Posted by: Andrea Alexander | April 28, 2012

Early Birds Get Their Pick at the Master Gardener Plant Sale

Crowds arrived early at the Master Gardener Plant Sale

If you want your pick of the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and flowers on Rutgers Day make sure to stop by the Master Gardener Plant sale early.

Barbara O’Brien learned that lesson last year. By the time she arrived on Cook Campus, most of the plants she wanted had already been sold.

“This year I said we are going to make an early start,’’ said O’Brien, of Staten Island.

She set her alarm for 7 a.m., and arrived on campus well before 9 a.m. to meet her daughter, Catherine, a sophomore who is studying Animal Science.

O’Brien was prepared with a wagon that she bought and assembled the night before. By 10 a.m. she was ready to gather her third wagonload of plants.

“There are such interesting plants here and you know where they are grown,’’ O’Brien said. “And it’s nice to get back to Rutgers.’’

For some advice about planting, ask any of the members of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County who are running the plant sale.

Bill Hlubik, the county agricultural agent, cautioned that it’s too early to start planting tomatoes, peppers or Basil.

“If it gets a whiff of cold it’s out,’’ he said.

It’s ok to put that lettuce in the ground, but if it’s a cold night try to cover it up.

And if you are a fan of hot peppers he has a recommendation for you: make sure to pick up the ghost pepper.

“It’s one of the hottest peppers on the planet,’’ he said.


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