URI to host annual Spring Festival, May 4, featuring plant sales, gardening demos, soil testing, more

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 15, 2019 — The University of Rhode Island’s annual Spring Festival, featuring a large plant sale, free soil pH testing, a Kids Zone and educational gardening exhibits, will be held Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by the URI Cooperative Extension and the URI Master Gardener Program, this year’s edition of the event will be held at the URI Botanical Gardens, 6 Greenhouse Road, Kingston.

“The Spring Festival is a popular gardening season kickoff, so those hoping to purchase plants shouldn’t wait until the last hour or there may be nothing left to buy,” said Kate Venturini, one of the organizers from URI Cooperative Extension. “But it’s still absolutely worthwhile to join us because of all of the great educational programs and activities, and to join with the local gardening community to get motivated for another year of gardening.”

The spring festival was started in 2002 by a group of URI Master Gardeners and was initially held at East Farm for more than a decade, drawing thousands of visitors looking for gardening advice and inspiration and family activities.

The event centers around a large plant sale featuring a wide variety of annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs grown by URI Master Gardeners. Also featured will be the 2019 Master Gardener Plant of the Year, swamp milkweed, and a 10-plant native plant system designed for drought and full sun.

The festival will also feature themed gardening kiosks to provide inspiration for many different kinds of gardening, as well as a square-foot gardening demonstration, free soil pH testing and the distribution of free seeds.

Proceeds from the plant sale support URI Master Gardener-tended demonstration gardens located throughout Rhode Island and numerous gardening education programs.

“The event will happen rain or shine, so come prepared. Plants are available on a first come, first served basis, while supplies last,” said Venturini.

The URI Botanical Gardens are located at the corner of Upper College Road and East Alumni Avenue on the Kingston Campus. Parking and admission are free. For additional information, visit www.uri.edu/mastergardener/spring-festival or contact Venturini at 401-874-2900 or kate@uri.edu.