Getting the itch to start gardening? Maybe you are looking for vegetables to fill your garden or perennials to fill your new yard? If so, you are in luck. The Colorado State University Extension Colorado Master Gardeners will host its first annual plant sale on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Plant sales will also be held June 5 and June 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the CSU Extension office White House Gardens, located at 441 Broadway in Eagle.
The plant sale will include garden tours and planting demos coinciding with the Water Smart Expo, held from noon to 4 p.m., at the Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway, across the street from the White House Gardens. White House Gardens perennial offerings include wine cups, veronica and penstemon, to name a few. It’s a great way to enhance your garden with Colorado Native plants and Plant Select plants: “Water-wise, garden smart plants that have proven they are uniquely adapted to the Rocky Mountain region,” according to www.plantselect.org.
The White House Gardens are open to the public and demonstrate which plants grow well in Colorado’s challenging growing conditions. The White House Gardens plants are available for a suggested donation, which will fund the expansion and improvement of existing White House Gardens.
The CSU Extension office is home to much more than a plant sale. Colorado Master Garden volunteers are available as a great resource for gardening tips, advice or diagnostics. This is a free service available to anyone who has a gardening issue they can’t solve. Gardeners can call, email or visit the extension office to ask for help from a CMG volunteer. Bringing in physical samples of a sick plant or tree are helpful in the diagnostic process, but emailed photos will also work. The CSU website is also a great resource for gardeners looking for advice and recommendations for their garden.
Local vegetable starts will also be available and will be sold by Colorado Fresh, Sowing Seeds and LaVenture Farms to benefit those organizations.
Sowing Seeds, an offshoot of Vail Valley Youth Foundation, will offer vegetable plant starts, planted and tended by the children in this program, specifically for the sale. The foundation teaches over 1,000 elementary school-aged children horticulture, botany, nutrition and gardening each week. Sandy Story, of Sowing Seeds, advises, “Garden with your kids! They love it and they are really good at it!”
Colorado Fresh (Valley Fresh Organics) and LaVenture Farms, owned by Rick Kangas and Chris LaVenture, respectively, have sold vegetable seedlings and fresh produce the past three years in the Vail Valley. They suggested having a plant sale to help fill the void of the discontinued Eagle Farmers Market. Jeff Pieper, horticulture and small acreage agent for CSU, liked the idea since the extension office has received several requests for the plants displayed at the White House Gardens.
In addition to the standard vegetable offerings, Kangas is fond of his Culantro (Asian cilantro) and proud of the fact that his plants are genuinely organic since he uses no pesticides. His motto is “Grow it organically to help save mother earth!”
Kangas, a master gardener himself, will present a FREE “Container Gardening” Workshop June 7 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Gypsum Public Library, 47 Lundgren Blvd., Gypsum. Kangas will explain why container plantings fare so well in Colorado’s climate, including tomatoes and watermelon that are specially propagated for containers.
For more information about the plant sale, gardening questions or the Master Gardener program, call 970-328-8630 or visit www.ext.colostate.edu.