PLANT SALE PROCEDURES
The purpose of the plant sale is to educate Master Gardener members and the public about growing and gardening with a variety of plants and to raise funds to support the Master Gardener program.
Plant Sales are held in the spring of the year. Master gardeners divide their natives and perennials, plant seeds, harvest seeds, dig up corms, tubers and bulbs for sale to the community at reasonable prices. The events also include gardening ideas, “ask a Master Gardener table”, and tours of the Demonstration Gardens located on the UM Extension campus. Proceeds raised by
the sales are used to support the organization’s educational and horticultural activities, which includes maintaining the Demonstration Gardens.
The Plant Sale Committee establishes the dates for the Cool Season and Spring plant sales in the year prior and reserves the rooms at the MU Extension Center.
The Committee meets a couple of times to discuss what worked previously, what needs to be changed, and how we can make sure we are educating our members as well as the public on the plants we grow. The coordinators research and organize information on the seeds to purchase. Information is maintained on spreadsheets for continuity from year to year.
Seeding/Transplanting events were established as a way to have any Master Gardener actively participate in learning ways to work with soilless mix, seeding, transplanting, watering, and growing plants. This enables them to use the information in order to educate the public. Advertising committee members revise flyers and send out news releases to local newspapers, garden newsprints, garden clubs and garden websites. Revised flyers are emailed to Master Gardeners to pass out to family and friends as well as any contacts they have within the community.
The majority of plants sold are started from seed by the Master Gardeners. Some plants are from cuttings or divisions. This is an opportunity for all Master Gardeners to show to the community our knowledge and enjoyment of gardening.
Day before the Sale:
Master Gardeners volunteer for the sale. Docents, cashiers, and plant advisers are organized. A layout of the room has also been decided and tables are set up before the sale. Plastic covers all tables for easy clean up. Section signs are placed. Any necessary signing or cleanup of plants are also done.
Before the sale:
Workers arrive about 1 hour early to become familiar with what plants are in their area and how the flow will work for customers. Doors open at the designated time with all MGs ready to help answer any questions.
During the sale:
Master Gardeners serve as docents in the demonstration gardens.
Two to three MG’s attend the busy "Ask the Master Gardener" table where questions are answered, material is distributed, and references are given about local clubs and classes of interest.
Other demonstration centers have appeared at different sales including establishing beehives, honey for sale, use of herbs, color in container gardening for all four seasons.
After the Sale
All cash and checks are totaled and organized for deposit as soon as possible.
Members stay after the sale to clean up and sweep/mop the floor area.
Left over plants may be distributed to organizations or gardens worked by MG members or put into the holding beds to use next year.
Signs or other reusable items are returned to the shed. Tear down is usually completed at the end of the sale.
The MU Extension assists by posting the plant sale information on their website and Facebook page. The information is also posted on the MG website and Facebook page. Flyers are emailed to organizations also.