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Get inspired to create your own permaculture

Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening
This is a view of Jan Spencer's own backyard with a corner of the sun room
to the left. The g reen house and outdoor work area in the distance.
(Photo courtesy

Learn how your home and garden can be 'greener'

Can you turn your suburban house and backyard into an efficient green mini-farm, feeding your family while helping the environment?

Learn how from expert Jan Spencer. He'll speak on "Suburban Permaculture," a special presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Ooley Theatre, 2007 28th St., Sacramento.

Presented by Green Restaurants Alliance Sacramento, this inspirational evening will tackle how communities can create green and resilient homes and neighborhoods to help save the environment one house at a time.

Jan Spencer will speak Thursday at
the Ooley Theater in Sacramento.
Spencer, who lives in Eugene, Ore., is a suburban permaculture expert. In the past 16 years, he's transformed his house on a 1/4-acre lot into a passive workforce, growing food, producing solar energy, gathering rainwater and reducing waste. Learn how Spencer did this and get ideas that can be used in your home and garden.

GRA Sacramento is dedicated to growing a sustainable food community in the Farm-to-Fork Capital. Its programs include turning restaurant waste into compost for local organic gardens and recycling wine corks.

Tickets for "Suburban Permaculture" are $10 suggested donation.

Details and tickets: .


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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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