What’s not to love about free? Free hostas, daylilies, forget-me-nots, coneflowers? Sometimes there are free cacti, canna tubers, ornamental grasses, seeds, and vegetable starts.
Two upcoming events, April 29 and May 6, are opportunities to try new plants, mostly perennials, as well as to discuss your landscaping ideas and challenges with master gardeners.
First up is the Wood County Plant Exchange, the morning of Saturday April 29 in the Wood County Fairgrounds at Haskins and Poe roads on the north side of Bowling Green. Everyone who shows up will be able to select two plants.
But if you’re already a plants person, bring something to share from your garden, garden-toolbox, or houseplant collection. For every item you bring, you’ll be able to select an item. Bring 10 plants (labeled and weed-free, please), and you’ll get 10, plus the two for showing up. If you’re bringing a lot, follow the signs to the drop-off area where volunteers will unload your vehicle and sort your donations into appropriate categories that make “shopping” easy.
At 9:00 a.m. volunteers will begin accepting plants and gently-used garden items, and plant distribution will begin at 10:00, continuing until all items are gone, usually by 11:00. There will also be info tables, demos, retail booths, and experienced gardeners to quiz.
If you’re new to gardening, the most important piece of information you can bring is how many hours of sunlight your garden beds receive each day. Observe the sun’s path as it rises in the east and sets in west, considering any trees or buildings that shade your beds. If the beds receive six or more hours of direct sun, plants that are labeled “full sun” will flourish. Four to six hours of direct sunlight is for plants described as suitable for “part sun/part shade,” and less than four hours is considered “full shade” or “shade-tolerant.”
Organizers are the OSU Extension Wood County Master Gardener Volunteers. For more information, please call 419-354-9050.
- week later, Saturday May 6, will be the 13th annual Toledo Plant Exchange, the original such event in the region. It begins with drive-up plant drop-off from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. in the far end of the underground parking garage at the Main Library, 325 Michigan St. Enter on Adams between 10th and Michigan streets in downtown Toledo. Parking in the garage is free.
Gently-used garden-related items, alpaca poo, and outdoor art will also be accepted. While waiting for the 10:00 a.m. plant distribution (which lasts a scant 30 minutes or so), check out information booths, pick the brains of master gardeners, or visit the library.
All attendees will receive five free plants plus additional plants for the items they bring. As in Wood County, plants should be weed-free and labeled (portions of plastic mini-blind slats and popsicle sticks make good labels).
The Toledo Plant Exchange is a collaboration between community volunteers, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and OSU Extension Lucas County Master Gardener Volunteers. More information is available at 419-578-6783 and on Facebook.❦