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Sacramento Iris Show and Sale set for Shepard Center

See hundreds of irises in bloom; take some home, too

Iris growing
This beauty is a Tennessee Gentleman iris, purchased several years ago at the
Sacramento Iris Show. See many varieties at the show and sale this weekend.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)

One of Sacramento’s favorite spring flowers gets its turn in the spotlight this weekend when the Sacramento Iris Society hosts its annual show and sale.

Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park will be overflowing with bearded irises and other species in their colorful glory. With the theme “National Parks,” the iris show will be open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 24.

This will be a judged show with many different varieties and kinds of irises vying for awards. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the many different color combinations and how to better identify varieties.

Take some home, too! The club will offer potted irises for sale with plants ready to transplant now.

Bearded iris, the most common perennial iris, is a water-wise wonder that thrives in Sacramento. After showy spring blooms, bearded irises need little summer irrigation – just once a week or twice a month. The plant dies back in August before sprouting new growth in late fall or winter.

Originally hybridized in Germany, bearded irises (also known as flags) now include more than 60,000 named cultivars and come in every color from pure white to black with countless shades in between. The most common colors are blues and purples, closest to the iris family’s native hues.

Admission and parking are free. Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Details and directions: www.sgaac.org or https://sacramentoirissocietydotcom.wordpress.com/ .

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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