The weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful. Just perfect for getting outside and enjoying a day at the park, or walking through the neighborhood, or working out in the garden. You might think, what with the daytime temps nearly hitting 80 degrees and the traditional farmers markets all opening up again that it’s the perfect time to put those tomato seedlings you picked up at market or the plant sale into the garden. It is prime gardening season, but keep your eye on those summer plants just a little bit longer! We’re going to have a night down in the 30s this week. That’s enough to severely damage those summer veggies, most of which are tropical plants that can’t handle even the slightest bit of cold. For tomatoes and basil, I’d recommend hold off until the nights are reliably in the 50s for optimal growth. You can start them sooner and they’ll survive nights in the 40s, but it doesn’t do them any good at all and generally stunts them for the rest of the year.
I know when you see those gorgeous plants listed at ALG and elsewhere the urge is strong to go home and put them right into the ground when the weather is like it was today. I have to fight that urge off every year, too, and I’ve had a garden going most every year of my life. Go ahead and buy them and get to know them, but keep them in the pots and bring them inside at night for just a little while longer. They’ll thank you later.
We do have a nice selection of plants listed by our growers, but there are plenty of other opportunities around town to pick up more. The Athens Area Master Gardener Association is holding their annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 27, 2019 – 8am to 1pm, rain or shine at the Athens-Clarke County Extension Office at 2152 West Broad Street. They’ll have herbs, vegetable plants, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, ferns, ground covers, seedlings, and bulbs that all come from AAMGA members’ gardens.
Daily Groceries, right up the street from our pickup location at Ben’s Bikes, is hosting their plant sale on the weekend of April 20. I don’t have more details, but I do know many local farmers will be represented there.
Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!
Other Area Farmers Markets
The many other area markets are starting to return! The Athens Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at Bishop Par, and Wednesdayevenings adowntown at Creature Comforts. You can catch the news on their website. The West Broad Farmers Market is closed for the season, and you can watch for their return here: http://www.athenslandtrust.org/west-broad-farmers-market/. The Comer Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings from 9am to noon. Check www.facebook.com/comerfm for more information. Washington, GA also has a lovely little Saturday market, running on winter hours now on Saturdays from 1-4pm. Folks to the east can check out the Hartwell Farmers Market, which starts bright and early on Saturday morning from 7am to noon, and Tuesday afternoons from noon to 4pm. You can learn all about them here: www.washingtonfarmersmkt.com. If you know of any other area markets operating, please let me know.
All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!