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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

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: .


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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