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Succulents, cacti fill big show, sale

Gardening with succulents and cacti is booming. Get plants and tips at the
Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society show and sale this weekend.
Want to learn to make a hypertufa container for succulents like the one here?
See the postscript at the end of the blog post. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Carmichael event offers hundreds of choices

Can’t get enough succulents? Find amazing specimens on exhibit plus many unusual varieties for sale at this huge event.

This weekend, the Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society hosts its 43rd annual show and sale at the Carmichael Park Clubhouse. In addition to displays of prized plants, hundreds of succulents and cacti will be offered for sale. Admission and parking are free.

“We have six plant vendors including the best succulent vendor anywhere, David Calibo from San Francisco,” said society member Pat Allen. “His plants are incredible. Cactus man Bill Munkacsy (of Plant Seca) is back and so is Merlyn Lenear (and his container gardens); he’s really good with agaves, too. Plus our members will be donating plants to sell. I’m contributing 147 plants to the sale table.”

This show and sale offers a great chance to learn about succulents as well as build a collection.

Hens and chicks are always popular succulents. (Photo:
Debbie Arrington)
“The first thing people look at is what they’re familiar with: Hen and chicks, sempervivums, echeverias,” said Allen, who has about 500 plants in her collection. “Then, they start looking around and they become so intrigued! There are so many different ones!”

Hen and chicks are most popular, too. “They always sell out,” Allen said. “The agaves sell very well, too.”

Show and sale hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19. The Carmichael Park clubhouse is located at 5750 Grant Ave., Carmichael.

Details: .

P.S. What to put your succulents in? How about a handmade planter? On June 1, the Sacramento County master gardeners are offering a hands-on workshop to make lightweight hypertufa planters like the one in the top photo. They look like rustic natural stone and are perfect for planting succulents, cactus, herbs or cascading flowers. Participants will take home the 12-inch planter they make in the class. 10 a.m. to noon, under the trees at the Horticulture Center. All supplies provided; just bring an apron. $40 fee; pre-registration required. Space is limited. Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. Register at


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* 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 fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* 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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