Monday, April 27, 2009

Plants: What I look forward to at the Farmer's Market.

At the annual Master Gardener's plant sale, I bought two tomato plants to take advantage of the hot weather and have a jump start on tomatoes. I also purchased a couple of native columbine plants and a native honey suckle along with a few others. However I was very conservative in my plant purchase because I knew that there will be diverse plants offered at the farmer's market.

Herb, Tomato and Vegetable Plants
Wendy of Persimmon Pond Plants is bringing herb plants (thyme, tarragon, winter savory, lavender and rosemary) and possibly tomatoes, lettuce and arugula plants on May 2. Nancy of Chesapeake's choice will bring potted herbs, and Rick of Summer Creek Farm will offer organically grown plants . I expect Jim of Tomatoes et al. and Erland of New Hope Farm will offer young plants this year again. So Very Special offers a wide array of herb plants and I got a curry plant from them last year. Some of them will offer a pot with pre-selected herb plants so that you can start your window herb garden right away! For those who are just starting a herb garden and wondering what to grow, these are my top five recommendations:
  • Basil (warm weather annual)
  • Parsley (likes cool weather, biennial - will go to seed after the first winter)
  • Rosemary (tender perennial, will over-winter if a protection is given)
  • Thyme (perennial)
  • Sage (perennial)
I would add cilantro (cool weather annual - eventually will bolt when the weather gets hot), lemon verbena (annual, awesome in iced-tea), tarragon (tender perennial, terrific in potato salad), lavender (tender perennial, some cultivars will survive winter better than others), mint (perennial, very invasive - keep it in a pot), chives (perennial) and oregano (perennial) to the mix if there is more room. Even if you have a pretty decent selection of herb plants already, you might still find some others to add to your selection. Look for fennel and savory to make your own Herbes de Provence. Maybe there will be garlic chives, thai basil or lemon grass for those who love asian flavors. Visit every farmer and ask what they have and what they plan to bring. You will be amazed with the varieties that are offered.
On top of many varieties of tomato and pepper plants that most of the mentioned farmers will bring, we will also have eggplant and tomatillo plants if Thistle nursery is back with their usual offerings.

Flowers, Shrubs, and Trees
Thistle nursery also brings overwhelming varieties of annual flowers! The quality and price is unbeatable. If you are looking for plants to decorate your front porch, I highly recommend that you come out to the farmer's market and check out Thistle nursery. M & W nursery brings a beautiful selection of flowers, dwarf and unusual shrubs and trees.
Photo by Dan
You must stop at M & W and take a look at what they've got. Last year they even had blueberry plants. Wendy also brings flower seedlings - I got Lisianthus from her which bloomed beautifully last summer.
I have a pretty good variety of seedlings that I started indoor and outdoor this spring. Even with those seedlings, I am pretty sure my fellow farmers will bring herb, vegetable, flower and shrub/tree plants that will make me so excited that I have to adopt. Don't laugh if you find me carrying a huge basket filled with plants. I can't help it, and it feels good to succumb.

Organic potting soils and Rain Barrels
You've got plants - do you need some good soil and a better strategy to water your plants? Rick will have organic potting soils and rain barrels. Now that's a complete picture for your garden.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Steve - Herb garden plants