The annual Walker County Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale is Saturday, September 14. Rain or shine, a wide variety of plants will be presented this year. There are lots of old favorites, but there are a lot of new varieties, and a few rare or hard-to-find plants. The sale begins at the usual time of 8:00 a.m., but will close at Noon this year!
Fall is the best time to plant fruit and nut trees or shrubs. In the far back of the gardens at the Shade House, the fruit and trees will be offered along with berries and grapes. Three types of Peaches and three varieties of Pears are available. Other trees include: Apples, Nectarines, Apricots, Persimmon and Plum. Five varieties of high bush Blueberries are in stock. Remember, you need two different varieties for pollination. Other great shrubs and vines to plant are blackberries, grapes (wine and muscadine), elderberry, and figs.
Pecans, walnut and hazelnut trees are great for shade and nut production in your yard or garden. Orange and lemon trees will be offered. Avocados are on the list too!
Annie’s Arbor, which is next to the Greenhouse, there is a huge selection of tropicals, perennials and annuals. Various Begonias (including the Strawberry Begonia), Chrysanthemums, and Ruellia can be found. If you are in the market for tropical Hibiscus, this fall there is a great selection in the Arbor! Ask to see the Texas Star Hibiscus, a vigorous perennial. Also ask about the Plumerias and Gingers. A wide variety of Salvias, including ‘Hot Lips’, ‘Victoria’ and ‘Rose Marvel’ will be available. Sometimes Salvias are called Sages, but they are not the culinary sage.
Other great plants include host plants for butterflies such as Milkweed for Monarchs and Dutchman’s Pipe for the Pipevine Swallowtails. Red and purple Bee Balms are a favorite for pollinators. Texas Rock Rose, Confederate Rose and double pink Altheas round out some of the old favorites of gardeners.
Herbs include those that are great, cool-weather wonders. Most also serve as host plants for butterflies, so you may want to get two, one for you and one for the butterflies! Ask for Parsley, Dill, Rue,and Fennel to bring butterflies into your garden. There will also be Cilantro, Sage, prostrate Rosemary and Thyme. Three kinds of Oregano: Cuban, Italian and Greek will be offered as well as Onion and Garlic Chives. Holy and African Blue Basil (a perennial) are on the list. To add a little aromatherapy to your garden, check out the Scented Geraniums.
In the Greenhouse, there will be determinate variety tomatoes like Celebrity, Red Cherry and Early Girl so that you can harvest before the cold hits. Cool weather vegetable to add to your winter garden include: ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard (which is great in a flower bed or container to eat and add color!), ‘Golden Acre’ Cabbage, Siberian Kale and Buttercrunch Lettuce. Broccoli, Collards and Mustard greens will also be purchasable.
Can’t find a plant already potted up? Check with the Seed Ladies booth for a treasure trove of wonderful plants to go into a pot on your window sill, your child/grandchild’s garden or a container on your deck. All seeds were collected by Walker County Master Gardeners from plants grown in our area soils. In addition, these seeds are from plants that have survived our crazy weather that provides floods one month and drought the next.
Annuals, Bulbs, Natives, Roses, Succulents and Shrubs make up the rest of the categories for the sale. Each section will have knowledgeable Master Gardeners to assist you. The Garden Shop will be offering items such as gloves, nippers and select books. There will be the famous Bake Sale and a Raffle as well. This year a color coding system is being used for pricing. It is suggested that you bring your own wagon, as availability may be limited. Don’t forget to get a staging area numbered spot to make it easy on yourself. The normal parking lot is blocked off for this sale. Parking will be directed.
The sale location is the Walker County Master Gardeners Demonstration Gardens at 102 Tam Road. For more information, contact the Walker County AgriLife Extension Service at 936-435-2426. Master Gardeners are typically “in” on Thursday mornings.
The Walker County Extension Office is also on Facebook. WalkerCoTxAgrilife has been established to provide updates and information to Walker County residents and landowners on a timely basis. The Walker County Master Gardeners are also on Facebook! Check out both of these Facebook pages and hit "like" to join.