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Time to stock up on mums

Peach-colored spider mum
These Spider mum beauties are the Satin Ribbon variety. Find unusual mums
for sale Saturday at the Sacramento Chrysanthemum Society event. (Photos
courtesy Sharon Peterson)

Sacramento Chrysanthemum Society hosts annual plant sale

It may only be early May, but it’s time to think about fall flowers – specifically mums!

What better place to stock up on chrysanthemums than the annual plant sale hosted by the Sacramento Chrysanthemum Society?

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 8, find hundreds of rooted cuttings in dozens of hard-to-find varieties. The young plants will pack the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, but there will be lots of room for shoppers to spread out. Patrons are asked to observe COVID protocols; wear a face mask and stay socially distanced.

Planted now, these rooted cuttings will bloom in fall. As perennials, mums can come back year after year.

These young plants have been tenderly nurtured by local growers and should thrive in Sacramento area gardens. The society’s sale features varieties in every mum class, from the gigantic Irregular Incurves and cute Pompons to the feathery Quills and delicate Spiders. Colors range from purest white to darkest red, bronze or purple.

Mums in greenhouse
These mums just about ready to be sold Saturday.

Need advice? Experts will be on hand to help with selection. Questions in advance can be emailed to Sharon Peterson at

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park. Admission and parking are free.

Details: .


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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