Many varieties of plants available at Master Gardeners' sale


March 04, 2011

by Brynn Lee, Victoria County Master Gardener

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Gardeners' Dirt
PHOTO BY LUPECOOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Angel's trumpet likes sun, but should be positioned to receive shade in the afternoon. It can flower year-round and is known for its blooms that droop downward.
LEFT:
PHOTO BY BRYNN LEE/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER

The Texas star hibiscus explodes with brilliant red blossoms from June to October. This native plant is an excellent choice for gardeners wanting to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
RIGHT:
PHOTO BY LUPE COOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Devil's trumpet (Datura stramonium) differs from the angel's trumpet in that it is upright with showy, fragrant blooms. The leaves are soft, irregularly undulate, and toothed.
PHOTO BY LUPE COOK/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Kalanchoe donkey ear is a unique shrub plant. It welcomes hummingbirds and is at the top of list for succulent lovers. Blooms are shaped like a pink chandelier.
We've had some spring-like days, and for the Master Gardeners that means it is time for the annual spring plant sale, which will be Saturday at the Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion located at Victoria Regional Airport.

YOU ASKED; WE LISTENED

Many of you have expressed an interest in fruit trees and berries. We have listened to your requests - and this is the year. For the first time, we will be offering a variety of peach, pear, plum and persimmon trees, plus blueberries, blackberries, grapes and even pomegranates.

Other plants that will be offered and grown by Master Gardeners in our own greenhouse will be the beautiful angel's trumpet and the colorful datura. Another special plant from our greenhouse is the donkey ear, with the bloom looking like a chandelier. Additionally, we'll have numerous other fabulous landscape plants at great prices. And as far as ornamentals, if you have never seen the Texas star hibiscus, are you in for a treat.

SPRING VS. FALL SALE

With warmer weather just around the corner, the "gardener" in each of you will feel that spring time is the best time to start planting. This is true in most cases. At the fall plant sale, we offered a variety of shrubs and fall flowers, but the spring plant sale promises to have you wanting to get out and play in the dirt.

Time to re-plant landsape - Spring time is the time we all think of our yards bursting into color. With no help from Mother Nature's freeze again this year, most of us have lost a lot of our plants. So come out and look for your "old reliable favorite" or try something new and unusual.

Time to plant vegetables - It's also time for planting your vegetables. We will offer tomato plants; red, green and yellow bell peppers; squash and an assortment of herbs that will give your meal that special "BAM."

PREPARE YOUR GARDEN SPOT

One mistake that is made by many gardeners is not properly preparing the soil or planting in the wrong location, or too much or not enough sunlight. Master Gardeners will be on hand at the plant sale to assist you with questions you may have about the flower or tree you just purchased. Please feel free to bring any other questions or concerns about a personal gardening problem. If we are not able help you, we can recommend many websites or informational books that will give you "helpful gardening tips." Even if you are a novice gardener, no worry, each flower, tree or vine comes with growing and planting instructions.

MORE THAN A PLANT SALE

Visit VEG - If you have never had the experience of coming to one of our plant sales, tomorrow is your day. Not only will there be more than 2,000 plants for you to pick and choose, you will have the opportunity to visit Victoria Educational Gardens (VEG) adjacent to the Pavilion, the location of the plant sale.

Seed balls - A fun thing for the "kid of all ages" is our seed balls. Made of clay with seeds rolled inside, you just throw them into your flower beds and watch the flowers burst into color.

Master Gardener cookbook - And don't forget the new Victoria Master Gardener cookbook. This is another "first" for our organization. I have read many cookbooks, but this is the most "fun" and informational one I've seen. It gives all types of cooking and gardening tips not to mention the easy-to-read format and pictures! If you need a special gardening book, these will also be available for purchase.

SERVICE WITH A SMILE

The plant sale is an indoor event for your convenience. There will be people to help you load your plants, but remember, if you are planning on purchasing larger items, like trees, you may want to bring a truck. Remember, lines start forming early, so set your alarm. We'll greet you with our service with a smile.
If You Go
WHAT: Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale
WHEN: Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (or sell out)
WHERE: VEG Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive
(Victoria County Airport, across from Control Tower)

Look For More than 2,000 plants
Featured fruit trees and berries, vegetables and herbs
New Master Gardener Cookbook
Gardening resource materials
Seed balls for all ages


Plant Varieties Recommended for Victoria area:

Herbs
Creeping fennel
Fennel
Garlic chives
Spearmint

Tomatoes
Better boy hybrid-VFN
Beef steak - VFN
Homestead
Large cherry red
Super sweet 100

Vegetables
Sweet peppers
Red, green and yellow bell peppers
Asparagus crowns

Bare-root fruit trees/plants
Warren pear
Methley and Bruce plums
La-Feliciana, Florida-king, and Tex-king peaches
Fuyu persimmon
Black Spanish and Blanc-Du Bois grapes
Brazos, Ouachita (thornless) and Natchez (thornless) blackberries
Wonderful pomegranate

Landscape plants
Too numerous to list
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.