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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 Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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