Submitted by Master Gardeners
This year there are more than 2,000 organic vegetable starts and perennials, all lovingly grown and nurtured by San Juan County Master Gardeners. In previous years, the sale has sold out quickly, and master gardeners worked hard to keep that from happening again.
But do come early to the Mullis Center, Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. There are a few special baskets for Mother’s Day.
The Master Gardeners choose vegetables they love because they grow well in the local climate and gardens, often producing early and heavily. Most are unique heirlooms, selected for their taste, including two peppers and three tomatoes that are in Slow Food USA’s “Ark of Taste,” a living catalog of delicious and distinctive food. As in previous years, there’s a large variety of wonderful tomatoes and peppers, including several tomatoes new this year. Look for labels at the sale that point out which tomatoes were winners in the Master Gardeners’ taste test last autumn. More varieties suitable for containers and smaller gardens have also been selected, indicated on the labels, to help islanders decide what’s best for their garden.
There are orange, black and red cherry tomatoes, including the favorites Sungold and Sweet Million. There are tomatoes for canning, sauces and drying, early slicer and later heirlooms. Look for picking and slicing cucumbers, summer and winter squashes, rhubarb, pumpkins, cauliflower, kales, cabbages and broccoli, tomatillos and three kinds of basil. Because these plants succeed in Master Gardeners’ gardens, they’re very likely to succeed in yours. Master Gardeners will be at the sale to provide care and growing advice.
And there are more than 600 perennial plants this year, some natives, with plants suited to many types of garden environments, including groundcovers, flowers, ornamental grasses, small shrubs and wonderfully unique accent plants for a special spot. Iris or lily lovers are in luck — there are dozens. Other dependable favorite flowers include geraniums, alstroemeria, aster, yarrow, veronica, miscanthus, muscari, epimedium and lavender. The full list of perennials is much longer.
All proceeds from the sale are used to support Master Gardener programs such as the Demonstration Garden at the Mullis Center and this sale. Last year the Demonstration Garden provided over 1,700 pounds of produce for the food bank. Funds also support plant diagnostic clinics on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan islands.
For more information, visit extension.wsu.edu/sanjuan/master-gardeners.