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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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