Bell County Master Gardeners holds annual plant sale By BRITTANY FHOLER The Belton Journal The Bell County Master Gardeners held their annual Spring Plant Sale Saturday morning at the Bell County 4-H Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office on N. Main Street. Members of the community took advantage of the opportunity to purchase plants and flowers and herbs for their gardens and landscaping at an affordable price, knowing they were supporting a local organization. The plant sale serves as the primary fundraising activity for the Bell County Master Gardeners each year and also serves as a tool to provide education to the community on what plants are best suited and well adapted for the area, according to Barbara Ishikawa, with the Bell County Master Gardeners. “We have a lot of vegetables in the springtime, and many of our Master Gardeners participated in growing the vegetables this year,” Ishikawa said. Some of the plants available included various herbs (from different types of mint to basil to lemon balm and more), succulents, vegetables that are springtime ready, perennials that are typically native to the area and that will attract different pollinators, and more. Also available were bags of potting soil and different types of fertilizer, including mushroom compost, cotton burr compost and composted chicken manure. Ishikawa said she has been with the Bell County Master Gardeners since 2017, but the Bell County Master Gardeners have held their plant sale for at least 10 years. The Bell County Master Gardeners meet the second Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon in the Harris Community Center, 401 North Alexander St. They also hold a monthly seminar the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Master Gardener Learning Center, 1605 N. Main St. The seminar for April will focus on Monarch butterflies and the pollinator plants that they love. The Spring Plant Sale offered a chance for the community to come and buy plants for the spring gardening season as well as learn more about plants by asking the Master Gardeners questions. Plants were priced between $2 and $10, with a bargain table featuring plants as low as $0.25. “I think it’s the main reason that we’re all Master Gardeners,” Ishikawa said. “We all are in love with gardening and learning about what techniques can produce the most successful kind of garden, whether you want a vegetable garden or a beautiful landscape or trees or lawn, and then we just really want to share our love with that because we think that there’s such amazing health and emotional benefits associated with gardening, and we want to share that with our community.” Mildred Rossler took advantage of the plant sale to buy tomato plants as well as several blooming perennials and a couple of succulents. This was her first year attending the plant sale, and she found out about it through Facebook, she said. “I enjoyed it,” Rossler said. “It was a good time.” She said she doesn’t do much gardening, but she was hoping to get started this spring. Lisa Maez was also a first-time shopper at the plant sale. “I was looking really at the perennials and stuff, but they went quickly, so I’m looking just at a lot of vegetables and things,” Maez said. She said she loved that this was a local option to buy plants and get out in her community and said it was much more fun than going to some place like Home Depot for her plants. “Just to get things locally and see them small and big and growing, it’s just something that’s kind of proud,” Maez said. “I have four kids, so I garden as little as much as I can, but it’s really fun. I make the kids go outside and play, so I can tinker in the garden, or I can tinker with flowers or my grass or whatever.” PHOTOS: BELTON JOURNAL/BRITTANY FHOLER The Bell County Master Gardeners held their annual Spring Plant Sale Saturday morning, offering flowers, plants, vegetables, and herbs as well as soil and fertilizer for an affordable price.