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Dig in for plant exchange

Event takes place Aug. 21 at Canfield’s OSU Extension Office

Need a midsummer pick-me-up garden activity? The Mahoning County Master Gardeners have a fun one for you.

Yes, a plant exchange in August. August is a great time to relocate and split perennials that have finished their bloom for the season. That is any perennial that bloomed in the spring and early summer. Dividing them will help rejuvenate the plant, provide more plants for other locations and some to share with gardening friends. Dividing helps rejuvenate plants and keeps them vibrant for the next few years.

Our annual Bring One, Take One (BOTO) will be Saturday, Aug. 21. Area gardeners can bring their extra plants to trade for something they don’t have. Plants will be properly identified and labeled as they arrive, and we will be sure there are no invasive plants being shared.

There will be three rounds of the exchange, with the fourth round being a “take what is left” call. The event will be at the OSU Extension Office in Canfield. Check-in and plant dropoff starts at 9 a.m. with the exchange bell ringing at 10 a.m. This gives everyone time to view the plants in the exchange and learn more about many of the plants.

It is most helpful if the plants are potted or double bagged with moist soil around the roots and identified ahead of time. If a plant is an aggressive grower, please label as such. House plants are welcome as well. Diseased or invasive plants will be rejected. So, get outside and plan what you can share with others — and plan a spot for your new find.

To learn more about dividing your plants this time of year, go to http://go.osu.edu/falldivide and for even more details about dividing perennials in your garden, visit http://go.osu.edu/divide. Each fact sheet will help you do your best to care for your perennial plants and flowers.

After the exchange concludes at 10:30 a.m., the sale begins! It will be everything from plants to tools and some fantastic, distinctive garden art. Come see the newly renovated conference room at OSU Extension — learn about our programs and find some great gardening gear.

First, the Garden Art sale. Local gardeners and artists have been busy creating unique leaf castings, hypertufas, and several different decorative items to add pizazz to your garden and landscape. Find that perfect accent to complete your garden scape. Then, there’s the stuff you need to design new beds and to do the hard work in the garden. The “Everything Gardening” yard sale will include potting mix, containers, tools, gardening books, magazines, decorative items, bird feeders and much more.

New this year is the “Twice Loved Plant Sale.” Plants are coming from the homes / gardens of master gardeners and include native plants, perennials, shrubs, bulbs, perennial herbs and houseplants. Plants will be labeled and sorted by category (sun, shade, needed growing conditions, etc.) Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions. There will be some container plants as well.

Join the Mahoning County Master Gardeners Aug. 21 for a fun garden experience. To learn more about the events of the day, go to http://go.osu.edu/boto.

Steffen and Novotny are Ohio State University Mahoning County Extension Master Gardener volunteers.

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