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Find the best succulents for Sacramento

The succulent known as hen and chicks is among the most popular and is easy to grow in Sacramento. (Photo:
Debbie Arrington)

Annual show and sale features wide variety of popular plants

With their interesting shapes, textures and colors, succulent plants have become the hottest stars in California gardens.

Find the best ones to grow in Sacramento during the 59th annual Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Show, set for Saturday and Sunday at Shepard Garden and Arts Center.

With their low-water needs, succulents are a natural pick for drought-tolerant gardens. But with their sculptural look, succulents also have gained huge popularity for many non-garden uses.

Succulents have become a hit in bouquets and centerpieces for weddings and other special occasions. They’re used to create vertical wall plantings and as topiary garden art. They can hang from baskets or get cozy in containers. Their foliage can be made into wreaths and table decorations.

At this show, see examples of creative ways to use succulents and cacti as well as some eye-popping specimen plants.

Take home some plants, too. Presented by the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society, this event features a huge sale of hard-to-find varieties at reasonable prices.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 4 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5.  The Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, on the north end of McKinley Park. Admission and parking are free.



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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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