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Virtual plant sale aids American River College horticulture program

It's the next best thing to being there: a virtual plant sale is on for ARC. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)
Buy some real seedlings or give a donation to the program

Like so many highly anticipated spring garden events, the American River College plant sale was canceled in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The spring sale, as well as one in the fall, supports the active Horticulture Department program.

But plant starts don't wait for anything, and the students have vegetables,  herbs and flowers available that would have been snapped up at the sale this month.

So the next best thing: A virtual, no-contact plant sale, with real plants. The catch is buyers have to go pick them up curbside in West Sacramento. Local curbside delivery is available, but only for qualifying orders. The
sale link is here .

Supplies are limited, so don't tarry. Most of the succulents already are gone, but there looked to be a decent selection of tomatoes, peppers, greens and eggplant, along with some tomatillos and onions. Flowers include strawflower, cosmos and bachelor buttons. A full range of herbs also is for sale. Prices start at $2 -- best deal in town. (No perennials are included in the sale.)

If you're not in the market for veggies or flower starts, consider a donation to the ARC Horticulture program; that is also offered on the Virtual Plant Sale site. A $1 donation earns the title of Blue Eyed Grass Donor, while a $100 donation dubs you a Blue Oak Donor; there are other levels in between.

This is a great program, well worth supporting. After all, we all want the next generation to include professional plant propagators.

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* 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 help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* 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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