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September 7, 1998

Fall Plant Sale takes root September 18 and 19

By Jennifer McNulty

Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials and winter vegetables on the Central Coast, and UCSC is holding its third annual Fall Plant Sale on Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19, to indulge the fancies of both novice and experienced gardeners. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The sale will take place in the Barn Theater parking lot at the intersection of Bay and High Streets at the base of campus.

The selection will feature the usual impressive array of vegetable six-packs, including seven types of salad mix, six different lettuces, three types of peas, as well as chard, broccoli, leeks, kale, and culinary herbs. At the top of the list of this year's perennials are roses, more than 15 varieties of lavender, subtropical salvias, and ornamental grasses. Some favorites among the herbaceous perennials that will be available are Heliopsis (fall sunflower), Physostegia (obedient plant), Centaurea (perennial cornflower), tree dahlias, and white- and blue-flowering veronicas. All plants are organically grown at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden.

The selection of roses--nearly 200 one-gallon plants at just $5 each--will be the best ever, said Orin Martin, manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden at UCSC. "We'll have the best of the new and the best of the old," he said, listing hybrid teas such as Olympiad, Duet, and Tiffany, grandifloras such as Gold Medal and Queen Elizabeth, hybrid musks Will Scarlet and Buff Beauty, and popular floribundas Iceberg and Bonica, as well as a host of ramblers and climbers. "People will be pleased by the quality and quantity of roses this year."

Fall planting gives gardeners a jump on the spring growing season, said Martin. Warm soil, mild weather, and relatively long days give perennials a chance to become established so they'll take off in the spring. Vegetables like lettuce that are planted now will produce for one to two months during the winter, compared to the typical two- or three-week summer harvest period, noted Martin, adding, "People don't take advantage of their ability to plant in the fall."

Sponsored by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the sale will benefit the UCSC Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden will 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.

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