NEWTON - Catawba County 4-H, the youth component of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, is conducting a plant sale during February. Proceeds from the sale will be used to support 4-H activities for youth in Catawba County. A variety of small fruit plants and a few other items are available for order.

Three varieties of strawberries will be sold, Allstar, Jewel and Earliglow. The cost is $15 for 25 plants or $40 for 100 plants. Strawberry plants are sold in bundles of 25 plants. Earliglow is a traditional early-blooming favorite. Allstar blooms mid-season and is recommended for beginner gardeners. Jewel produces a large berry and is well suited for a variety of growing conditions.

Blueberries will also be available. The varieties are Preimer, Tifblue, and Powder Blue, all well suited for the Catawba Valley. These varieties bloom at slightly different times, by purchasing one of each variety, you can have blueberries throughout the growing season. The plants will be in gallon containers and will be approximately 10 to 20 inches in height. Two varieties of blueberries are needed to insure pollination.

Blackberries, raspberries, and Muscadine grapes are new additions to the annual sale. Blackberry varieties available are Arapaho and Apache, with Arapho producing early in the season and Apace blooming later. Heritage variety raspberries are offered and are recommended for freezing, making jams and jellies, as well as eating. Blackberries, bueberries and raspberries are all $10 per plant.

Muscadines are offered for the first time with Ison and Tara varieties available for sale. Ison is a dark berry that ripens mid-season. Tara is a lighter golden color, also blooming mid-season. The muscadines are $15 per plant.

Asparagus is available in bundles of 25 spears at a cost of $28 for the set. Purple Passion and Jersey Supreme are available. Purple Passion has a mild flavor, purple color, and very tender. Jersey Supreme has the traditional dark green color, produces early in the season, and is known to be cold-tolerant.

Bluebird houses are available year-round for $33 each. Plants can be ordered online using the link provided on the Cooperative Extension website at https://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu or you may call the Extension office at 828-465-8240 or request an order form to complete and return.

The final day for orders is Feb. 28. Plants will be available for pickup in mid-March, just in time for spring planting. All plants sold are recommended for the Catawba Valley area.

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