Step into the greenhouses on Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake Campus and you will be delighted by the sights and scents.

You’ll find beautiful blooms, fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs and colorful hanging baskets. And best of all, these beauties can go home with you to liven up your home, yard or patio.

TCC’s Plant Sale will be held for two days only, April 26-27, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on the Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Road.

“We are excited to be back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” said Andrea Tomlin, TCC horticulture professor and program lead. “We’re looking forward to seeing the community return to our three beautiful greenhouses for our annual spring sale.” 

All plants grown by TCC’s horticulture students begin as seeds, rooted cuttings or plugs.

This year, Greenhouse Production students produced 18 different types of bedding plants, seven different types of vegetables, seven types of herbs, as well as a variety of houseplants and some native perennials.

Community members who come to shop will find geraniums, petunias, impatiens, vinca, verbena and others. An assortment of vegetables is available including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zucchini and eggplant. Healthy herbs round out the offerings with basil, cilantro, lemon balm and more.

Every semester, horticulture students learn about crop production in the hands-on laboratories on the Chesapeake Campus. Three greenhouses protect plants and provide the growing setting in every season. Students focus on proper techniques for planting, fertilizing and documenting the growing season for each plant.

“Our plants are given a lot of care,” said Tomlin. “Students learn how to correctly space, disbud, pinch and deadhead plants as needed to produce a prolific plant that will last all season. In addition, daily watering, fertigation and disease monitoring ensure a quality crop.”

Growing plants also means pests and learning pest control techniques. TCC students use dual-sided yellow insect traps, as well as a special homemade pest control solution to ward off pests. You can keep your plants pest-free at home by using the recipe below.

TCC’s greenhouses are located behind the Whitehurst building with the lab in room 2067. Plants cost between $1 and $25 and can be purchased with cash or checks only. For more information about the sale, email or call 757-822-5090.

TCC homemade pest control solution for your plants

Mix the TCC homemade formula for pests on most plants. Take a 16-ounce spray bottle and fill three-fourths with water. Add a few squirts of liquid dish detergent. Then add a few capfuls of rubbing alcohol. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water and replace the top. Shake well. Spray as needed on vegetables, houseplants, and blooming bedding plants to get rid of pests. This solution is safe for humans and pets.