MARY MEAUX — Annual plant sale will grow on you

Published 12:30 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

People with a green thumb, or those who want to try, take heed; the Jefferson County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale is upon us.

The annual event is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the JCMG Test Garden at Jack Brooks Regional Airport. The Master Gardeners — local volunteers with knowledge and gardening expertise — are under the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office umbrella.

Some of the vast array of plants, annuals and perennials are propagated by the group and are best suited for this area.

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“We try to provide a good mix of unique plants not readily available at box stores,” said David Oates, horticulture county extension agent for Jefferson County, adding there will be fruit trees available.

Oates said patrons should shop early for the best selection.

While they didn’t receive an overabundance of citrus trees, they are well stocked on tomato plants, all Master Gardener grown. Varieties include Cherry, Sweet 100, Celebrity, Beefsteak and Heart Swapper.

You can also get Big Bertha peppers, Emerald Fire Jalapeno, Patio Baby Eggplant, to name a few of the vegetables.

Oates works with the Master Gardener organization, and their volunteers help with projects and educational outreach in the community.

The County Extension office receives numerous calls from the public asking for educational outreach activities seeking individuals with horticulture knowledge and gardening expertise. Oates said they also work with community gardens, providing the labor. And they also work with the county’s Nutrition Services for Seniors group in their garden in Beaumont.

The organic garden provides supplemental fruits and vegetables to seniors. They grow and provide seasonal items such as broccoli and shelf stable vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, okra and asparagus.

Community-wise, the Master Gardeners oversee landscaping projects, which include sprucing up at the Veterans Memorial Park in Port Arthur twice a year.

The plant sale is one of the organization’s main fundraisers, he said.

The fundraisers go to help support their activities, to help fund a scholarship they provide and for the landscaping projects.

There is also the test garden at the airport where they provide educational research on plants for hardiness and growth.

The upcoming plant sale will include: figs, mayhaw and citrus trees, vegetables, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, herbs and shrubs including bottlebrush, hydrangea, azaleas, various annuals and perennials.

The group asks that shoppers bring their own carts.

All major credit cards will be accepted.

The address for the test garden at the airport is 4995 Jerry Ware Drive, Beaumont.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.