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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.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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