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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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