The beloved annual spring plant sale and garden open house at the Galileo School of Math and Science, 1600 N Union Blvd, is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Come by to see the garden, visit with the students and pick up organic gardening plants. This year’s selection includes heritage raspberries and strawberries! Plus, expect to find all of your favorite vegetable plants as well as many perennials and flowers for attracting beneficial insects. The event is open to everyone and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the Galileo Garden Project.

Be sure to take a minute to visit with Master Gardener Scott Wilson! He directs the garden project and can answer any of your burning gardening questions.

Local Master Gardener advocates for char soil enhancers
Results from the 2016 growing season indicate char soil enhancers perform well in gardening beds

Master garden Scott Wilson is a local advocate for bio-char and bone-char soil amendments.

He finished his first full season of using bio-char amendments provided by Ranch Foods Direct at the Galileo school gardens in 2016. “Last summer we observed a noticeable difference in the squash plants; those in bio-char beds were bigger and a richer green than the ones in non-amended beds,” he recounts. “Flowers and fruit appeared sooner and we began harvesting squash from the bio-char beds almost two weeks earlier than the others. We observed slightly less visual differentiation in our tomato plants, but during a difficult season for many tomato growers, our harvests from the bio-char plants exceeded the harvest from non-bio-char by a factor of 10. Yes, we got 10 times more tomatoes from the bio-char beds! For the most part, bio-char plants in general finished producing before non-bio-char ones. This is beneficial in that it allows earlier summer sowing for fall crops once the initial plants are removed.”

Scott recommends applying char at a rate of 10 to 20 pounds of char per 32 square-foot raised bed, or roughly 3% by volume. Be sure to inoculate the char before applying.