In May 2015, veteran Master Gardener Joanne Krueger had numerous instructions for nearly 100 Master Gardeners as they readied themselves for the 26th Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale.  Krueger (of Scotch Plains) is the long-time manager of the MGs’ Demonstration Gardens at Trailside in the Watchung Reservation, and she also manages their Annual Fair,  Luckily, the MGs were well prepared in 2015 for the onset of 1,134 Fair customers, many of whom waited in line to enter the Demo Gardens precisely at 12 Noon, following the MG’s annual ribbon-cutting ceremony.

As always, Fair customers were treated to a wide variety of flowering plants (many deer resistant and drought tolerant), vegetables, herbs, shrubs and hanging baskets—all at low prices—not to mention activities for their children, guided tours, energy-boosting baked goods at the Cupcake Café, and gardening supplies, information, and displays.

A similar success story is expected at this year’s 27th Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale, upcoming on Sunday, May 15, 2016, Noon to 4PM (rain or shine).  Notes Krueger, “Admission and parking are FREE, but please, customers, bring your own wagons if you can.  Remember, all sales are cash or check only.  We’ll give you customer friendly sales and services.”

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Among the various tomato varieties for sale on May 15 is the new “Rutgers 250,” a “historic reinvention of the world-famous Jersey tomato,” which Rutgers introduced in 1934.  

A Garden Helpline clinic is also available at no charge, as are Rutgers information fact sheets.  Rutgers soil test kits can be purchased.

Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County are trained volunteers who provide community services as part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Westfield.  Their Trailside Demonstration Gardens are located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.  The program is supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.      

For more information on the 27th Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale and the Master Gardener program, contact Judi LaGanga at (908) 654-9854, or visit ucnj.org/rce.