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Explore the Gardens Gone Native Tour online this weekend


At a garden in Woodland, a busy pollinator is oblivious to visitors during the 2019 Gardens Gone Native Tour. This year the tour will move online. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Virtual tour showcases Sacramento-area gardens planted in California natives

As healthy as it is to take breaks from the screen these days, this weekend you're going to want to make time for this big online event: the Gardens Gone Native Virtual Tour.

Saturday was supposed to be the 10th annual event in this self-guided tour organized by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. The tour, including gardens in Yolo and Sacramento counties, is designed to spotlight the use of California native plants in home gardens.

But under the state's coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, the tour now will come to you through the internet. This link will go live Saturday, April 25:
http://www.sacvalleycnps.org/native-plant-gardening/garden-tour .

This restful scene was at a garden in Davis in 2019.
"You can still be inspired by a variety of gardens that showcase the beauty, versatility, and wildlife habitat value of native plants as well as their role in water efficient landscapes," says the Sac Valley CNPS chapter.

So look at all the amazing plants, take notes, and plan to put some of these beauties in your own garden. You might even be inspired to be part of the 2021 tour. And this year, at least, we'll all save on gas when moving from garden to garden.

To find out more about California native plants, visit the area chapter at www.sacvalleycnps.org (which has many links to articles and other garden videos) or the statewide organization at cnps.org .

-- Kathy Morrison

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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