Have you started your vegetable and herb garden seeds yet? If not, no need to worry as the WSU Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardeners have been busy growing just over 2,000 vegetables and herbs, mostly tomatoes, in their homes in preparation for the famed Master Gardener Foundation of Chelan County Annual Plant Sale.
This year’s sale will be at Pybus Public Market on April 27, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the beautiful newly remodeled Event Center and outdoor patio.
As in the past, tomatoes will be the star of the show, with both sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, Swiss chard, tomatillos, basil, dill, oregano and parsley also in the lineup.
Available will be eight varieties of medium slicing tomatoes and eight large beefsteak tomatoes. Pasta lovers will have five varieties of paste/romas to choose from. If you love cherry tomatoes to nibble on right off the vine or as a delicious part of your garden salad, you will find five varieties for sale. For those who are space challenged, two varieties of container/patio tomatoes will be available.
Peppers are the next most popular of the vegetables. This year, we have grown seven varieties of sweet peppers and five varieties of hot peppers.
All the vegetables and herbs have been moved to the greenhouse and are being lovingly tended by WSU Master Gardener volunteers.
Once again we will have a wide selection of perennials from a Walla Walla nursery. Four master gardeners will soon drive down to personally choose about 800 plants that will grow well in our area. They will be delivered to Wenatchee the day before the sale.
By the time 9 a.m. comes around on sale day, a long line will be formed, so arrive early to be sure to get the plants you want most. As usual, signs posted throughout the room will help you find the specific varieties you are looking for. Knowledgeable WSU Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Boxes will be provided for those who buy too many plants to carry in two hands. Instructions for hardening off the plants to increase plant survival once you get them home will be given out at check out.
Proceeds from the plant sale support the many and varied WSU Master Gardener educational programs offered for free to the community, such as plant diagnosis clinics from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday afternoons at 400 Washington St., the Third Saturday in the Garden educational series offered at the Community Education Garden on Western Avenue from May through September, and information booths during the summer and early fall at area farmers markets. For more information on these and other community activities or to become involved with the Master Gardeners, please visit our website: wwrld.us/cdmg.
See you at the sale!
A WSU Master Gardeners of Chelan County column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. Casey Leigh is one of four columnists featured.