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Ready or not, here come the plant sales

Find peppers and other vegetables, plus ornamentals, cactus and succulents
at the Elk Grove Community Garden's sale Saturday. (Photo courtesy
Elk Grove Community Garden)
Fundraisers this weekend from Fair Oaks to Elk Grove to Davis

Fundraising plant sales really get going in April. Whether or not the weather allows some planting this weekend, check out the offerings and find just the right veggies or ornamentals. These sales help support gardening in Sacramento-area communities, too.

Here are four sales coming up April 6, rain or shine. They're nicely scattered through the region, too, so one is bound to be nearby:

-- The Fair Oaks Community Garden will hold its sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Find starter vegetables and herbs at the perfect time for spring planting.  All plants are donated and proceeds benefit the Fair Oaks Community Garden.  Sale is located at Fair Oaks Park at the rear parking lot near the Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd.

-- The Elk Grove Community Garden annual plant sale will run 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Offerings will include vegetables, herbs, ornamentals, cactus and succulents. The garden is at 10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove.

-- The spring sale by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, on the American River Parkway at Soil Born Farms. Find organic vegetable and flower starts, culinary and medicinal herbs, succulents and of course California native plants.

The UC Davis Arboretum nursery offers a wide range of plants at its sales.
Kathy Morrison)
-- The second sale of the season at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Find perennials for sun or shade, California natives that do well in our climate, and even some trees. Refreshments, live music, children's activities. Bring your questions to the Master Gardeners Table. 10 percent off prices for members. Membership can be purchased at the door. Future sales will be on April 27 and May 11. Garrod Drive, across from the UC Davis Vet School.

More sales are ahead, too. The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery rose sale will be April 13-14, for example, and the UCCE Master Gardeners of El Dorado County sale is set for April 20 at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville.

Many of the garden clubs that make Sacramento's Shepard Garden and Arts Center their home have sales coming up, too, from April 6-7 ( African violets ) to May 11 (geraniums and chrysanthemums). In between will be irises (April 20-21) and cactus/succulents (May 4-5). Sacramento Digs Gardening will have all the information on these sales as they get closer. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the Garden Calendar for gardening events around the region.

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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