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Farm & Garden to hold Fall Plant Sale September 9 and 10

With the warmest weather of the year now arriving, this is the perfect time to start thinking about how to extend your vegetable garden into the fall and winter and get landscape plants established for next spring's blossoms.

photo of landscape

A great first step is to visit the UCSC Farm & Garden's Fall Plant Sale, offering gardeners a rich and timely selection of organically raised vegetable seedlings, perennials, and California natives. Sponsored by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, the sale takes place on Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, in the Barn Theater parking lot at the intersection of Bay and High Streets.

Lettuce, salad mix, Swiss chard, Asian greens, scallions, leeks, and brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, and kale are just a few of the vegetables that can be planted this fall for winter harvest. Flowers like bachelor buttons, calendula, bells of Ireland, and stock can also be planted in the fall for late winter and spring blooms.

In addition to winter vegetables and culinary herbs, the sale will feature perennial flowers and shrubs. Some standouts of the perennial collection this fall include Angelica stricta 'Purpurea', a striking purple-leaved plant much loved by butterflies; Verbascum 'Arctic Summer', a drought-tolerant native of Greece, with tall, white fleecy stems bearing bright yellow flowers; Correa 'Carmine Bells', an Australian perennial with dusky rose tubular flowers that bloom November to April; and a California native flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum glutinosum, which bears long, showy clusters of pink flowers from winter into spring.

Autumn is also the best time to plant perennial shrubs, including California natives, according to Christof Bernau, garden manager. "Because the soil is still warm, transplants quickly establish strong roots that ensure their survival during the winter," said Bernau. Fall plantings will be much larger and have more bloom than those planted in spring, he added.

The sale will benefit the UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Program, a six-month training course in organic farming and gardening. Members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden receive a 10 percent discount on purchases; memberships will be available at the sale. For more information about the Fall Plant Sale or the Friends of the Farm & Garden, call (831) 459-3240 or send e-mail to jonitann@ucsc.edu.

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