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Put your garden on a 'water budget'

Sign up for free online workshop: 'How Much Water Does Your Landscape Really Need?'

Yellow flowers and lots of colorful bushes
A garden on a water budget can be full of color and textures: This is the Water
Efficient Landscape at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Is your landscape ready to go on a budget?

Much of your garden’s ongoing expense: Water. And that’s also the type of budget your landscape needs.

“You and your family likely have a household budget, and so does your landscape – a Water Budget,” says the Regional Water Authority, the umbrella organization for Sacramento-area water providers.

But first, you need to know your landscape’s water use and plant needs. Learn how during an upcoming online webinar, “How Much Water Does Your Landscape Really Need?” Registration is now open for this free workshop, set for noon March 25.

“Explore ways to reduce the amount of water used in your landscape based on the types of plants and watering methods you select,” say the workshop organizers.

Although we’re getting rain this week, Sacramento’s long-range forecast looks pretty dry. That will make this informative session extra useful to anyone looking for ways to be smarter about water use. During Sacramento’s warmer months, most residential water use is outdoors.

Presented by the RWA and hosted by the City of Roseville, this one-hour lunchtime workshop will be led by local water-efficient landscape experts Cheryl Buckwalter, Soleil Tranquilli and Marcia Scott.

Among the aspects they’ll tackle:

* How to determine how much water you currently use to irrigate your landscape.

* What a Water Budget is and how to create one.

* How to use resources to help you determine the actual water needs of your plants.

* How to plan your “hydrozones” so plants with the same water needs are grouped together.

Once you learn those how-to’s, you’ll be ready to help your landscape live more beautifully – even on budget.

Register at:

Learn more at .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* 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.

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

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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