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Community garden hosts plant sale, shares gardening tips

Available plants well-suited to short growing season
 | May 12, 2022
Photo: Plants and flowers growing in the Thompson Rivers University greenhouse in preparation for the plant sale. Photo provided.

Thinking about gardening this spring? Sun Peaks Community Garden (SPCG) is hosting a plant sale next month, and the president shared some tips on what to grow on the mountain.

SPCG’s third annual plant sale will take place on June 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the village walk, in collaboration with Rotary Sun Peaks. Catherine Tarasoff, president of both non-profits, said volunteers have been growing the plants in the Thompson Rivers University greenhouse in preparation for the sale.

“It’s mostly bedding plants that are well-suited to Sun Peaks, and that can handle the short growing season and also flower throughout the season,” she said. 

Tarassof said perennials and hanging baskets will also be available. All funds will go towards a wildlife fence for the community garden. SPCG is also planning to hook up a water catchment system for irrigation this season.

SPCG was founded in 2020 to increase the number of local gardeners and available spaces to plant.

“The health clinic has a plot that they are running as kind of an open tea garden, so people can come learn about how to put together different herbs to make teas,” Tarasoff said. “Other than that, you can rent a plot space in the garden. But there’s only a couple of plot spaces left.”

Since it has been a cold spring so far, Tarasoff said it can be discouraging for gardeners to have to wait so long to get their plants in the ground. However, it’s important to not plant too early — Tarasoff recommends waiting until at least the first week of June, or until nighttime temperatures are consistently above freezing.

“It’s just so unpredictable when we might get a late season frost,” Tarasoff said. “Anything that can’t handle a light frost should probably never be planted. You’d have to wait until July, but it would be such a short growing season, it wouldn’t even be worth it.”

Tarasoff recommended protecting plants under the overhang of a house if possible during the early season. For those looking to get into gardening with vegetables, she said to start with leafy greens that can handle colder climates like kale, swiss chard and lettuce.

Anyone who is interested in renting a plot space or helping out with SPCG can email  [email protected] for more information.

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