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Experience 'Succulent Extravaganza' times two

The black aeonium succulent is one of the more popular varieties at High-Hand in Loomis. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

High-Hand and Secret Garden both hold events this weekend

Succulents are the current superstars of California gardens. Two local nurseries will spotlight these easy-care, water-wise workhorses this weekend with their own versions of "Succulent Extravaganza."

On Saturday, May 25, High-Hand Nursery in Loomis will host Sunset magazine succulent guru Robin Stockwell for two free lectures. Seats are already filled for the 10 a.m and 1 p.m sessions, but standing room will be available.

In addition, a succulent bar will be packed with hundreds of unusual varieties. Stockwell will sign copies of his best-selling succulent books. Demonstrations and other activities are planned. Admission is free.

At Secret Garden in Elk Grove, "Succulent Extravaganza" lasts two days. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, the nursery will present several demonstrations devoted to succulent care and creativity. Self-guided tutorials will teach how to make living succulent bouquets and container gardens for every sun zone.

Sacramento County's UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners will staff an information table to answer plant care questions and identify pests. Admission is free.

There's so much succulent demand, Secret Garden will keep the fun going into Monday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all Memorial Day weekend, succulents will be offered at 15 percent off.

Secret Garden Nursery is located at 8450 West Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove.


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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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