This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's time again for the Wasatch Community Gardens annual plant sale, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11 in the parking lot of Rowland Hall School, 720 S. Guardsman Way (1580 East) in Salt Lake City.
More than 30,000 plants will be offered, including heirloom tomatoes, vegetable starts, herbs, annual flowers, grasses, water-wise plants, Utah natives and edible perennials.
Plants at the sale are locally and organically grown, yet they are competitively priced with those of big box stores, sponsors say. Not only do patrons pay less for higher quality plants, this event also supports a local, award-winning gardening organization.
"This event is an important way for us to promote our mission and engage the community," said executive director Ashley Patterson. "It's a great place to buy healthy, locally grown plants, but it's also a place for people to gather and exchange notes, or to learn about what's possible in a garden along the Wasatch Front."
Among the most sought after plants are the 60 different varieties heirloom tomatoes.
As the name suggests, an heirloom variety has to have been passed down for generations or to have been in circulation for more than 50 years. Heirloom tomatoes are tasty, and can be asymmetrical, bulbous, rippled, even gnarled. They can be red, but also pink, orange, yellow, purple, green, white or even black. Some are striped, some mottled, some are incredibly delicate while others surprisingly hardy.
This year's plant sale will also feature edible perennials, which typically require less intensive care than seasonal gardens. Some common examples are mint, oregano, sage, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, asparagus and rosemary.
Wasatch Community Gardens has provided community members with the opportunity to grow their own food in urban gardens for over 20 years. The organization offers a range of programs for Wasatch Front residents including community gardening space at eight different gardens, youth gardening education programs, consulting help for groups to start new community gardens, volunteer opportunities, educational workshops and other community events.