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Spring native plant sale is all online

Find scores of varieties that love growing in Sacramento

Orange poppy blossom
The California poppy may be the most recognizable
California native plant, but there are many others that
grow well in the Sacramento region. (Photo: Kathy
Morrison)

Our California poppies are a reminder: March is for planting – especially California natives.

While our state flower is in bloom, other natives are just beginning to sprout new growth. Flowering shrubs and small trees such as western redbud look their best this month, too, inspiring gardeners to add them to their landscape.

Making the most of this planting window is the annual spring sale of the Sacramento Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society. And with a pandemic-inspired twist, this spring sale is all online.

Patrons may order plants Wednesday through Sunday, March 9-13. The sale officially opens at noon Wednesday and closes at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Then, make a reservation (between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) for drive-through pick up on one of two Sundays, March 20 or March 27. The plants will be available at the chapter’s Elderberry Farms Nursery at Soil Born Farms’ American River Ranch at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.

Scores of varieties of water-wise California natives will be available from Achillea millefolium (yarrow) to Vitis californica (California wild grape). Shop early for best selection.

Planting California natives is a great way to support native wildlife such as bees, butterflies and birds. About 80 varieties of plants offered in this sale are considered butterfly magnets. Almost 50 attract birds while 25 specifically are hummingbird favorites.

Browse for yourself. Find details and a link to the updated sale online catalog here: https://sacvalleycnps.org//plant-sales/ .

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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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