Get growing with locally sourced plants found at area pop-up sales
The Itasca County Master Gardeners will host their yearly one-hour plant sale 5-6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center, east of Grand Rapids. Other sales can also be found this weekend across the region.
GRAND RAPIDS — Locally sourced plant sales across Northern Minnesota offer an opportunity for seasoned and new green thumbs to connect with other gardeners, share tips, and buy plants grown here.
The Itasca County Master Gardeners will host their yearly one-hour plant sale 5-6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center, east of Grand Rapids.
Itasca County master gardeners Cathy Davies and David Hayes joined Area Voices on the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show, discussing with Heidi Holtan the role of master gardeners, growing advice and what kinds of things will be at the sale.
Trees, native plants, vegetables and perennials grown locally by master gardeners will be available during the one-hour plant sale blitz. Regarding the benefits of purchasing locally sourced plants, Davies said, “When we're talking about growing native plants or perennials like hostas, it's useful to have them be from this area so that they're used to the soil.”
Master gardeners commit to community education and outreach by tending to school gardens, attending community events discussing gardening topics and sharing their knowledge and love of growing.
Master gardeners will be on hand helping people choose plants and to answer questions about successful gardening and which plants to choose. Davies shared how she might help a shopper navigate decisions.
“I'll say, OK, are you looking for something that's going to make big tomatoes for your BLT or are you looking for little cherry tomatoes?” she said.
Classic varieties of vegetables and plants will be available as well as some rarer varieties. All are tended to by growers and master gardeners in the area.
“I’m going to bring some new types of tomatoes,” Davies said. “One is called a chocolate pear, one’s called a cherry zebra.”
No matter how seasoned a gardener, fresh growing advice never hurts. A simple tip from Hayes he believes will ensure success?
“You want a slow progression towards the natural world, so if you buy plants tomorrow, don’t put them in the soil Friday,” he explained.
For more from Davies and Hayes and their love of plants — including Davies’ road trips with her greenery — listen to the full conversation above.
Other upcoming plant sales include the Metsa Memorial Garden fundraiser 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday at the Olcott Botanical Garden in Virginia and the Bemidji Garden Club and Beltrami County Master Gardener sale, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Area Voices is made possible by the MN Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of MN.