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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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