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Show water-wise inspiration in new video contest

'Water Spots' open to student filmmakers in Sacramento area

Water use, especially for lawns and landscaping,
is just one angle for public-service videos. Student
filmmakers are eligible to enter their 30-second
spots in the new Regional Water Authority contest.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

“When in drought …,” what do you do?

That’s the question posed to young filmmakers by the Regional Water Authority for its “Water Spots” video contest.

Sacramento-area middle and high school students are eligible to enter this contest, which offers a $250 cash prize. The winning video also is eligible to run in a local movie theater this summer as part of local water providers’ awareness campaigns.

Students are challenged to create a 30-second public-service video that inspires the public to use water efficiently, says the RWA, the umbrella organization for local water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. This year’s theme: “When in Drought …”

And we are still in severe drought. According to (the website of the National Integrated Drought Information System), two-thirds of California is considered under “severe drought” conditions including all of the Central Valley.

Deadline for video submission is 11:59 p.m. March 11. Entrants will be screened by a panel of judges including: Monica Woods, chief meteorologist at ABC10; Kathleen Dodge, executive director of the El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film & Media Office; and Lisa Cuellar, program manager at the California Water Efficiency Partnership. Finalists will be posted online for a public vote.

Find all of the contest details at: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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