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Put more life into your indoor garden – with a vivarium

Exotic Plants hosts hands-on workshop to build your own pet-friendly habitat

Exotic Plants
Exotic Plants shop manager Maxon Fackert adds more plants to a vivarium. (Photo courtesy N&R Publications)

What’s the difference between a terrarium and a vivarium? Terrariums are designed to raise plants; vivariums focus on animals and their habitat – which happens to be filled with plants.

Pet reptiles and amphibians love these enclosed jungles – and so do their people. Here’s your chance to make your own vivarium – and help your pet reptile or amphibian friends feel right at home.

Exotic Plants is hosting a “Build Your Own Vivarium” workshop at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26.

This hands-on workshop will help you make an animal-friendly habitat with all the supplies you need. Participants may bring in their own tank or use a 10-gallon starter tank.

Maxon Fackert, Exotic Plants shop manager, will instruct this interesting workshop and offer his advice for success. Fackert keeps frogs in his own vivarium at home and also watches over the shop’s pet albino boa in its vivarium.

Seating is limited, so it's best to register now. Prices will vary, depending on tank and plant needs. Besides the tank, workshop fee also includes materials, plants and instruction.

Exotic Plants is located at 1525 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento. To sign up for the workshop, call 916-922-4769.

The store's website: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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