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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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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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