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Coronavirus concerns cancel 36th annual SF Flower Show

Designer gardens are a big attraction at the San Francisco/Northern California Flower and Garden Show. Those displays will have to wait until 2021 after Tuesday's cancellation. (Photo courtesy Cal State Shows)
Set for Cal Expo, huge NorCal event will wait until 2021

Coronavirus fears canceled a top event on Northern California’s gardening calendar.

Less than a month before its scheduled Cal Expo return, the
36th annual San Francisco/Northern California Flower and Garden Show will not go on, said producer Sherry Larsen.

“Look at our demographics; many of our patrons are in the vulnerable group,” she said. “Exhibitors are traveling from as far away as Maine. We’ve got three weeks to go. We don’t know where we’ll be at that time. We had to look at the potential impact.”

Larsen officially made the call Tuesday, informing her vendors and exhibitors of their options. One of Northern California’s largest events of its kind, the show expected to fill four buildings on the State fairgrounds. Set for April 2 through 5, it was making its second appearance at Cal Expo.

After nearly a year of planning for the April show , the cancellation happened rather quickly.

“One major group pulled out and that heavily impacted us,” Larsen said. “They had a 30- by 100-foot (demonstration) garden, an after-hours event and were host of a stage.

“We got calls from gardening groups,” she added. “Many members wouldn’t volunteer; they were afraid to be with the public. It’s true concern. Who knows what will happen?”

Instead of requesting refunds, most participants are choosing to roll over their reservations until next year, Larsen said. “Right now, we’re getting a real good response. Everybody says, ‘We’re there next year!’

“Everything will be OK,” Larsen said. “I’m excited – I’ve got another year to promote.”

More updates and details: .


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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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