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Find more water-wise plants at Arboretum sale

Monch asters bloom in fall and are popular with bees. The UC Davis Arboretum plant sale will include some of these plants. (Photo courtesy UC Davis Arboretum)

Stock replenished after nursery attracted huge crowd for first fall event

Plenty of great water-wise plants are still available at the UC Davis Arboretum’s fall sale, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. This sale is open to the public for the entire event; admission is free.

After being mobbed during the first sale Sept. 28, the nursery’s tables are full again. For its three fall sales, the arboretum grew more than 25,000 plants in about 700 varieties.

Arboretum nursery manager Taylor Lewis is never sure what’s going to be a hit.

“Deerweed; it flew out the door!” Lewis said of a best-seller at the arboretum’s fall opener. “If I had known, I would have grown more. Cascade Creek (goldenrod); I had 75 one-gallon (plants). Next thing I knew, they were gone.”

The turnout for the sale exemplified the popularity of the arboretum’s plants, many of them unavailable anywhere else. The arboretum nursery specializes in drought-tolerant flowering shrubs, perennials, bulbs and trees, including many California natives.

“People started lining up at 8 a.m.,” Lewis said. “By 9 a.m., we had 300 people waiting to come in. We had more than 1,500 people come through the door. It was one of the biggest events we’ve ever had.”

Lewis and his staff have been growing plants for this sale for months, if not years. For Saturday’s sale, he has another amazing assortment including California fuchsia, penstemons and coffeeberry.

“I’m really loving the Monch aster,” Lewis said. “It looks beautiful this time of year. I see so many bees on those flowers! It’s a great choice for pollinators.”

Friends of the Arboretum receive a discount. New members can join at the door.

After Saturday’s event, the arboretum nursery will host its clearance sale Nov. 2. The nursery is located on Garrod Drive near the small-animal veterinary hospital.

Find a plant inventory list online along with more details and directions: .


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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