Enjoy the beginning of summer by browsing the selection of locally grown plants at the Penn State Extension Plant Sale and Garden Flea Market to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at DeFrees Pavilion, Betts Park, near the tennis courts and demonstration garden area.
All of the plants were grown locally in our Zone 5 climate and are accustomed to the weather and soil conditions. They have not sat in a warehouse or been driven hundreds of miles in a dark or cramped area. All of these plants will successfully grow here.
Plants were selected from master gardeners' personal gardens and were potted this spring using a special mix of soil.
Master Gardeners plan plant sale
There will be herbs and herb basket arrangements, perennials, shrubs, tomato plants and a few trees available. Judy Kepple, chairperson of the plant sale, has been babying tomato plant varieties in her sunroom. The varieties offered grow well in this climate.
The Master Gardeners also have plant reference books available to help you select plants for shade, direct sun, and moist or dry areas.
Last year, a Garden Flea Market was added to the event. Select from an abundance of items to enhance your garden decor and emphasize plants or sections of your yard.
Tips for your new plants
Know what you are buying! Is the plant an annual, bi-annual or perennial? Will it grow better in shade or sun? Do they like moisture or a dry location? Will this plant spread and need thinned? Master gardeners present will help you answer these questions.
Plant three or five of the same plant variety together for a fuller, more natural look to your garden area.
Try to select plants that flower at different times of the season so you will have continuous bloom throughout the season. You may want to select plants with colorful leaves to provide color all season. Coral bells or hostas are a good example of colorful leaves.
Use texture to enhance color and interest. Pampas or zebra stripe grass will add color and layers of height in your planting. Lambs ear has a unique color and children love the soft, fuzzy leaves.
Pets or children may influence your plant choices. Plants with berries or thorns may not be appropriate around children, and certain plants will make pets ill if they chew them.
Prepare the garden area by removing weeds and checking soils conditions. Is it too wet or high in clay? A little time evaluating your planting area will make your garden easier to care for and the plants will adapt quicker and produce better foliage and more colorful flowers.
Water your plants well after you bring them home and set them in a safe place until you plant them. A shady area is best.
Plant your new plants as soon as possible and water them well. Add fertilizer to the water or garden bed area to help them get a healthy start in their new environment.
Consider applying mulch by your plants to help them retain water near the roots and help prevent weeds.
Flowers, shrubs and trees add beauty and color to your property. With careful selection and planting, you will be rewarded with years of enjoyment and add value to your home.