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Spring arrives Sunday, and the gardening calendar is packed

Workshops, plant sales and open gardens offered all over the region

Irises in pots on table
Irises are among the types of plants that will
be for sale during the many April events. April 23-24
are the dates for the Sacramento Iris Society's
show and sale.(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

While we figure out what the weather is going to do the rest of the month, and where the tomatoes are going to go in this year, we can take a few minutes to note some big dates on our gardening calendars. The season, especially April, is going to be very, very busy, as the Sacramento region anticipates its first mostly normal spring in three years. Most but not all of these events involve weekends.

We'll have more on the April events as they get closer, but consider this your "save the date" notice.

Saturday, March 26

-- "Planning Your Vegetable Garden" workshop, in person at the Loomis Library but viewable via Zoom. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Presented by the UCCE Placer County master gardeners. Registration required for Zoom viewing. Register here .

-- "Back to Basics" workshop,  9 a.m. to noon, El Dorado Hills Library, 7455 Silva Valley Pkwy, El Dorado Hills. Presented by the UCCE El Dorado County master gardeners. Recommended for novice gardeners. https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/

-- Sacramento Valley Cymbidium Society Show. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, East Sacramento.

Saturday, April 2

-- Spring Plant Sale, Yolo County master gardeners. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road. Tomatoes, herbs and perennials among the plants for sale. Details at https://yolomg.ucanr.edu/ , including a link to the plant list. Repeated same time and location on April 9.

-- Capital City African Violet Show,  10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, East Sacramento.

Saturday, April 9

-- Spring Garden Faire, Placer County master gardeners. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Maidu Community Center 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville, rain or shine.  Talks, workshops, crafts, food trucks, plant vendors, door prizes and more are planned. Details here.

-- Member Appreciation Plant Sale, UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In a departure from past sales, this in-person sale is only for members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, but it's easy to join. Repeated April 30. https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/plant-sales

-- Spring Plant Sale, Yolo County master gardeners. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road. Same as April 2 sale; see above.

Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10

-- American Bonsai Association Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, East Sacramento.

Wednesday, April 13

-- Open Garden Day, 9 a.m. to noon. The garden will be blooming and Sacramento County master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, Fair Oaks. https://sacmg.ucanr.edu/?calitem=521775&g=21788

Saturday, April 16

-- Plant Sale, El Dorado County master gardeners. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This first of two spring sales will cover "edibles." (Second sale is April 30.) Sherwood Demonstration Garden, Placerville. https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/

Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24

-- Sacramento Iris Society Show and Sale. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, East Sacramento.

Saturday, April 30

-- Sacramento Rose Society Show and Sale, noon to 5 p.m. Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, East Sacramento.

-- Member Appreciation Plant Sale, UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In a departure from past sales, this in-person sale is only for members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, but it's easy to join. Last of two spring sales. https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/plant-sales

-- Plant Sale, El Dorado County master gardeners. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Second of two spring sales will feature trees, shrubs, succulents, native and perennial plants. Sherwood Demonstration Garden, Placerville. https://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/






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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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