Fall is the best time of the year for planting in our high desert climate, and just in time, the Cochise County Master Gardeners are presenting their Fifth Annual Fall Plant Sale and Plant Talk this Saturday, Sept. 14, at the University of Arizona Sierra Vista, 1140 N. Colombo Ave., just behind Cochise College.

The educational Plant Talk on each of the featured plants for sale will be 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the Public Meeting Room of Groth Hall. Plant care and growth characteristics for each plant will be discussed, such as size, sun and water requirements, flowering habits and general gardening tips. Attending the Plant Talk is a great opportunity for homeowners and gardeners to learn about some of the numerous plants that will grow well in our high desert and the proper way to take care of them.

The Plant Sale will begin at 10:00 a.m. and run through 2:00 p.m. in the Discovery Gardens Pavilion just outside of Groth Hall. The sale will feature more than 100 varieties of Arizona native, desert-adapted, and/or pollinator shrubs, trees, perennials, and vines. Also featured will be a nice collection of fruit trees suitable for our high desert such as peach, pear, pomegranate, and figs.

The Master Gardener Seed Saver Library will also be open during the Plant Sale, where native, heirloom, and non-GMO vegetable and flower seeds can be checked out for home planting, and gardening advice received on each seed variety.

All proceeds from the Master Gardener Plant Sale will benefit the ongoing development and maintenance of the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista, which is Cochise County’s first educational demonstration botanical garden.

Many folks think this is the time of year to be putting away and storing their gardening tools. But quite the opposite! The best planting season is just about to begin! Fall offers the best time of the year to add new plants to your landscape gardens. Trees, shrubs, roses, vines, perennials, fruit trees, and cold hardy cacti and succulents love to be planted in a beautiful autumn season for many reasons:

The soil is already warm from a long summer season, unlike spring where the soil is often still cool for several months and not as conducive to supporting the growth of a young plant.

The roots get established throughout the fall and winter, thus allowing the plant’s energy in the spring to be dedicated to growth.

The air temperatures are beginning to cool and the plants will not require as much water to help them establish.

The autumn winds are usually not as challenging to young plants as the March-May spring winds.

The garden pest and disease rates begin to decline.

And, most importantly, the weather is so much more pleasant for you to be outdoors! What an invigorating feeling it is to have to put on a jacket, and go outside in the crisp air to work in your gardens!

For information on the Master Gardener Plant Sale activities, please call 520-559-7078.

Submitted by master gardener Jan Groth

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