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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 June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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