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Bonus post: California Native Plant Week

Get inspired to go native in your garden

Lacy phacelia with butterfly
This painted lady butterfly has a thing for lacy phacelia, an annual herb and California native plant. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Such a busy time for gardens and gardeners! But we don't want the week to end before acknowledging California Native Plant Week, which runs through Saturday.

The California Native Plant Society, not surprisingly, leads the charge on this celebration. CNPS has posted seven inspiring videos on Californians who are "enriching lives and landscapes with native plants." One of the videos focuses on Sacramento's own Miridae Landscape Design and founder Billy Krimmel's home garden. Check out all the videos here .

CNPS also is the driving force behind the Bloom! California partnership with local nurseries around the state. In Sacramento, The Plant Foundry at 35th and Broadway is participating in the program; the informative booklet produced by Bloom! California is available there.

The booklet is a great guide to easy-to-grow California natives that do well in all areas of the state, including clarkia,  currants, phacelia, sage, toyon and yarrow. These natives and others also provide crucial habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators and wildlife.

Celebrate the plants that are at home in our backyards and our wildlands -- and try planting some new ones this month.

-- Kathy Morrison

P.S. In addition to The Plant Foundry, great sources locally for native plants are the various master gardener plant sales and the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery plant sales. April 30 is the date for both the El Dorado County master gardener sale of ornamentals and the final Arboretum Nursery sale of the spring.


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 27

Before the rain comes later in the week, take advantage of sunny, calm days:

* This may be your last chance this season for the first application of copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective now, but they need a few days of dry weather after application to really “stick.” If you haven’t yet, spray now.

* Rake and compost leaves, but dispose of any diseased plant material. For example, if peach and nectarine trees showed signs of leaf curl this year, clean up under trees and dispose of those leaves instead of composting.

* Make sure storm drains are clear of any debris.

* Give your azaleas, gardenias and camellias a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches above the ground after they’re done blooming. Keep potted mums in their containers until next spring. Then, they can be planted in the ground, if desired, or repotted.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.

* Plant bulbs for spring bloom. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Other suggestions: daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas.

* Seed wildflowers including California poppies.

* Also from seed, plant sweet pea, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and other spring flowers.

* Plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from winter rains.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cool-season greens can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* If you decide to use a living Christmas tree this year, keep it outside in a sunny location until Christmas week. This reduces stress on the young tree.

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