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Escape the heat while tackling to-do list

Antiques expert Brian Witherell will conduct appraisals during
the show this weekend. (Photo courtesy

Giant Cal State Home & Garden Show opens Friday

An annual Sacramento respite from August heat returns this week -- with free parking.

Featuring hundreds of vendors, the Cal State Home & Garden Show opens its three-day run Friday at McClellan Conference Center in McClellan Park.

A regular August attraction in downtown Sacramento, the show recently moved to the former Air Force base. The Sacramento Convention Center, which had traditionally hosted this show, is undergoing a major overhaul. (Demolition is underway now).

Meanwhile, this huge home and garden show is enjoying the great indoors at McClellan. It's an all-indoor, air-conditioned opportunity to browse a wide range of home and garden services and products. Tackle the to-do list (or at least think about it).

As a special attraction, Sacramento auctioneer and antiques expert Brian Witherell, of "Antiques Roadshow " fame, will conduct free evaluations each day. The owner of Witherell's auction house will offer on the spot appraisals of all sorts of treasures. (One item per patron.)

McClellan Center is located at 5411 Luce Ave., McClellan, just off Interstate 80 at Watt Avenue. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16-18.

Admission is $6 adults, children age 16 and younger admitted free. Active military and first responders admitted free with ID. On Friday only, seniors (age 65 and up) are admitted for $2. Other discount coupons are available at the show's website.


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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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