Master Gardeners’ 2016 plant sale

If you’ve attended our annual spring expo, our spring series of classes or have ordered plants from our plant sale, you should have received the latest mailings for these events. The plant order form shows a great variety of fruits and vegetables. All the plants we sell are bare-root, suited for our growing zone, and many of the varieties were developed at the University of Minnesota. The varieties offered may change from year to year depending on how well they’ve done in the past.
Our blueberry varieties are almost the same this year. The North Blue is a low bush variety with high yield and a flavor much the same as wild blueberries. The other blueberries offered are Polaris, Chippewa and Northland.
We’ve made some changes in our Strawberry selection. We’ve gone back to offering Annapolis because it’s an early producer that holds its size well throughout the harvest. Jewel strawberry is a good yielder that is firm enough to resist bruising. Cavendish is also a high yielder that was developed in Canada and has great potential. The Albion is a day neutral, everbearing variety that produces large firm fruits.
There are some changes in our raspberry selections as well. The Nova is a thornless variety that bears fruit early in mid-summer and has a slightly tart taste. The Latham is a mid-July producer that adapts to a wide range of soil types, is easy to pick and has firm delicious berries and its Burgundy fall foliage adds landscape interest. We went back to the Boyne raspberry that was developed in Northern Minnesota and has been around since 1960. It is a mid-season variety bearing medium fruit that is very flavorful and is a hardy producer.
Autumn Britten is our only ever bearing variety. You get both a summer harvest and, or, a late fall harvest depending on how you prune them. The fruits are large and very sweet.
This is the first time we have included black raspberries in our plant selections. We have ordered Pequot Lakes Black that bears firm, medium-sized sweet fruits over a three-week period. This variety was developed by Jim Fruth of Pequot Lakes.
The Mary Washington asparagus is always a popular best seller that develops thick, tender, heavy green stalks. For rhubarb we’ve chosen German Wine, a sweet red rhubarb with large plum stalks.
We’ve made some changes in the onion varieties this year. We still offer Candy, which is a large yellow, globe-shaped onion. It will store for three to four months if kept in a cool dark place. The Copra looks the same as the Candy but it will store for up to twelve months under ideal conditions. The Red River onion is a dark red globe-shaped variety and is sweet with good storage potential. The Red Cipollini is a small, disc-shaped bulb with a firm white-purple flesh who’s flavor is a pungent semi-sweet.
If you have not already received the plant sale order sheet, the spring class schedule or information on our March 19 garden expo, please call Sue Humble at the Extension Office at 651-277-0151, and she will put you on our mailing list. You can also visit our website to view and download brochures on all these events at:
http://www3.extension.umn.edu/county/chisago

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