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Get Ready for Master Gardener Plant Sale

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It’s been a long cold winter with rain, snow and lots of gray days. As soon as we

have a couple of sunny days, I start wondering and hoping that it’s time to plant my summer garden.  My thoughts turn to tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, peppers, zinnias and calendulas… on and on.

But I know that at my elevation the litany is “Don’t Plant before Mother’s Day.”  Many times, at 2600 feet, that has been proven true, with late frosts, or hail storms that wiped out most of my tender plants. Still, I can start planning and laying out my planting plans (and with a few of my own starts, I may experiment just a little with covered beds using ‘Wall O Water’ plant protectors.)

There are several places around this area to purchase vegetable, flower and landscaping plants. Many of them carry good quality plants. But there’s always room for a little information.  Recently I learned that plants grown out of state must be quarantined for a time before being sold in California. The big box stores oftentimes have to deal with this issue. The care that the plants receive while in quarantine affects the health and age of the plants when they’re available to the public.

That being said, and just in time, there will be a big plant sale at the Tuolumne County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Sonora on May 6th. Our Tuolumne County Master Gardeners offer a wide variety of plants for sale during the spring. Jim and I have taken advantage of the sale for the last four years and have never been disappointed. It is a fundraiser for Master Gardener outreach and education. The Master Gardener Program is completely self-funded so we really appreciate the support we receive from the public in attending our plant sales.   In addition to vegetables, herbs, flowers and some native plants, there are varieties that our members offer from their own gardens that are not always easily available elsewhere. And this year, the Sheriff’s Garden made its greenhouse available to us, so there will be quantities of healthy, lovely tomato starts, peppers, cilantro, eggplant, squashes, calendulas, zinnias, rosemary, figs and more. In addition, the gardeners at the sale are happy to talk with people and discuss techniques and experiences and offer advice.

Here is the official announcement:

“The Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County are holding their annual plant sale on May 6th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Demonstration Garden located at Cassina High School (“The Dome”). It is recommended to come promptly at 10:00 am to get the best selection. Cash or checks gladly accepted, sorry no credit or debit cards. We recommend that you bring your own trays, boxes, etc. to carry your treasures away.”

The address is: Dario Cassina High School, aka “The Dome” 251 South Barretta Street Sonora, California
Entrance & parking are available through the gate on South Barretta Street

Nancy Bliss is a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener of Tuolumne County.