Sales. Swaps. Seeds. Starts.

It’s spring gardening time.

The last frost date for Denver and the Front Range falls around Mother’s Day weekend — give or take. (If you’re new to Colorado, you’ll see what I mean soon enough.) With that, the coming weekends will be packed with options.

In keeping with the concepts of sustainability and community, here are some local sales to check out instead of going to big-box stores for your summer greenery.

I’m betting your mom would love some locally grown, regionally adapted plants supporting a local organization, group or individual.  Happy planting!

Non-profit plant sales

Denver Botanic Gardens annual Spring Plant Sale, May 6-7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Gardens Spring Sale is back fully in-person. There will be no online orders this year, and reservations are required. Admissions is free but members get a discount on purchases. Make a reservation online, at botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/spring-plant-sale

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) Spring Plant Sale, May 6-7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Posner Center. DUG has been supporting community gardening across six metro counties since 1985. DUG’s sale will have organic flowers, herbs and vegetable starts. Bring the family and take advantage of the food trucks, music and family activities. There also will be expert gardeners to answer all your questions.

DUG’s Sustainability Swap will be there, as well. Bring your extra and unneeded tools, supplies and seeds, and exchange them for something you need. Sustainability Swaps help keep materials out of the landfills and promote reuse over purchasing.

For a list of affiliates and plants, go to dug.org/spring-plant-sale/

Growing Gardens Community Plant Sale, May 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Organically grown and bee-safe plant sale at Hawthorn Farms in Boulder. Growing Gardens offers community education on regenerative agriculture. To read more about varieties available: growinggardens.org/event/community-plant-sale-weekend-1/

EarthLinks Spring Plant and Garden Sale, May 13 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and May 14 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). EarthLinks is selling seedlings, seeds and houseplants to support folks who are houseless and low-income. They garden organically or create garden crafts and receive hourly stipends. earthlinks-colorado.org/mothers-day-plant-sale

CSU Denver Master Gardener Plant Sale, May 21 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.) and May 22 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), is a fundraiser for the master gardener program through Denver County Extension offices. This year’s plant sale offers flowers, herbs and vegetables, and is also  providing demos, information and activities, It will be held at Harvard Gulch Park. denver.extension.colostate.edu/upcoming-events/

Colorado Native and Regionally Adapted Plants. The Colorado Native Plant Society sale is open to the public with more than 50 species of native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs, grown by Harlequins Gardens in Boulder. All plants are pesticide-free. Order online by May 16; pick up on Saturday, May 21, at Chatfield Farms or locations in Lafayette and Colorado Springs. Order at conps.org/conps-spring-sale-2022/

High Plains Environmental Center 2022 Online Native Plant Sale. All plants are grown by High Plains and sales support its programs as a non-profit educational center for water conservation and native pollinators through Colorado plants. The High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland is a pickup site for these online orders. high-plains-environmental-center.square.site/

Gardens on Spring Creek Plant Sale, May 14-15 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins will have more than 30,000 locally grown native and regionally appropriate annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and hanging baskets for sale. You do need a ticket to enter to manage capacity but they are free. The sale is open to the public and membership to shop is not required. Sign up at fcgov.com/gardens/spring-plant-sale

Individual grower sales

Kathryn Scott, The Denver Post

The ‘Fantastic’ tomato starter vegetable plant. The Denver Botanic Gardens plant sale starter vegetable plants on May 11, 2017 in Denver.

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Twine and Trellis Tomato Sale is May 6-7 and 13, from 9 a.m. to noon. Heide Dolan of Twine and Trellis grows tomatoes of every color, shape and size, with the most dwarf tomato varieties available as a trial grower with the Dwarf Tomato Project. Additionally, she’s raising awareness of and seed-saving Ukrainian tomatoes. She’s organized Ukraine Tribute Grow Out, in which gardeners from as far away as Latvia and Turkey are all growing Ukrainian tomatoes to preserve the varieties. For the sale, she’s grown nine rare Ukrainian varieties including Black Krim from the Crimean peninsula, Black from Tula, and the Vernissage series. Dolan sells in the Cherry Creek area. For more information, go to instagram.com/twineandtrellis/

The Crazy Plant Lady Plant Sale, May 13-14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jenn Unger, aka the Crazy Plant Lady, has peppers fruiting on her Westminster jalapeños (instagram.com/p/CdB2-WmOeG2/) She focuses on rare and hard-to-find plants, not the varieties you get at box stores, and all grown organically. Pre-order crazyplantladyllc.com.

RitualCravt’s Spring Plant Sale, May 21-22. Ritual Cravt in Wheatridge hosts Oak and Hawthorn for its annual plant sale of medicinal, rare and witchy plants. Michelle VanderHouwen of Oak and Hawthorn grows “plants unique to different herbal traditions around the world, that are difficult to find but not grow.” VanderHouwen’s selection of perennial herbs, such as those used in tea making, are varieties cultivated for medicinal use. Some examples are sweetgrass, calendula, yarrow, hyssop and tulsi. The sale will also have plenty of Goth black flowers like Black Beauty tomatoes and black hollyhocks. ritualcravt.com/product/6th-annual-spring-plant-sale-with-oak-and-hawthorn/

Student Sales

Pickens Technical College Plant Sale, May 6-7, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at its Aurora campus. The Urban Horticulture and Landscape Program trains students in interior and nursery plantscaping, greenhouse operations and design, and landscaping.  pickenstech.org/plant-sale-at-ptc/

Warren Tech’s Annual Plant Sale, May 9-14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This plant sale supports the horticulture program at Warren Tech in Lakewood. All the plants are grown by horticulture students on their urban Acres Farm. Every sale includes a milk thistle for the annual monarch migration through Colorado.  Shop in person and chat with current students. acreswarrentech.org/shop

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