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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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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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