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Time to buy, plant new irises

This unusual bronze bearded iris grew from a rhizome
purchased at an earlier Iris Society sale. (Photo: Debbie

Find hundreds of varieties at annual sale this weekend

Got iris? This popular flower may be the ultimate low-water spring perennial for Sacramento. It blooms year after year with little (if any) extra irrigation or care.

Bearded iris is a great choice for the foothills, too. They’re deer-resistant as well as drought-resistant.

Find irises in an amazing range of colors, patterns and combinations at the annual Sacramento Iris Society rhizome sale this weekend at Shepard Garden and Arts Center.

From 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21, society members will offer thousands of recently dug iris rhizomes, the tuberous roots of bearded iris. Hundreds of varieties will be available.

Each specimen will be labeled with cultivar information and a description of its color and appearance. In addition to the spring-blooming varieties, a large selection of reblooming varieties will be available. Extending the iris season, these rebloomers produce a second round of flowers in summer or fall.

With each purchase, receive a free permanent garden label to go with your new iris. A demonstration table will show how to properly plant iris rhizomes. Iris experts also will answer questions and share advice.

Admission and parking are free. Bring cash or check. The Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


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