Blake Glover, owner of Cozydale Farms, thought the order for 30,000 seedlings was a mistake, but it was no error.
Wasatch Community Gardens has more than doubled its order of plants the number of plants it has ordered for its May 9 sale and fundraiser. The nonprofit group is expecting record sales this year as people try to lower their grocery bills by planting backyard gardens.
WCG also would like to avoid a repeat of last year, when all the plants -- grown in Glover's greenhouses in Perry -- sold out in just 90 minutes, said executive director Claire Uno.
The plant sale is one of five planned in May to benefit nonprofit community garden programs in Utah. (See schedule on B2).
These plant sales have gained popularity for many reasons. They provide gardeners with a variety of unique and heirloom plants that are drought tolerant and have proven themselves in Utah soils. Trained staff and volunteers are available to help gardeners select the right plants and offer planting and growing tips. Almost all of the plants are grown by Utah farmers and local nurseries, such as Glover at Cozydale Farms, which benefits the state economy. And finally, proceeds help fund the organizations and the free or low-cost community programs they offer throughout the year.
Salt Lake City resident Kyle LaMalfa is a regular at the WCG sales, having purchased perennials, annuals, heirloom vegetables and water-wise plants for his parking strip. While prices at the sales are comparable -- or slightly higher -- than what's available at the big-box home improvement stores, LaMalfa prefers the variety and expertise the organization provides.
"They certainly know a lot more than the WalMart, Home Depot or Lowe's," he said.
Red Butte Garden kicks off the plant sale season May 1, offering thousands of edible fruits, flowering annuals, herbs, vegetables, sun and shade perennials, ornamental grasses, trees, roses, vines and native and drought-tolerant plants.
Horticulture director Marita Tyrolt said many Utah gardeners pay to become Red Butte members to take advantage of the members-only preview event held the night before the public sale. But that's not necessary.
"With $25,000 to $30,000 worth of plants the selection is still good on Saturday," she said.
This is the first year the Salt Lake Conservation District will sell native grasses, trees and perennials. It offers consumers a chance to pre-order plants for pickup on May 9. Visit the Web site, saltakeconservaiton.org, for a list of plants that are available and to get an order form. Ordering deadline is May 1. Anything not pre-sold will be available to the public on May. 9
No matter which sale you attend, it's good to go early, LaMalfa says. "When the last plant that you really want gets swiped up the guy in front of you, that's distressing."
Red Butte Garden
When » May 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Members-only sale May 1 from 3 to 8 p.m. Memberships available at the gate).
Where » Head to the garden, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, and follow signs to Cottam's Grove, just south of the greenhouses.
What's available » Edible fruits, flowering annuals, herbs, vegetables (including heirloom tomatoes), sun and shade perennials, ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs, conifers, roses, vines and a selection of native and drought-tolerant plants. The garden grows some of the plants, but most come from local nurseries.
Contact » 801-585-0556 or http://redbuttegarden.org" Target="_BLANK">redbuttegarden.org
Wasatch Community Gardens
When » May 9, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where » Rowland Hall Lower School, 720 S. Guardsman Way (1580 East), Salt Lake City.
What's available » Organic and locally grown heirloom vegetables, including 40 different varieties of tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, squash, pumpkins and drought-tolerant perennials. Web site has complete list. Plants grown using organic practices at Cozydale Farms in Perry.
Salt Lake Conservation District
When » Pre-orders accepted through May 1. Pickup May 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extras will be sold to the public 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where » REI, 3285 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City,
What's available » More than 60 native trees, grasses and perennials that thrive in northern Utah and are grown locally. Web site has pre-order form and plant descriptions.
Contact » 801.542.8208 or http://saltlakeconservation.org" Target="_BLANK">saltlakeconservation.org
Utah Botanical Center
When » May 16, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where » 725 S. 50 West, Kaysville
What's available » Perennials, herbs, vegetables, annuals, and water-wise native plants grown at the center.
Contact » 801-451-3412 or http://utahbotanicalcenter.org" Target="_BLANK">utahbotanicalcenter.org
Ogden Botanical Gardens
When » May 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Members only sale May 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.)
Where » 1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden,
What's available » Perennials, herbs, vegetables, annuals, and water-wise native plants grown at the gardens and Utah Botanical Center.
Contact » 801-399-8080