A gardening poster for the plant sale in Rhode Island.

Time to plant – Sale this weekend, rain or shine, at Southside Community Land Trust

This year’s Plant Sale will feature thousands of vegetable, herb and fruit plants grown from seed in our greenhouse, as well as hundreds of sought-after perennials grown by generous Southside Community Land Trust friends who donate them (including some of the finest nurseries in the state). All weekend long a great lineup of local musicians will be playing, many who return year after year for this special event.

All plants are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They’ll be offering crowd-pleasing, heirloom favorites that increase local biodiversity, with low prices to encourage gardeners at all experience and income levels to grow and enjoy their own food.

The event begins with a members’ preview from 9-10 am on Saturday morning. Those who join SCLT before the Sale will be allowed into City Farm during this time. Members receive a 10% discount on all plant purchases. Other benefits include 50 gallons of organic compost and discounts from our retail partners. More membership info here.

Plant Sale proceeds support community gardeners as well as urban and rural farmers who are steadily increasing the supply of fresh, healthy food in our state. The Plant Sale also helps fund farmer training, youth education and employment programs, as well as gardening and nutrition education in underserved communities in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls.

City Farm is located at 168 West Clifford Street in Upper South Providence.


Planting Tips from SCLT

Your plants are just as eager for the warm weather as you are!

When transplanting indoor seed starts, you’ll need to harden them off. That means slowly acclimating them to the sun, wind, and cooler temperatures outside, so your plant starts won’t be shocked by the change in environment. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend outside over about a week. Then, they’re good to go!

Now is the perfect time to plant warm-season annuals and summer bulbs, like dahlias.

Houseplants can go outside once nighttime temperatures exceed 50 degrees. 

Start your herb plants, if you haven’t already. Remember that mint is a perennial that can take over your garden! Plant mint in a terracotta pot or plastic tub to restrict its spread.

Stake and support tall plants, like sweet peas, dahlias, tomatoes, cucumbers, gourds, and peppers, so they don’t fall over as they grow.

May is the perfect time to start plants from seed that love heat: cucumber, cantaloupe, summer squash, watermelon, eggplant, pepper, okra, etc. Plant these seeds indoors so they can be ready to go outside next month.

Don’t forget to water frequently, and mulch with wood chips or straw. Adding a covering to your beds and walkways is a great way to prevent soil erosion, keep the plants warm, prevent prolific weeds, and retain moisture.

– Grace Feisthamel

Grace is a grant writer who splits her time between SCLT, where she learned about urban farming, and Weatherlow Farms, where she’s fine tuning her knowledge.


About Southside Community Land Trust

SCLT was founded in 1981 when residents of South Providence and newly arrived Hmong refugees worked with three visionary Brown University graduates to grow culturally familiar, nutritious food. With the backing of a local philanthropist, they bought an abandoned lot in South Providence, cleared it of debris and created the area’s first community garden. The Somerset Garden not only improved residents’ diets and economic self-reliance, it stabilized a neighborhood weakened by arson, neglect and crime.

In 1986 City Farm was established across the street as a production and demonstration farm to teach people about bio-intensive farming practices. Since then we have transformed nearly 32 acres of land into community gardens and farms in Rhode Island. This includes managing a 50-acre rural farm that hosts 20 small farm businesses. We helped found three farmers markets as well as three growers’ collaboratives that enable individual farmers to bring their produce to market.

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