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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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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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