BERLIN — Spring planting season is just around the corner and it’s time to plan a backyard bounty now. If beautiful native perennials, luscious heirloom veggies and fruit and savory herbs are on the menu, then Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) has a cornucopia of choices ready for pre-order from its annual Native Plant Sale.
You can visit ACT’s new website at www.actforbays.org to browse and buy from the expanded inventory featuring native perennials suited to a range of sun and soil conditions, a bounty of new heirloom tomato, vegetable and fruit options, along with the popular garden herb selections to spice up your summer meals.
“We’re super excited about all the new choices we’re offering local gardeners this year,” said ACT Plant Sale Manager Matt Heim. “Not only have we added a bunch of new perennial varieties, but we’re introducing a slew of new heirloom veggies and fruits ranging from eggplants and squashes to cherries and melons.”
For those gardeners with only light green thumbs, the online ordering menu makes it easy to make informed choices, with color photos and detailed descriptions of which plants prefer sun or shade, when they bloom, and what good critters (bees and butterflies) like and what bad critters (deer) dislike. The site even offers special plant packages grouping together plants that do well in sun or shade as well as the popular “Pollinator Package” for bird and butterfly lovers.
“You’ll want to act fast so you don’t miss out on all the new and improved selection of garden goodies,” Heim said. “Many of the most popular varieties sell out well before the date of the sale, so we strongly encourage folks to pre-order off our website as soon as they know what they want to grow this year.”
Buying early not only ensures that gardeners get the pick of the crop, but it also makes it easier to claim your order on the date of the sale, slated for Saturday, May 6 this year.
“All pre-orders are pre-assembled so they’re ready for the old grab and grow the morning of the sale,” said Heim. “That way, people can claim their stash in the morning and get ‘em in the ground that same day if they want.”
Native plants have a number of environmental benefits. They are adaptable to local climate and soil conditions and thus require less watering, fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. They also generally attract and provide habitat for good critters and sometimes deter less desirable critters. Many plants are also magnets for pollinator pals like birds, bees and butterflies.