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2023 Plant Sale Updates

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Last Updated: 4/13/2023


The 2023 Plant Sale will happen on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

About the RCMG Plant Sale

The Plant Sale Committee operates during the first six months of the year and is responsible for the organization of the Ramsey County Master Gardener Program annual plant sale. Responsibilities of the Plant Sale Committee include plant selection, pricing, publicity, and organizing volunteer activities before, during, and after the sale date, like growing plants, collecting, sorting and labeling donated plants, organizing plants and tables at the sales location, assisting customers, and cleaning-up once the sale ends.


Typically raising over $10,000, the annual plant sale is the primary fundraising activity for the Ramsey County Master Gardener Program. Sales are used to fund scholarships, community activities, and program infrastructure and resources.

Resources

Plant Sale Advertising Flyer – There are over a dozen plant sales happening on May 20 this year. Help advertise the RCMG sale by printing up and sharing our handout in your social circles, neighborhood groups, and local establishments.

RCMG Plant Sale Flyer 2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 12.92MB

Seed Starting Handout for RCMG Growers – Growing high-quality seedlings is critical to the success of the RCMG plant sale. Check this handout for information about best practices for starting plants from seed and for the donation criteria seedlings must meet to be accepted at the plant sale.

Seed starting handout - for RCMG growers
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.70MB

Tomato Grower Guide – RCMG growers Jennifer Porwit and Joe Baltrukonis have created a manual for growing robust tomato plants from seed. It includes basic care, troubleshooting common issues, and hardening-off best practices. You can also watch a recording of Jennifer's class on the RCMG Train-the-Trainer page for Continuing Education credits.

Starting-Robust-Tomato-Plants-for-Plant-Sales-2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 753KB

Committee Teams

Smaller teams (subcommittees) have been formed to focus on the different parts that lead to a successful sale. Volunteers expressed interest in specific team in the first few Plant Sale Committee meetings.


Click on the > arrow to expand the information for each subcommittee.

Grow Team

Plant Selection Team

Non-Plant Selection Team

Set-up & Pricing Team

Sale Day Team

Clean-Up Team

Publicity Team

Mentor/Intern Involvement Team


Committee Meeting Notes

April 10 2023 Update

Jennifer and Cheryl participated in the Project Fair that was recently held for interns and mentors. Many people are interested in volunteering at the Plant Sale and some were willing to try growing tomatoes for the sale.


Plant Inventory

  • Mary reported that the Carlin plugs were picked up recently. Mary, Nanette and Susan Oven potted up 350 plants and they are also watching them. The natives will be delivered on Thursday, May 4 and they will be potted on Friday, May 5 and placed in the hoop house until the Plant Sale.

  • Cees said the hoop house will be constructed on Friday, April 28 so it’s ready to house the natives until the Plant Sale. Since we ordered approximately 1,300 natives this year, shelving will be added to the hoop house to accommodate twice as many plants as last year. Nanette said she has three shelving units she is willing to let us use.

Non-Plant Inventory

  • On Friday, March 24 Brianna, Mindy, Kristine, Susie and Cheryl met to discuss non-plant items to sell at the Plant Sale.

  • The following items will be sold: Weather-proof Pens, Plant Tags, Plant Ties, Gloves, Youth Hand Tools, Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, Garden Journals and Garden Photo Cards.

  • Following a discussion with Susan Oven, a decision was made to increase the sale price of adult gloves to $6. Susan plans to sell gloves at the April RCMG meeting to give members a chance to purchase gloves before the Plant Sale.

  • Nanette will work on putting together a pegboard to display the non-plant items that will be sold at the Plant Sale. She will share the design with Set-up Team for approval.

  • Joe said Jennifer recently won a BBQ grill and asked if the grill could be raffled off at the Plant Sale. Kay will check on the rules in St. Paul for doing a raffle. UPDATE – Kay contacted the Minnesota State Gambling Control Board and learned we can raffle off the grill donated by Joe and Jennifer as long as the grill is worth less than $1,500.

Grow Team

  • Mary asked if everyone has the pots they need for the plants they are starting for the sale. Joe and Jennifer have enough pots. Brenda said she needs about 20 pots. Brianna noted that Susie is contacting volunteer growers and we might need more pots for some of the 1,600 plants that are being grown. Susie said we might need another case of the large pots and Mary will pick up a case and drop it off at the Barn.

  • Susie has contacted three-quarters of the growers and there are many more tomatoes to add to spreadsheet. Jennifer asked Susie to send Joe the list of tomato varieties and number of each variety that are being grown for the sale so he can make labels. Joe asked for help writing descriptions from Nanette’s team.

  • Joe and Jennifer reported that they are growing tomatoes, peppers, and some other plants. Joe asked if they should grow hot peppers. Brianna said they should grow 12 of each variety they choose and suggested cayenne, jalapeno, and other basic types.

  • Joe said he and Jennifer are also planning to grow tomatoes to give to children who attend the plant sale.

  • Joe said he and Jennifer have lots of starts, including houseplants. They might need help from people to house flats and Brianna said Cees offered to help foster flats.

  • Brianna said some people asked for a seed-starting coach on the SUG. Mary will forward the names of some possible coaches to Brianna.

Set-Up/Pricing Team

  • On Wednesday, March 29 the Set-up Team visited Holy Childhood. The group met the staff, measured all of the space available in the facility, and discussed set-up and signage.

  • Gail Lee gave an update on the team’s visit to Holy Childhood.

  • A decision was made to reverse the layout – customers will enter the sale through the north door on the parking lot level and leave through the door near the stage. Boxes will be available in the vestibule leading into the hallway near the classrooms.

  • Brianna shared copies of the proposed layout of the classrooms, hallway and main room. (See PDF attached to email). Gail talked about the proposed set-up plan and the possible need to request members to bring additional tables. Cheryl will contact the custodian at Holy Childhood to get a firm count of all tables that are available. Mary suggested renting tables for consistency in size and she will research the cost of renting tables.

  • The tally/checkout area will be in the main room this year to provide more room for customers to wait in line and have their orders tallied. We will provide tables in the tally area so customers can set their boxes down while tally people fill out the tally sheets and compute the costs.

Publicity

  • Nanette reported that announcements have been sent to all newspapers, libraries, community centers, seed libraries and community councils.

  • No announcements have been sent to radio, TV or churches yet.

  • Nanette said the flyer is done with a QR code and copies will be available at the April meeting. People can also pick up copies at her house or the Barn. Gail asked Nanette to send the PDF to members so they can also print the flyer at home.

March 2023 Update

February 2023 Update

January 2023 Update

November 2022 Update


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