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      Master Gardeners prepare for annual plant sale

      Spring is here.

      That means gardeners all across the Heart of Missouri are picking up their shovels and going to work.

      Members of the Central Missouri Master Gardeners become gardening experts by taking a series of classes through the University of Missouri Extension Program. In May, these experts will have their annual plant sale. Since 1999, the sale has grown from a small parking lot to the Cole County Fairgrounds where you can find plants, trees, shrubs and vegetables. Master Gardeners also give tips on how to keep things green at the plant sale.

      Master Gardener Karen Basel said, ??A sunny basket will need more water than a shady basket. Just feel it. See if it??s moist. If it??s moist, probably don??t water it. Then, water it real good. Let it dry a little and then water it again. It depends on the weather just everything else.??

      Spring has sprung early this year giving many Mid-Missourians ??garden fever??. Central Missouri Master Gardeners have a warning for everyone this year. They don??t want you to be fooled by Mother Nature, especially when you??re dealing with tender plants. Master Gardeners said it??s safe to buy your plants now, but it??s probably not safe to plant them.

      Advanced Master Gardener Jim Schwieterman said, ??Don??t jump the gun because it??s still March. The last average day of frost in Missouri is April 15. The last recorded frost was sometime in May. If you go out and buy a bunch of stuff, particularly now, and put it in the ground you better be willing to cover it up. Missouri weather can really turn on you.??

      Most of the money raised at the annual plant sale funds college scholarships for students studying plant sciences. The rest of money pays for next year??s plants and gardening equipment as well as gardening projects in the Jefferson City area.

      The Central Missouri Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Plant Sale at 7 a.m. on Saturday May 5 at the Cole County Fairgrounds.

      They??re usually sold out by noon.