Cass County Master Gardeners to Host Fall Plant Sale October 10

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The recent rains and the more moderate temperatures make this fall a great time for gardening projects.  If you’re looking for late-season additions to your yard and garden, the Cass County Master Gardeners have just the event for you!  Their second annual Fall Plant Sale will be held on Saturday morning, October 10, at the Cass County Community Center, 805 W 10th Street, on the Cass County Fairgrounds.  The sale will be open to the public to purchase divided perennials suitable for fall planting. Plants already confirmed to be on the sale include hosta, spring-flowering bulbs, daylilies, perennial geranium, sedum, ornamental grasses, and Naked Lady bulbs. Additional plants will continue to be added to the sale, as well as possibly some garden tools and decor. 
 
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. The Master Gardeners were unable to hold their annual Spring Plant Sale this year due to the COVID pandemic, so a large selection is anticipated as this will be the only opportunity to purchase from the group this year.  Due to the pandemic, several safety measures will be in place for this sale, including recommending the use of masks, spreading out sale items to allow for social distancing, a one-way traffic flow for shoppers and, if necessary, limiting the number of people shopping at any given time.  Hand sanitizer stations and options for drive-through pickup will also be available.
 
The Master Gardeners appreciate the great response to the group’s Bulb Sale, consisting of pre-orders for tulip and narcissus (daffodil) bulbs. At press time, all of the tulip bulbs have been sold, while roughly half of the narcissus (daffodil) bulbs are still available.  Order forms and photos of the variety colors can be found at the Cass County Extension Office or on the Extension website HERE.  All pre-ordered bulbs will be available for pickup at the plant sale, and any remaining bulbs will be available for purchase that day. Bulbs will be sold in bags of 5 mixed colors for $5/bag. Pre-orders are still being taken, and are encouraged to guarantee availability of bulbs.
 
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 this drought year. Mulching recently transplanted plants will also help them survive their first winter.
 
Cass County Master Gardeners will be bringing a variety of plants from their own gardens, as well as plants dug from gardens around the community, for this sale.  Community members are also welcome to donate plants to this event, 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.
 
For more information about these events and about Master Gardener activities in Cass County, please call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, or email Cass County Extension Director and Master Gardener Coordinator Kate Olson at keolson@iastate.edu.  In addition, you are invited to follow the Cass County Master Gardeners at their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CassCoMG to keep up with local events and tips for gardening!

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