Written by Catherine Burst, Colorado Master Gardener, 2018 and SHED President
Our annual sale returns this year and we’ll have what you need to get your garden off to a great growing season. Timed to coincide with Pueblo’s traditional last frost date, the sale gives gardeners time to get their choices in the ground and the roots established before the summer heat sets in.
We will have a wide selection of plants grown in and for our region, the varieties we sell can be hard to find anywhere else. They will include a newly patented ornamental chile plant perfect for container gardens, drought tolerant perennials and groundcovers, colorful and interesting vegetables and time-tested herbs. We’ll also have a “Home Grown” section, with plants that have been donated by fellow gardeners, and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer question and provide assistance.
Proceeds from the one-day sale fund grants for horticultural education, including tuition support for the Colorado Master Gardener program at the Pueblo County Extension office. And to help keep everyone safe, we’ll be complying with State and County health guidelines and mask requirements for those 11 years and older.
This year we’re excited to be introducing the Pueblo Primrose ornamental pepper by Dr. Michael Bartolo at CSU. Grown for its beautiful appearance rather than its’ flavor, the small round fruits transition from a creamy white to yellow, orange and then bright red as they mature. With a bushy growth habit topping out at 12 to 18 inches, it’s an eye-catching addition to your patio pots or located near the front of a perennial bed.
Maybe you are expanding your beds or want to supplement your existing landscape with natives to help support birds, butterflies and bees. Plants from Perennial Favorites, a well-known and respected grower, specializes in perennials and groundcover, and features many of the Plant Select varieties. This is a line of plants have been bred to thrive in the challenging Rocky Mountain climate. Perennial Favorites chooses plants that will grow best here in our Front Range conditions, and we’re especially excited they are participating this year.
With a focus on growing local, Master Gardener Kata Schmidt will be returning and bringing vegetable and herb starts. She is adding Micro-dwarf tomatoes to her already broad offerings. Developed specifically to thrive in 6 inch to one gallon pots, they can be grown indoors and year round! Kata will have fun and tasty yellow, purple and black tomatoes, as well as dependable classics like Big Beef and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. There will be lots of Pepper choices too, with a rainbow of colors and range of heat levels from mild Sweet Bananas to the very hot Carolina Reaper. Cucumbers, squash and zucchini will be also be available.
To flavor all those healthy veggies, you’ll be able to pick up pots of Sweet Basil, Oregano, Rosemary and Cilantro, as well as some Dill for pickling those cucumbers you buy.
Just reading about the Plant Sale can get your summer gardening plans off to a strong start, so mark May 8th on your schedule and check the Pueblo SHED website (puebloshed.org) for more details in April! If you want to donate plants, or have suggestions for other local vendors you think might want to part of the sale, please email the SHED President at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!