Coweta Master Gardeners
Annual spring plant sale Saturday
by Sarah Fay Campbell
For many Coweta gardeners, Saturday is the day they have been waiting for — the annual Spring Plant Sale organized by Coweta County’s Master Gardener Extension volunteers.
There will be more than 5,000 plants, ranging from tomatoes, peppers and herbs to colorful annuals and perennials lovingly grown by Coweta Master Gardeners — a group of volunteers who have completed special training with the University of Georgia Extension Service.
All the plants are priced to sell, with most priced at just a few dollars. Prices are “very, very reasonable,” said David Granroos, this year’s plant sale chairman.
The sale runs from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., or sellout, whichever is first. It’s held at the ag building at the Coweta County Fairgrounds on Pine Road.
If you want to buy any of the 12 varieties of tomato seedlings or eight varieties of peppers, you’d better get there early because they tend to go fast, organizers say.
And by early, that means you might want to get there before the gates open. Those in the know do.
People start lining up around 7:30 a.m., Granroos said. “There are probably 150 people in line by 8:30, waiting to get in the gates,” he said. Shoppers are encouraged to bring wagons, carts or boxes for their purchases.
Cash and checks are accepted, but debit/credit cards are not.
In addition to the wide variety of plants, there will be the “Ask a Master Gardener” station for your gardening questions. There will also be a vendor selling decorative yard art, and the Boy Scouts will be on hand to help shoppers carry out plant purchases. The annual plant sale is the biggest fundraiser for the Master Gardener Extension Volunteers. The organization supports UGA Cooperative Extension in Coweta County through community education, raising funds for scholarships and supporting Coweta County 4-H.
All the plants were either grown from seed by Master Gardeners, or propagated by them from cuttings or dividing. Many of the perennials and shrubs are taken from the plants the volunteers have growing in their own yards. There will also be a small amount of container gardens put together by one of the gardeners and a few hanging baskets.
The greenhouse committee, chaired by Dave Langhoff, has been working for months to plant and raise all the seedlings.
This year, they have expanded the selection of tomatoes and peppers, and are offering more six-packs, said Granroos. “Because that is what the public has asked for.”
New this year, almost all of the plants will have “pot stickers” with information on the plants, including their botanical and common name, and some growing information. There will be even more information about each type of plant on signs placed near the sales tables.
“It’s taken us that next step,” Granroos said. “It was time-consuming to build the database on the front end but it’s going to be there for years to come.” There are more things they hope to import into the database for next year. “We just ran out of time,” he said.
To get ready for the plant sale, Granroos said they held a “lunch and learn” session on plant identification last week for the Master Gardeners who will be working the plant sale.
The “Ask a Master Gardner” station will have answers for those with questions about plants at the sale.
If you have a plant to be identified, or one with a problem, you can bring that, too. Any plants with diseases, pests, or other problems must be sealed in a zip-top bag to prevent the spread of disease.
Master Gardener volunteers will also be set up outside the sale doing a short survey of plant sale customers.
“We’re asking four very simple questions that we would like some feedback on,” Granroos said.
One question will be whether people are interested in a fall plant sale.
A fall plant sale is held most years, but it’s really just to “clean out the greenhouse,” Granroos said.
“This year we’re looking to increase what we are going to have,” he said. “We are already in the process of propagating. Mostly shrubs and trees, because that is a great time to plant stuff.”
It will probably never be as big as the spring sale, but “it is definitely going to be bigger than what we had last fall.”
If the responses to the survey are favorable, they might add some fall vegetables to the mix, Granroos said.
For questions, you can call the Coweta County Extension Office at 770-254-2620.