MARIPOSA – We all agree there is nothing like a juicy, home-grown tomato. Or like a juicy, home-grown cantaloupe, onion, zucchini, cucumber, blackberry or ear of corn. Or like fresh thyme, basil, rosemary or dill.
But starting plants from seed is a hassle and buying plants can be expensive. Mariposa County Master Gardeners can help. The annual plant sale is coming.Members have been planting seeds and watching them sprout since January. Windowsills and greenhouse are now full of plants reaching up to the sun and ready to feed or delight all summer long and some for years after.
The sale is Saturday, May 4, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Amigo Picnic Area at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
As always, there will be hundreds of tomatoes, from giant Mortgage Lifters to little Sweet 100s, in a bright and sometimes surprising range of colors, shapes and sizes. Check the giant tomato info board to see what you must have.
That’s just the beginning. Any vegetable, fruit or herb you’re likely to want is likely to be there: the growers have reported a wide range of edibles from cool and hot peppers to melons and thornless red raspberries.
Then there are ornamentals from Blue-eyed Grass to hyssop and chocolate mint to walking onion. You can even try growing loofa sponges (they’re gourds).
There are succulents, cactus and buckeye bushes coming, too. And don’t forget the array of foothill native plants, which take little care or water once they’re established.
Besides the plants, the sale will have: a tool-sharpening station (one tool per family) where you can learn how to keep your tools in best shape; an advice table for your gardening questions, a Master Gardener who will repair tool handles or create new ones for you; garden-related art, T-shirts, paintings, photos and stautary, and succulent wreaths for sale.
This is one of the group’s most popular events. It is recommended that you get there early for the best choices. Carts for your shopping and containers to carry items to your car are provided.
For more information, call (209) 966-2417 or check the website at cemariposa.ucdavis.edu/Master_Gardener.
The Mariposa County Health Department will be there, too, with its Mosquito Fish Distribution Day. The fish, at a suggested donation of $5, should be used only in ponds, troughs and self-contained systems, not in natural waterways. North County residents can reserve fish for delivery at Coulterville Park on May 3, from 1 to 2 p.m. Call (209) 966-3689 or (800) 459-4466 to request your fish.
The next big event in the Master Gardener calendar is the annual Spring Garden Tour on June 1.