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Do your own workshop with take-home kit

Here's the finished succulent terrarium. (Photo courtesy
The Secret Garden)
The Secret Garden comes up with creative alternative

Just because a nursery can’t hold in-person workshops doesn’t mean they can’t teach gardeners new things.

But how? That’s been the challenge for local nurseries as they (along with all businesses) try to reinvent what they do in these times of COVID.

The Secret Garden, Elk Grove’s beloved nursery and garden store, usually fills its summer schedules with all sorts of fun workshops. This month, it’s re-packaged its workshop materials into individual kits for at-home learning.

“Just because we are asked to stay home doesn't mean we can't still have FUN!” writes Jennifer Kahl, the Secret Garden’s owner, on the nursery’s website.

The kits come with instruction – videos of Kahl and her staff creating the project themselves, just like they would during a “normal” workshop.

“Our Workshop Series is currently being modified due to ‘distancing restrictions’ to become Take Home Kits,” Kahl explains. “Along with everything you need to complete the project, you will also be given a link to the video of us making the item and stepping you through the process.

“We have several varieties of kits ready to go, and will work on more in the days ahead. Our goal hasn't changed; we're here to help keep your hands in the dirt and a smile on your face!”

Among the kits ready to go now are a succulent terrarium and succulent potted “bouquet” (each priced at $19.99), a charming miniature garden kit featuring a fairy cottage ($29.99) and two garden mosaic kits ($54 and $65).

Order online and pick up at The Secret Garden, located at 8450 W. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove.

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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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