By Danielle Wellborn-Taylor
The rain didn’t stop people from lining up to purchase plants from the Bell County Master Gardener fall plant sale. On sale were fall plants and trees, and vendor and children’s booths supplemented the sale.
It was organized by Master Gardener and Sale Coordinator Kathy Love. All of the available plants were sourced from the Central Texas area.
The Bell County Master Gardener Chapter boasts over 100 volunteer members. At least 40 of those members came out to help with the sale on Saturday, according to Master Gardener Louann Hight.
Hight says that her favorite part of being a Master Gardener is “Interacting with people, and promoting community education”.
She went on to say that their chapter goes to numerous schools in the area, and offers many classes throughout the year to inform and educate the community.
Their next class will be a Rain Barrel/Rainwater Harvesting Workshop on Saturday, September 24th.
Booths at the fall sale included the Iris Society, Belton 4-H Club, “Ask a Master Gardener” table, Kids Camp, and informational booths on rainwater harvesting and square foot gardening.
Master Gardener Wayne Schirner was giving visitors lessons on square foot gardening, which he says, “is ideal for young children, beginner gardeners, and those with limited yard space.” Square foot gardening is a 40-year-old practice. It involves making a non-native soil mixture of equal parts peat moss, coarse vermiculite, and blended compost. The soil is then put in a garden box that is approximately 4 feet wide and 4 feet long, and a minimum of 6 inches deep, followed by sectioning off each square foot with lattice wood. Each square foot is then assigned a different vegetable or plant. Plants that can grow 6 inches apart such as lettuce, can grow 4 per square foot, and those that require 12 inches apart can grow one per square foot. Schirner says, “This type of gardening makes maintenance easier, and production more efficient.” and that, “ location of the box is very important, and should get at least 8 hours of sun every day, should have good drainage, and be close to your water source.”
Also available at the sale were herbs, succulents, vegetables, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, books, and a ‘gardener’s garage sale’. According to Hight, “It was the generosity and support of Extension Agent, Lyle Zoeller, that helped make all of this so successful.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener in Bell County for the 2017 year can get an application, background check, and other information from the Bell County AgriLife Extension Office or online at txmg.org/bell.