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African violets on exhibit and for sale Saturday

Shepard Center is site for annual flower event

Pale lavender African violet
This beauty is identified as a Rob's Boolaroo variety of
African violet, a winner at a previous Capital City show.
(Photos courtesy Capital City African Violet Society)

While spring flowers are popping out all over, it’s time to turn out attention to some indoor bloomers: African violets.

Saturday, April 24, the best African violets of the greater Sacramento region will be on display during the annual Capital City African Violet Society show and sale at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park.

Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the show and sale will feature dozens of outstanding specimen plants in full bloom.

In addition, patrons can take home some beautiful violet plants. The event’s sale will offer hundreds of plants in many hard-to-find varieties not available in local nurseries.

Canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, this show and sale is always a wonderful spot to get advice about growing African violets, a longtime favorite houseplant. Society members can show how to replant an overgrown plant and other care tips.

If it seems this show is later than usual, it is. Traditionally, the Capital City African Violet Society show is held the first weekend in April. With the cancellation of the 2021 Sacramento Rose Society show, this prime Saturday became available.

As with all events at Shepard Center this spring, patrons should wear facemasks and stay socially distanced. Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. Admission and parking are free.

Details and directions: .


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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