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COVID cancels more spring garden events

Orchid and rose gatherings put off due to pandemic precautions

Open Gardens won't be happening this spring at Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery. This
photo is from the 2019 event. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

Here’s a reminder that COVID-19 is still with us: More canceled garden events.

The latest to be taken off the schedule is the 13th annual Sacramento Cymbidium Society show and sale, originally slated for Saturday. Out of an abundance of caution, the society notified Shepard Garden and Arts Center that it had decided to cancel its 2021 event, devoted to outdoor orchids.

That followed Shepard Center’s own cancellation of its annual spring sale, originally scheduled for March 13 and 14.

In addition to the cymbidium cancellation, the Sacramento Orchid Society canceled its 74th annual show and sale. Usually held in April, that event traditionally packs the Scottish Rite Temple with exotic blooms.

Two major April rose events have been canceled, too. Open Gardens, a celebration of heritage roses and other plantings at Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery, was scrapped along with other in-person tours and events.

Before the pandemic wiped out its 2020 garden party, Open Gardens annually attracted thousands of rose lovers to see the cemetery’s rose rarities at their height of spring bloom.

Although no tours or special events will be held this April, the City Cemetery is open to visitors from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. It’s located at 1000 Broadway; free parking is available on surrounding surface streets.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Rose Society canceled its 2021 spring show, usually held the last Saturday in April. The society’s board made that decision in January, at the height of another COVID spike in Sacramento County. It followed the cancellation of its 2020 show, also due to pandemic precautions.

Instead, the Sacramento society will support its sister club, the Sierra Foothills Rose Society, when it hosts its fall show Oct. 16 at Folsom’s Green Acres Nursery.

As more members get vaccinated, some clubs opted to move forward with their garden events. That includes two April garden shows at the Shepard Center: the Sacramento Iris Society show (set for April 17 and 18) and the Capital City African Violet Society show and sale (April 24 and 25).

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* 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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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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