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Shepard Center hosts big Spring Sale, plus tree planting

Clubs to offer their expertise, plants and wares; volunteers needed for McKinley Park beautification event

The  Shepard Center is in the eastern extension of McKinley Park, which will gain some new trees Saturday. The center's big Spring Sale also happens this weekend. Admission is free.

The Shepard Center is in the eastern extension of McKinley Park, which will gain some new trees Saturday. The center's big Spring Sale also happens this weekend. Admission is free. Kathy Morrison

The Shepard Center’s busy schedule continues with two events this weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, the garden and arts center in East Sacramento hosts its annual Spring Sale, featuring the two dozen-plus clubs that call Shepard home.

Shop for plants, flowers, crafts, jewelry, books, garden art and more at this huge event. Bring your dull knives and garden tools for sharpening (for a small donation).

This event is also a great chance to learn more about local garden and crafts clubs that meet at Shepard Center as well as get some expert advice. (See the list of clubs here.)

Sale hours are 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. For details and directions:

Also happening Saturday, March 16, is a volunteer opportunity that will have a lasting impact on McKinley Park, site of the center. Shepard Center is collaborating with the city’s Parks Department,  the Sacramento Tree Foundation and SMUD to plant new trees in McKinley Park. These trees are replacements for some of those heavily damaged during last winter’s storms.

Saturday is the second part of a two-day planting spree at McKinley Park. Earlier this year, 30 volunteers representing several of Shepard’s clubs planted 13 new trees. City park staff dug the holes, then volunteers planted the trees and spread mulch rings around their planting sites. That’s also the plan for this second tree-planting event.

Chosen with the help of SacTree arborists, the new trees include ginkgo, cypress and tupelo varieties.

Saturday’s tree planting starts with a volunteer orientation at 9 a.m. at Clunie Memorial, at the western edge of McKinley Park, Alhambra Boulevard and F Street. Bring gloves and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Want to volunteer? Email Will Green at to RSVP.


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Garden Checklist for week of June 16

Summer officially starts Thursday. The good news: No triple-digits – at least until next weekend.

* Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden, with tomatoes and squash enjoying the heat. Deep-water, then feed with a balanced fertilizer. Bone meal or rock phosphate can spur the bloom cycle and help set fruit.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, melons, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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