While this winter saw an abnormal abundance of spring-like days, the actual spring planting season has just arrived, and it is time to start thinking about your spring vegetable garden and landscaping projects.
As they do every year around this time, our local farms and nurseries are springing into action with preparations for annual spring plant sales to welcome the awakening of the season. Crabtree Farms, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center and the Bachman Community Center will all host annual spring plant sales during April.
Crabtree Farms’ annual Spring Plant Sale and Festival will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 7-9. The sale and festival will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
In addition to offering gardeners healthy, sustainably-grown fruit, vegetable, flower, and herb plants, Crabtree Farms will also offer free gardening workshops, live music, food, fun-on-the-farm activities for kids and handcrafted items from local artisans.
All plants are propagated and grown by Crabtree Farm’s greenhouse manager Mike Barron and community volunteers.
“Chattanooga has a variety of ecosystems, and I enjoy playing with different plants in different spaces to see what works,” said Barron. “Here we propagate, harden off, and grow vegetables and fruits that are good for the average gardener in Chattanooga.”
The plants will not be the only growth visitors see at Crabtree Farms. The farm has been rolling out its new strategic plan, which includes infrastructure improvements such as additional parking and a new entrance to the farm. While these project will not be completed prior to the Plant Sale and Festival, there will be ample parking for the sale.
For more information about Crabtree Farm’s Spring Plant Sale and Festival, visit www.crabtreefarms.org.
Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center will hold its 30th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale on Thursday, April 20 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. for members only, and Friday, April 21, and Saturday, 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the public.
“The sale provides a unique opportunity for the community to access a large selection of locally propagated native plants,” said Reflection Riding’s President Larry Zehnder. “Native plants are best suited to our local soils and growing conditions, enabling gardeners to have more prolific gardens which attract birds, bees, and butterflies.”
There will be a variety of native species available for purchase, all of which are propagated in the Reflection Riding greenhouse. Various programming, ranging from attracting native bees and hummingbirds to composting and rain barrel workshops, will take place throughout Friday and Saturday. There will also be wildflower walks.
“Planting natives is an excellent way to preserve biodiversity one Chattanooga yard at a time,” said Reflection Riding’s Greenhouse and horticultural manager John Evans. “We have added several new species this year including Tennessee ironweed, which only grows in this part of Tennessee. No other nursery in the world has it.”
All proceeds from the sale go to support the organization’s native plant propagation program. For more information and to view an available plant list, visit www.reflectionriding.org.
Bachman Community Center on Signal Mountain will host its annual Home and Garden Show Saturday, April 29, from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. There will be a variety of high quality plants and vegetables including trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, native wildflowers, succulents, herbs and produce.
It addition to the available plants, there will also be garden arts and crafts, kids’ activities, music and workshops conducted by landscapers and local contractors and builders. Refreshments will be offered by the Lions Club.
“Admission is free and all proceeds go to fund the Bachman Community Center’s Nancie Bailey’s Summer Camps and the upkeep of our registered historical building,” said Director Ashley Zimmerman.
For more information about the Home and Garden Show, visit www.bachmancc.org.
Planting a spring vegetable garden is a wonderful way to get outside and shake off those winter blues. But, spring is not only a wonderful time to plant a vegetable garden; it is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs not only increase the curb appeal of your home, they also create habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. Birds can help reduce garden pests such as cabbage worms, whiteflies, aphids, earwigs, grasshoppers, cucumber beetles and grubs, while bees and butterflies can help pollinate your vegetable and flower gardens. Just remember, trees and shrubs should be watered weekly until they are established, especially during the heat of the summer.
Enjoy all your spring landscape improvements and gardening!