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See Mah and more on Midtown Garden Tour

Holly Whitman's garden at 28th and F is part of the Midtown Garden Tour.
(Photo courtesy

Tour spotlights gardens on Sacramento's Grid as well as a local legend

Midtown Sacramento is growing in more ways than one.

See for yourself during the second Midtown Garden Tour.

Set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27, this tour features 15 unique private gardens spread out over midtown and downtown Sacramento.

“(It’s) midtown gardens and friends,” said Holly Whitman, one of the tour’s organizers. “We opened the tour to anyone who gardens the Grid, not just midtown.”

Whitman’s own garden at F and 28th streets will be featured on the tour. Three years ago, the site was an empty lot. Now, it’s packed with edible as well as ornamental plants.

Tickets ($10) are available at, the tour’s website. On tour day, get tickets at New Era Community Garden, 204 26th St., Sacramento. Proceeds benefit the Alchemist Community Development Corporation, a local non-profit focused on food access.

In Daisy Mah's garden, a pond of pitcher plants is surrounded by succulents.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Highlighting the tour again will be the private garden of Daisy Mah, a Sacramento legend. A longtime city parks employee, Mah is best known for her work at the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park. Her backyard is packed with perennials and pollinator favorites. (Don’t miss her ponds dedicated to carnivorous plants!)

Several gardens are devoted to food production. Backyard chickens (and custom coops) will be spotlighted. So will backyard beehives.

A map of the homes as well as photos and descriptions are now available online.

Details: .


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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