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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 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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