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No lines online; shop for low-water favorites

UC Davis Arboretum hosts its first public plant sale of 2021

Yellow flowered California native
This flannel bush, a California native, grows in the UC Davis Arboretum, but gardeners looking for very-low-water plants may want to snap up one of their own during the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery sale starting Thursday.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Here’s the plant sale you’ve been waiting for: UC Davis Arboretum’s first public spring sale of 2021.

No memberships necessary; you don’t even have to wait in line for checkout.

As with its other recent members-only sales, this event will be held online, starting 1 p.m. Thursday, April 8. The sales window closes at 1 p.m. Monday, April 12.

Customers may place their orders and complete their transactions all via the arboretum’s online store. As part of checkout, customers make a reservation for contactless curbside pickup the following week, April 15-20 (excluding Sunday, April 18). Pick-up is at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive on the UC Davis campus.

Implemented last fall to keep customers and sales crew safe during the pandemic, the new process is actually easier than attending an in-person sale. Past sales regularly attracted hundreds of shoppers who swarmed the one-acre Arboretum Teaching Nursery. Lines to get in and check out were often lengthy.

This way, customers can shop at their convenience and have more time to study their potential plant purchases.

For this sale, the inventory list has been updated and features 40 pages of selections including most of the Arboretum All-Stars and many flowering low-water plants that can’t be found anywhere else in the Sacramento area.

And it’s not too late to plant these un-thirsty perennials, shrubs, ground covers and more.

Members of Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum get a 10% discount. New members can join online, too.

Details and links to inventory list:


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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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