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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 witherells.com)

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 Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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