Nothing says spring like getting the urge to choose the annuals that will brighten your garden and the vegetables and herbs that will brighten your meals. This year, before you make that first trip to the garden center, make a detour to the Clemson Research and Education Center on Clemson Road for the Richland County Master Gardener Association’s annual plant sale.
There, you’ll step into the world of pass along plants, which, as opposed to being grown from little packets of seeds, are raised from seeds collected from their parent plants the year before. And why would anyone go to the trouble of removing the seeds from, say, a tomato, and saving them for a year?
Master gardener Karen Taylor explains that pass-alongs are often heritage varieties that offer interesting colors or superior flavor. “They may need a little more love since they’re not hybrids, but it’s worth it,” she says. “They’re often also unique.” Expect to find a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, flowering plants and shrubs.
To make sure your tender spring seedlings survive, Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions, offer tips and share their knowledge. Bring a photo of a pesky weed or ravenous insect and Clemson Extension Agents will ID your enemy and give you the ammunition to need to complete its life cycle before it can inflict any more damage on your yard.
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The Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held at the Sparkleberry Country Fair White Cottage at the Clemson Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road, Columbia. The sale runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, visit richlandmastergardeners.com
Find more plant sales online at thestate.com/home-garden
Katie McElveen, Special to The State