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Gardens Gone Native needs you

Chinese houses, a native wildflower, above, and California spicebush ( Calycanthus occidentalis ), below, a native shrub, were photographed during the 2019 Gardens Gone Native Tour. CNPS' Sacramento Valley Chapter is seeking gardens to be stops on the 2020 tour. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

2020 tour seeks applicants in Sacramento and Yolo counties

Do you love native plants? Is your landscape filled with California natives? Can your garden inspire others?

If so, your garden may be a candidate for the 2020 Gardens Gone Native Tour.

Hosted by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the tour has quickly grown into a major event, attracting hundreds of patrons. The 2020 tour celebrates the event’s 10th anniversary.

Organizers are recruiting possible tour stops now. Deadline for applications is Jan. 15 with the actual tour to be held April 25.

“Interest in California native plants continues to grow,” said the organizing committee. “Sharing your own garden and experiences helps others learn about the aesthetic, water efficient and habitat restoration benefits of California natives.”

Gardens on the tour should be planted in at least 50 percent California natives and located in either Yolo or Sacramento counties. Home gardens as well as private businesses will be considered.

If you would like more information or would like to apply for the tour, please visit . Or email .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, 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.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* 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.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* 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.

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