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Make a star of your backyard

Local garden needed to illustrate new museum’s water-wise display

Gloved hands planting in a garden
Your garden could be in a museum display this year. (Photo courtesy Regional Water Authority)

Is your garden ready for its close-up?

Maybe not right this minute, but envision your backyard as spring flowers bloom and water-wise plants look their best. Even the dog’s little scrap of lawn is vibrantly green.

That’s just what the Regional Water Authority needs.

The umbrella agency over the greater Sacramento area’s water providers, the RWA has long been a proponent of garden makeovers and water-wise landscaping. The RWA’s Water Efficiency Program is working on a special project: A museum display on wise-water use at home.

This display will be featured at the new SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC), scheduled to open later this year. Housed in a historic power station on the banks of the Sacramento River near downtown, the new state-of-the-art science center will help educate thousands of Sacramento-area students as well as inspire visitors of all ages. (Read more about it here: .)

Currently, the RWA is looking for candidates for its inspirational and water-wise backyard, says Amy Talbot, RWA Water Efficiency Program manager. Specifically, the backyard should be well-maintained and include beautiful and colorful low water-use plants as well as a small grass lawn.

“If selected, RWA will send a professional photographer to take images of the yard,” Talbot says. “A small stipend for maintenance may be available.”

To nominate your yard or for questions, contact Talbot at or call (214) 914-2510.

For more information of water-wise landscaping and other saving tips, visit: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

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

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

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

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

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

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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