Around Town: Spring Plant Sales

It is spring, and everyone in my family has gone garden crazy. My wife and sons have been weeding, digging, and planting everything in sight, they eat as many meals as possible outside on a picnic blanket, and they’ve secured permission from more neighbors than I knew we had to collect dandelion flowers for their jelly operation. I don’t get quite so wound up about it all (my enthusiasm is tempered by my allergies), but I do enjoy gardening season and the return of life and green to the yard and neighborhood. So in honor of spring, this week’s post is a rundown of May’s plant sales in and around Northfield. Visit one or a few, and enjoy time outside digging in some good, clean dirt.

Mother’s Day Weekend is always a big one for flowers and plants, and this year is no exception. The festivities are actually already underway with Better Together Employee Organization plant sale next to the Almen Building on Hwy 19, across from the Campbell Mill. On since Wednesday, it’s open today until 6pm and again tomorrow from 9am-2pm. In addition to annual flowers and vegetable plants for your garden, you can find specialty pots and hanging baskets already planted.  All proceeds benefit the Better Together Foundation, which is run by Malt-O-Meal (PCB) employees and retirees and works on a variety of projects within the local community.

On Saturday, in fact, you could spend most of the day plant shopping around the area. Starting bright and early, the Northfield Garden Club is holding a plant and seed sale on Bridge Square from 8am to Noon (some garden accessories will also be available). Plants are donated by garden club members, and proceeds will go toward beautification projects in Northfield’s public spaces, so everyone wins here. And everyone wins a little bit more, even, because it’s also a bake sale. You can visit the club’s website to learn more about its programs and informational sessions, which run throughout the year, as well as resources for gardening in Minnesota.

Also on Saturday, you can head over to Sogn Valley Farm in Cannon Falls for their plant sale and open house between 9am and 3pm. The farm specializes in organic vegetables, native plants, and plants for pollinators, so you’re sure to find some good, Earth-friendly options there. The sale is part of a farm open-house as well, with informal tours While you’re there, ask them about their Market CSA program, which replaces their traditional CSA program for 2019. Unlike a traditional CSA program where you receive a box of produce each week, the Sogn Valley Farm Market CSA gives you a CSA card that functions like a gift card at the farm’s new on-farm market each Friday from May to October (and bi-weekly in November and December).

In Hastings, Sam Kedem’s Nursery and Garden is holding its annual open house from 10:30-1:30 this Saturday. It’s a good chance to get familiar with the nursery (operated by new farmers starting this year) and check out their CSA as well as their selection of hardy roses and organic produce. This is your last chance for the roses, as the nursery portion of the operation closes in mid-June, and they’re 20% off this weekend.

If you don’t pick up enough plants this weekend, you have more opportunities next weekend as well. On Saturday, May 18th, the Rice County Master Gardeners will hold their 8th annual plant sale at the Rice County Fairgrounds in Faribault, from 8-11am. In addition to vegetable, herb, and strawberry plants, there will be a selection of houseplants, perennials, and even bluebird and chickadee houses. Proceeds benefit master gardener projects in Rice County, so it’s a good opportunity to beautify both your own yard and public spaces. Because actual master gardeners will be on hand, this is also a good place to get your gardening questions answered.

Northfield Prairie Partners is also holding a plant sale on Saturday the 18th at Emmaus Church in Northfield from 9am to 3pm. The organization is dedicated to preservation and reestablishment of native plant communities, so expect to find a good variety of native plants as well as vegetables and herbs for your garden.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for at one of these sales, you can always head out to one of the area’s nurseries.  In Faribault, check out Twiehoff Garden and Nursery (started as a front-yard pumpkin stand in 1964), Northstar Seed and Nursery, Donahue’s Greenhouses (especially if you’re in the market for clematis), or Faribault Garden Center. In Northfield, stop by Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping or (and!) eco Gardens, both of which have been favorite stops for our family for the past few years. And don’t forget, if your kids participated in the Kids’ Planting Day at Knecht’s, to pick up their pots this weekend.

Once you’ve purchased your plants, it’s time to get them in the ground. This may take so much time and energy that you’ll have nothing left for more mundane tasks like pulling out your burgeoning dandelion crop. Not to worry, though; you can just call us, and I’ll send out the crew to pick all the dandelion flowers you can grow.  We might even give you a jar of jelly as a thank you.