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Attract more wildlife to your garden

Lunchtime series by Sac Valley CNPS shares ideas how to create 'Living Landscapes'

Butterfly on lacy phacelia plant
Plant lacy phacelia, a California native, and butterflies will hang out in your garden. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

We could all use a nature break right now. And if you plant things that native birds, bees and butterflies like, you’ll see wildlife in action right outside your window.

The Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has plenty of advice on how to reach that goal – and still have a beautiful landscape – during a special lunchtime Zoom talk.

“Living Landscapes — Designing Native Plant Gardens that Attract Wildlife and Still Look Good!” is set for noon next Tuesday, Sept. 15. Everyone is welcome and participation is free.

Haven Kiers, associate professor of landscape architecture at UC Davis, will discuss “how to create native plant gardens that are not only great looking, but also great for wildlife,” according to Chris Lewis of Sac Valley CNPS. The talk is part of the chapter’s “Homegrown Habitat: Lunch break with Nature” series.

Bee on California poppy bloom
California poppies are a natural for wildlife landscapes.

These lunch breaks are one-hour, online presentations envisioned “as a way to engage with nature midday,” Lewis said. “Each presentation is a chance to ignite more interest in nature, native plants, native plant habitats, and the thing they all have in common—wildlife.”

To participate, you need to sign up in advance here:

For more details and advice on native plants to help native wildlife: .

- Debbie Arrington


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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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