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Learn do's and don'ts of landscape makeovers

Get expert advice on front-yard renovations in new webinar


Plants with red, yellow, purple flowers
A water-efficient garden can be as colorful as you want, with the right plants.
This beautiful collection is at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, in the appropriately
named Water-Efficient Landscape. Photographed in mid-September 2019.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)



Thinking about tearing up that thirsty lawn and starting over? Get some expert advice on water-efficient makeovers before you dig.

“Do’s and Don’ts for Front Yard Renovations,” a new webinar presented by the Regional Water Authority (RWA), tackles the basics of landscape transformations with an eye toward environmental stewardship as well as beauty.

Set for noon Thursday, Jan. 28, the one-hour online workshop is free to Sacramento-area residents who are customers of local water suppliers. But interested attendees need to register in advance.

Leading the discussion will be local water-wise landscape experts Soleil Tranquilli, Cheryl Buckwalter and Marcia Scott. Sacramento Suburban Water District hosts the presentation.

According to the RWA, this webinar is about a lot more than saving water: “We renovate our front yards for various reasons: Maybe the existing landscape is overgrown, lacks color, and requires too much work. Maybe it’s time to spice up your curb appeal. And, maybe you want to lead by example, showing friends and neighbors that your landscape is both beautiful, water-efficient, and a magnet for birds, bees, and other pollinators.

“Taking time to plan your landscape renovation can help you avoid design, irrigation, and plant pitfalls,” the RWA added. “This workshop will guide you through the design process, including essential elements to consider. It will cover irrigation basics for healthy plants, how to avoid costly mistakes, and provide sage advice for what to do and not do during your renovation.”

Register at:
bit.ly/FrontYardRenov

Upcoming RWA webinars include: “Young Tree Pruning” (noon Feb. 4); “Landscape Design with Cost in Mind” (noon Feb. 25); “How Much Water Does Your Landscape Really Need?” (noon March 25); “Drought Tolerant/Mediterranean Climate Gardens” (noon March 31); and “Creating a Pollinator Garden” (noon April 14).

Find out more and sign up at: https://bewatersmart.info/webinars/ .


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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