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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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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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