Living Columns & Blogs

It's almost time to get in the garden. Here's a one-stop shop to get prepared

The Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held May 19 at the Ag Progress Days Site.
The Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be held May 19 at the Ag Progress Days Site. Centre Daily Times, file

Can you believe it? It is that time of year again for the Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale. Molly Sturniolo, master gardener coordinator for Centre County, said that it is an event that you do not want to miss.

The mission of the Penn State Master Gardener volunteer program is to support Penn State Cooperative Extension by utilizing research-based information to educate the public on best practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship.

The sale will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 19 at Penn State Ag Progress Days Special Events Barn, Entrance K, off Route 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills.

The master gardeners have told me they will again have more than 5,000 plants for sale with a wide variety of plant material to choose from such as vegetables, annuals, herbs, perennials, native plants, pollinator friendly plants, ornamental grasses and notable and unique plants. There will also be local nurseries with a wide array of interesting plant materials. For a list of the plants, visit

You can also take tours of the Pasto Agricultural Museum, where there will be children's activities. The master gardeners will have learning stations set up so you can learn more about a particular gardening subject. Also, there will be garage sale of gardening items and a silent auction. If you get hungry, there will be food for purchase on site.

Norman Knaub, a longtime master gardener, said there's an interesting program that the master gardeners have been involved in called “Home Grown.” It is in partnership with the Penn State Student Farm which grows vegetable plants such as, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini squash and marigolds. The master gardeners then provide the plants and information on how to grow and use these vegetables to the Centre Hall, Beech Creek and Port Matilda food banks for folks to take and grow in their own gardens. Rohrer Seed Company donates the seeds and Knaub and Kate Hymes provide the leadership for this worthy project.

As you can see, the master gardeners are involved in many activities in our communities and this upcoming plant sale is certainly a big event where gardeners of all ages can find something that will appeal to their interests and hopefully you will find some new plants to beautify your yards and home. Maybe you will consider joining the Master Gardeners organization and be helping out at next year's Centre County Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale or help with the Home Grown project to earn your volunteer hours. Training for fall 2018 Master Gardener Interns is limited. For information on the Master Gardener Intern program please contact Sturniolo at 355-4897 or e-mail

Remember admission and parking are free, so go out and visit the plant sale on May 19th.

If you go

What: Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 19

Where: Ag Progress Days Site, 2710 W. Pine Grove Road, Pennsylvania Furnace

Bill Lamont is a professor emeritus in the department of plant science at Penn State and can be reached by e-mail at