Our Plant Sale is a Primary source of funding
Join us again in 2024, where, once again, we will have thousands of annuals, vegetables, perennials, herbs, hanging floral baskets, and garden art. — — — Master Gardener Greenhouses: 1522 South 18th Ave., Yakima
Important details about the Plant Sale…
Those who buy vegetable starts at our annual plant sale might wonder, “Why did they select those particular varieties? Or often, “Why isn’t a certain tomato/cucumber variety available?”
The answer to the first question is philosophical. Whenever possible, we try to choose heirloom varieties. Heirloom vegetables are typically unavailable at the garden centers, big box stores and nurseries in our area. Many of these varieties have a rich and diverse history that can only be kept alive by growing them. These varieties are open-pollinated and will breed true if certain parameters are met. Saved seeds can be planted in your garden next year or donated to the Seed Library and keep the gene pool strong.
The answer to the second question comes from analyzing sales data from previous plant sales and asking our colleagues for feedback about the success, or failure, of the vegetables that they grew during the summer. Each year will be slightly different depending on what sells or how well a variety grew under Yakima Valley conditions. For example, this year we are offering fewer beefsteak and more salad size tomato plants. The reason is twofold. The large size tomatoes didn’t sell well last year and, just as importantly, because they are the last to mature, they didn’t set fruit during last summer’s June heat wave.
Annual plants live their entire lives in our climate zone within ONE growing season. You will find that they are the most colorful as a group, providing beautiful splashes in your yard. Most of them require a sunny site in your garden or patio, with at least 6 hours of sun daily. They will want their soil to be keep moist, but not soaked. It’s best to let them dry almost completely before watering. Just don’t let them dry out completely! Use a moisture meter, or your finger to feel the dampness at the root level (about 3 to 5 inches for most.) Information on the pot labels will provide more details about your specific plant.
Most perennials will survive nicely in your yard for years to come. They are generally quite cold-hardy, allowing them to live through our Yakima area winters. Many perennials display colorful flowers, interesting leaves of various shades of green, and attractive stems and branches year around. You won’t have to re-plant each season, and you will find these plants to be reliable features in your garden, especially if you provide just a little maintenance and pruning each year. Look to the labels for details, and feel free to ask our Master Gardeners for advice on making your selection.
… but Wait! There’s more!
You’ll find a selection of HERBS to fill out your Kitchen garden. And we have prepared nearly 200 beautiful HANGING BASKETS, each one filled with a colorful variety of plants. Our “MIRTH in the GARDEN” department is chock full of fun and interesting yard art to add interest to your gardens. It has all been made from recycled material.
Caring for your plants
People often ask whether they should keep their plants in the house until they’re ready to plant them.
If you purchased perennials, the answer is no. The sale perennials have been hardened off, which means they were introduced to colder temperatures several weeks ago. The sooner the plants are in the ground, the sooner they can establish a substantial root system. If you encounter severe weather warnings or frost warnings before you plant your perennials, cover your plants or take them into a protected area under a porch or into an unheated garage to protect their vulnerable roots from freezing.
If you purchase annuals, vegetables, or hanging baskets, these plants are very susceptible to frost damage and should not be planted until all danger of frost is passed and the soil has warmed to the temperature most suited for the variety you are plant