for difficult situations where the most commonly used plants may not do well. Free literature will be available on dozens of garden topics.

The renewed interest in home vegetable gardening is guiding much of the Master Gardeners’ educational effort this season and will be reflected in the sale offerings, according to Beth Finlay, Master Gardener Coordinator. There will be a wide selection of herbs and vegetables, including dozens of heirloom varieties. Kerscher points out that the hundreds of vegetable plants sold under the big top at this sale are lovingly grown from seed by Master Gardeners, and then carefully hardened off to be ready for their new homes.

Many of the plants featured in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the entry to the Ag Center will be available for purchase this year.

“We always highlight hanging baskets at the May sale,” said Finlay. “They’re perfect Mother’s Day gifts, and many of our customers want one or tow for their own deck or patio after they’ve chosen for Mom. The colorful baskets are a great way to launch the outdoor season.”

There will also be a sampling of not-so-common, easy care annuals, including recommended alternatives to replace Impatiens, which have been plagued by disease in recent years. A wide selection of native plants round out the offerings.

Proceeds from the sale benefit more than two dozen Master Gardener volunteer projects throughout Berks County.

The Berks County Ag Center is handicapped accessible and all parking is free. For more information call 610-378-1327.

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