The shorter days and more moderate temperatures make this fall a great time for gardening projects. The Cass County Master Gardeners invite you to their annual Fall Plant Sale, set for Saturday morning, September 9, at the Cass County Community Center, 805 W 10th Street on the Fairgrounds in Atlantic. The sale will be open to the public to purchase divided perennials suitable for fall planting. Plants expected to be on the sale include iris (bearded and Siberian), peonies, daylilies, spring-flowering bulbs, hostas, perennial geranium, anemone, baptista, salvia, sedum, garden mum, rudbeckia, clematis, oregano and other herbs, lily of the valley, yarrow, houseplants including aloe and more. There will also be a large collection of gently used garden decor, pots, books, and tools for shoppers to explore.
The sale begins at 8 AM, and will be held in the front parking lot of the Cass County Community Center on the fairgrounds in Atlantic. Interested gardeners are encouraged to arrive early for best plant selection, as the annual spring and fall sales occasionally sell out before 10 AM, especially high-demand plants.
The Master Gardeners will bring perennials dug and divided from their own gardens to the fall plant sale. Community residents are also welcome to donate plants, and members may even help you dig! Please call in advance and make arrangements to drop off donated plants before the date of the plant sale. All funds raised from the sale support local Master Gardener projects such as community garden spaces, educational activities, grants and scholarships.
Many perennials work well for fall dividing and transplanting, including daylilies, peonies, garden phlox, bleeding heart, coneflowers, speedwell, and more. Iris and hosta can also be transplanted successfully in early fall. By dividing the plant when it is not flowering, all the energy it produces can be directed to root and foliage growth, so plants overwinter in place and come back strong in the spring. Additionally, the cooler weather is easier on the plants (and the gardener!), and the plants generally do not use as much water as in spring and summer. Plants should be placed in the ground as early in fall as possible, but most can be successfully planted up until the ground freezes. The plants should also be adequately watered until the ground freezes, which is particularly important in dry years. If you have questions about dividing and caring for plants, stop by the Extension Office or visit the online Extension Store to pick up a publication (https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/5725) on dividing and caring for perennial plants in the garden!
To donate items, or for more information about these events and other Master Gardener activities in Cass County, please call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, stop by the office at 805 West 10th street in Atlantic, or email Cass County Extension Director and Master Gardener Coordinator Kate Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also invited to follow the Cass County Master Gardeners Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CassCoMG to keep up with local events and tips for gardening!