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Show water-wise inspiration in new video contest

'Water Spots' open to student filmmakers in Sacramento area

Sprinkler
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 Drought.gov (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: https://bewatersmart.info/waterspots/ .

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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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