Penn State Master Gardeners of Berks County will hold their spring plant sale on Friday, May 11, from noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. The sale is held at the Berks County Ag Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Bern Township.
“After a long winter, our sale is a great way to launch your spring gardening,” states Dee Dee Kerscher, event chairperson. Knowledgeable Master Gardener volunteers can advise you on the proper plants and the best way to care for them. The sale features plants that are suitable for many types of conditions. Customers may even request their own personal shopping assistant to guide plant choices.”
In addition to helping with plant selection, Master Gardeners will offer information on soil preparation, planting techniques, vegetable gardening, lawn care, and composting. They are adept at finding appropriate plants for difficult situations where the most commonly used plants may not do well.
Free literature will be available on dozens of garden topics, including Spotted Lanternfly. The eggs of this invasive insect have overwintered in this part of Pennsylvania and will be hatching soon. Information on identification and management of SLF will be featured at the sale, along with the most current updates on the pest.
The interest in home vegetable gardening is guiding much of the Master Gardeners’ educational effort this season and will be reflected in the sale offerings, according to Beth Finlay, Master Gardener Coordinator. There will be a wide selection of herbs and vegetables, including dozens of heirloom varieties. Kerscher points out that the hundreds of vegetable plants sold under the big top at this sale are lovingly grown from seed by Master Gardeners, and then carefully hardened off to be ready for their new homes.
Another focus is native plants, which will comprise nearly half of the perennials offered at this sale. These plants and others that are pollinator- insect-friendly will help to preserve the threatened honeybee population and will also support native bees and other pollinating insects.
Many of the plants featured in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the entry to the Ag Center will be available for purchase this year.
“Highlights of the May sale are hanging baskets and herb dish gardens, both perfect for Mother’s Day gifts. “These are colorful, high-quality baskets,” notes Kerscher, “with multiple varieties of plants in deep pots for long-lasting beauty.”
Purchases are by cash or check or by VISA or Master Card for purchases over $50. Proceeds from the sale benefit more than two dozen Master Gardener volunteer projects throughout Berks County.
The Berks County Ag Center is handicapped accessible and all parking is free. For more information, call 610- 378-1327.