Sara Drake: Time for the 4-H plant sale

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2015

Rowan County 4-H is now taking orders for the annual Spring Plant Sale.  Fruit includes strawberries – Allstar; blueberries – Brightwell, Climax and Premier; blackberries – Arapaho and Triple Crown; raspberries – Dorman Red; muscadines – Nesbitt and Triumph; and figs – Brown Turkey and Celeste.

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, muscadines and figs are in one-gallon containers and are well adapted to the Piedmont growing conditions.  The cost for each plant is $10 each or $9 if five or more of the same variety are ordered.

Allstar strawberries produce large, sweet fruit.  The plants ripen mid-season. The cost for strawberry plants is 25 for $10, 50 for $15, and 100 for $20.  Supplies are limited.

When planting blueberries, it is recommended to plant at least two varieties to ensure cross-pollination. Brightwell has large fruit and ripens mid-season over a long period.  The plants are very productive.  Climax ripens early over a short period and produces medium-size berries with a sweet flavor. Premier is very productive, ripens early to mid-season, and produces large fruit.

Both blackberry plants are a thornless variety. Arapaho produces medium fruit with good flavor and ripens over a four-week period. Triple Crown produces a large, sweet fruit and ripens later than most varieties.

Dorman Red raspberries ripen mid- to late summer and produce medium to large berries with excellent flavor.  The plants are heat, drought and disease resistant.

Nesbitt muscadines produce a large fruit with very good quality that is black in color.  It ripens over a four- to five-week period beginning in early September.  Triumph produces a large fruit that is greenish-bronze in color. It ripens early to mid-season.

The Brown Turkey fig bears twice a year (early and late summer) with the flesh of the fruit turning from various shades of amber to pink. The skin is copper-brown. The plant is very hardy. The Celeste fig produces fruit that is small to medium in size with a light brown to violet skin and a whitish-pink color flesh.  It contains very few seeds and ripens early summer.

If you would like to help support the Rowan County 4-H program, please call the Extension Office at 704-216-8970 to place your order today. Orders must be received by Feb. 26.

Sara Drake is an Extension agent, 4-H Youth Development. 

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