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Last chance this spring for UC Davis plants

Clearance sale starts today, runs to Monday

Hor pink-purple salvia blooms
Love salvia? You're not alone. The Arboretum Nursery will have about 30 varieties of salvia — several hundred plants — on clearance. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Ever wanted to own a Purple People Eater? How about a Red Wiggle stonecrop? And who could resist planting a chocolate vine in their garden?

These are just three of the hundreds of plants on clearance, online only, starting at 1 p.m. today (Thursday) and continuing until 1 p.m. Monday at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

It's the final sale of the spring, and plants are priced to move -- really. Members of Friend of the Arboretum get 30 percent off the listed price of each plant; 1-gallon plants run $10 to $12 generally, so that is a significant discount.

The general public saves 20 percent on each plant, which knocks a $7.50 4-inch plant down to $6 — a great price for a plant that was grown in our climate, for our climate. And all sales benefit the Arboretum and its Teaching Nursery educational programs.

Curbside pickup at the nursery (on the UC Davis campus) is offered for all online orders. Customers choose a pickup time when they pay, from a slot offered May 27 to June 2, but excluding Sunday (May 30) and Monday (May 31).

The sale page can be found here . There's also a link on the page that brings up the full inventory. It is a clearance, so some favorites might not be on there. But if you're looking for salvia, cranesbill or coffeeberry plants, this is a great time to get them.

The Purple People eater, by the way, is a mangave succulent. And there's only one chocolate vine this sale, so move fast if you want it.

For more on the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, including how to become a Member, visit

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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