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Arboretum plant sales are back!

UC Davis announces schedule for contact-free events

Metal card with many pots of plants
The carts will be virtual but the plants will be the same high-quality, zone-friendly
ones they always are this spring at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery sales. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Due to popular demand, the UC Davis Arboretum will host more contact-free plant sales this spring, starting with two members-only events in February and March. Those will be followed by three public sales in April and May.

Instead of a few hours (with long lines), each sale spans four days followed by reservations-only contact-free pick-up.

Without crowding shoppers into the 1-acre Arboretum Teaching Nursery, these online sales keep both patrons and Arboretum volunteers safe and socially distanced. In addition, shoppers have a lot longer to select their picks from among hundreds of available water-wise varieties, including the Arboretum All-Stars.

For Friends of the Arboretum, the first sale opens at 1 p.m. Feb. 26 and closes at 1 p.m. March 1. Shoppers can make their orders online at any time between that start time and deadline.

Pinkish flowers and green leaves
Biokovo cranesbill, an excellent groundcover for filtered
shade, is on the list for the first sale, which starts
Feb. 26 online. (It's on Page 18 of the 39-page list --
$7.50 for a 4-inch pot.)

And they’ll need some time to make their selections. The plant availability list for the kick-off sale covers 39 pages. (See the inventory for that first sale here: .)

Then, shoppers schedule a specific pick-up time between March 4 and 9 (excluding Sunday, March 7).

New members can join the Friends and enjoy the sale (and other benefits) immediately. A link is provided on the Arboretum’s plant sales webpage.

Other plant sales are scheduled for:

* March 8-12 (members only) with pick-up March 25-30 (excluding Sunday).

* April 8-12 (public) with pick-up April 15-20 (excluding Sunday).

* April 29-May 3 (public) with pick-up May 6-11 (excluding Sunday).

* May 20-24 (public clearance) with pick-up May 27-June 2 (excluding Sunday and Monday).

Details and links:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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