Home & Garden

Shop for a Cause at the 28th Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale, May 21

Credits: Union County

UNION COUNTY, NJ – Calling all Union County gardeners to grab their wagons and head out to the 28th Annual Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale Sunday, May 21, rain or shine, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden complex at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. 

The Spring Garden Fair, which is a project of the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County in cooperation with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, features hundreds of plants and for sale including deer resistant, drought tolerant and fragrant verities, and easy-to-grow vegetables, herbs and ornamentals for beginner gardeners.

“The Master Gardeners is an all-volunteer organization, and all proceeds from the sale go to fund the many service projects and activities they provide for the Union County community, said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The Garden Fair is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to their work while adding color and greenery to your home, yard and neighborhood.”

Sign Up for E-News

Among the many highlights of the sale are heirloom tomatoes and tomato varieties ideal for containers and small gardens, hot peppers, hanging baskets and houseplants along with annual and perennial flowers for the garden.

Of special interest to tomato lovers are the Rutgers 250 and the Ramapo F1 Hybrid varieties.

The Rutgers 250 tomato is the new result from crossing the same parent varieties as the original ‘Rutgers’ tomato that was released by Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) in 1934. Rutgers 250 was selected for high fruit quality and flavor and was named in honor of the University’s 250th anniver­sary (the number of plants an individual can purchase may be limited due to demand). 

The Ramapo F1 Hybrid tomato was developed at Rutgers NJAES and first released in 1968. It was prized by gardeners for its great flavor, fruit quality, reliability, and productivity. Ramapo seed was unavailable for many years but Rutgers NJAES continued receiving requests for this popular tomato and eventually reintroduced Ramapo F-1 seeds in 2008.

Other Spring Garden Fair highlights include: 

  • Free Garden Helpline clinic and Rutgers information fact sheets for gardening problems. Residents are encouraged to bring plant and insect samples for diagnosis
  •  Union County Division of Mosquito Control Supervisors available to answer questions 
  • Rutgers Soil Test Kits will be available for sale 
  • Square Foot Gardening display and informal presentation all day 
  • Free children's activities, including making bird feeders and planting seeds. Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. 
  • 4-H Master Tree Steward display 
  • Guided tours of the Demonstration Garden complex including our vegetable and herb gardens 
  • "The Cupcake Café" will have home-baked goods  
  • Arts & Crafts table with hand painted bird house gourds grown in the garden, along with other items made by Master Gardeners
  •  A Gardening “Odds & Ends” table with various new and slightly used gardening items
  • Applications to become a Master Gardener will be available for the new Master Gardener class starting next fall.

The Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, in the Watchung Reservation. Free parking for the Spring Garden Fair is available in the Reservation at the Scout Camping Area, and in the parking lot at the corner of New Providence Road and Coles Avenue. Additional free parking is available in the nearby Loop playground area. No pets are allowed in the Garden Fair.

Visitors who plan to purchase plants are advised to bring a small wagon for ease of conveyance. 

For more information contact Judi Laganga at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office located in Westfield at 908-654-9854, visit the Extension page on the Union County website at ucnj.org/rce, or visit the Master Gardeners website at mastergardeners-uc.org

For quick links to all Union County environmental and sustainability programs and activities visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connection.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County, N.J. Horse Farm Quarantined, 1st Case of EHM In State In '18

March 17, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has quarantined a property in Union County after a horse developed the highly infectious equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM). EHM is the often deadly neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection. No recent movement had occurred at the index property prior to this case. 

The horse has been moved into the ...

Unity and purpose will allow Democrats to unseat Lance

March 11, 2018

In November, we have a chance to unseat Leonard Lance, Congressman for the NJ-7 district which includes Springfield. Leonard Lance voted to take away healthcare from his constituents and recently stood by as his party passed a tax plan in which his district became the second most negatively impacted district in the COUNTRY.  Lance is an enemy of a woman’s right to control her body but ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Union County's March For Our Lives - County Wide March Planned

March 17, 2018

March 24 at 10 a.m. Students of Union County will march to make sure that our schools are safe. The march will start at Burnet Middle School (1000 Caldwell Avenue, Union). It will end at the Union Township City Council Offices (1976 Morris Avenue, Union). All looking to protect American children by strengthening our laws and stand with the victims of all shootings inside places of education, are ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary , Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn ...

Education Green

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

Arts & Entertainment