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Wanted: Little things for kids in need

The Secret Garden hosts Holiday Joy Drive

Christmas stockings in red and white
Stockings and small gifts to put in them for children will be collected during The Secret Garden's Holiday Joy Drive now through Dec. 17. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It’s the little things that make the holidays special. The Secret Garden is gathering lots of those little things as part of its annual “Holiday Joy Drive.”

Now through Dec. 17, the Elk Grove garden store will collect donations for the Wellspring Women’s Center. Located in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood, the center serves nearly 200 women and children every week.

Owned by the Kahl family, The Secret Garden has made its Holiday Joy Drive an annual tradition.

“This year, we are collecting donations to benefit Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento,” the Kahl family posted on The Secret Garden’s website. “They provide meals and essential services for vulnerable women and children in our community.”

In particular, the Joy Drive seeks little things.

“They are in need of stocking stuffers for children staying at the shelter as well as essential items for their Safety Net Program,” says the post. “Let's spread some holiday joy to those in need!”

Patrons can view the center’s wish list for suggested donation items at .

Open 10 a.m. to 5 pm. daily, The Secret Garden is located at 8450 W. Stockton Blvd., Sacramento. Phone: 916-682-6839.

Details and directions: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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