SAN BENITO – The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Cameron County Master Gardeners will hold their fourth annual Plant Sale and Home Gardening Extravaganza from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 8 at the Cameron County Master Gardener Arboretum at the corner of Expressway 77 and Williams Road in San Benito.
New to this year’s show will be children’s events and the sale of micro-budded citrus trees, said Jennifer Herrera, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Cameron County.
“This event attracts more and more people every year,” she said. “It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning, especially with the change in weather and fall planting just around the corner.”
The free, one-stop shop for Rio Grande Valley gardeners will offer plants to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to their gardens, she said.
“Gardeners are encouraged to bring in their sick plants for an evaluation by the many experts we’ll have on hand who will also lend their expertise on composting, rainwater harvesting and other topics that will help us all develop our green thumbs,” Herrera said.
All plants on sale are well-adapted to Valley growing conditions, she said.
“Most of the plants have been propagated by Master Gardeners and donated from their own gardens,” she said. “We’ll have a wide variety of butterfly plants, herbs, succulents, annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, ornamental trees and, of course, we’re pleased to offer micro-budded citrus trees this year.”
Developed by Dr. Mani Skaria, a plant pathologist at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center at Weslaco, the trees are grafted under a microscope and grow and produce fruit relatively quickly, Herrera said.
“Master Gardeners will be offering a variety of horticulture educational gardening demonstrations and exhibits. Hands-on demonstrations will be conducted on composting, vermi-composting, soil testing and rainwater harvesting. We’ll also have an ‘Ask a Master Gardener’ session for questions homeowners may have about improving their yards and gardens,” Herrera said.
The free diagnostic clinic for troubled plants and problematic insects will be conducted by Dr. Greta Schuster, a plant pathologist at Texas A&M-Kingsville, and by Dr. Raul Villanueva, an entomologist at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.
“We haven’t forgotten the children,” Herrera said. “We’ll have sessions where children can join their parents in learning about the importance of home gardening with some youth gardening demonstrations and gardening-related games.”
Craft items and gardening and landscaping books also will be on sale.
For more information, contact Herrera at 956- 361-8236 or JHerrera@ag.tamu.edu.