Shawnee County Master Gardeners members have been busy over the past few months growing and potting plants for its annual plant sale, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Shawnee County Extension Office parking lot, 1740 S.W. Western Ave. From left to right are Barb Doud, Sharon Rangel and Joan Scott, co-chairmen of the plant sale committee, and Lynn Weaver, Shawnee County Extension Office greenhouse manager. (Keith Horinek/The Capital-Journal)
For the past few months, Shawnee Master Gardeners members have been busy planting seeds and growing the perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs that will be offered at its ninth annual plant sale Saturday morning in the parking lot at the Shawnee County Extension Office, 1740 S.W. Western Ave.
The sale, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon, raises money for Master Gardeners’ many projects, including scholarships, community gardens and a greenhouse at the Extension office.
Lynn Weaver, Shawnee County Extension Office greenhouse manager, and Sharon Rangel, Joan Scott and Barb Doud, co-chairmen of the plant sale committee, recently talked about the plant sale and the organization’s programs.
Q: How many plants are there?
Scott: The planning process began last fall, with ordering seed. There were 20,000 seeds planted in January. It’s months in the making.
Weaver: Each Master Gardener is asked to bring in seven perennial divisions from our own yards to sell. An advantage to that is these are things that have been growing in our yards and we know that they do well in this climate. It’s not something that you bought from New Jersey out of a catalog.
Q: How do you decide what is planted?
Weaver: The committee gets together, and it’s based on what grew well for us the previous year, what sold well for us, what we think the public wants and maybe a few things that we want to try. Our goal is to have the healthiest, well-rooted attractive plants, so people can take them home that afternoon and plant them in their gardens.
Q: What are some of the best-sellers?
Weaver: The bush-type zinnias and butterfly weed, which is a perennial. We’re growing about 500 pots of butterfly weed, because we really want to support the monarch butterflies. They only lay their eggs on butterfly weed, and (their) caterpillars only eat butterfly weed leaves and flowers. Plant a big patch to support the butterflies rather than singly, because they are more attracted to the color and able to see it.
Q: What about plants for the honeybee?
Weaver: We have a lot of nectar plants for the honeybees — the salvia, zinnias, petunias, vinca, basil, goldenrod and asters.
Q: How many people come to the event?
Weaver: I would say 500 probably.
Rangel and Scott: We have people lined up at least an hour before we open. So they need to get here early for best selection, because we have some tables that in the past have sold out in 10 minutes.