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It's bonsai time in Sacramento

Beautiful bonsai will be on exhibit at the Bonsai Sekiyu Kai show on April 6-7, one of four bonsai shows this spring. (Photo courtesy Ron Anderson.)

Four spring shows in 'City of Little Trees'

Do you love bonsai? You’re in the right place. Each spring, Sacramento hosts four bonsai shows, one for each local club. That makes Sacramento the City of Little Trees.

This bonsai extravaganza starts April 6 and 7 with the 42nd annual Bonsai Sekiyu Kai show, to be held at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, 2401 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, this show features beautiful bonsai on display, refreshments, door prizes, a raffle and silent auction.

Vendors and club members will offer plants and bonsai-related items, such as pots, tools and growing supplies.

Special guest will be Yuzo Maruyama, who will conduct demonstrations at 2 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For more information, email .

Next up will be the 60th annual spring show of the American Bonsai Association, Sacramento. On April 13 and 14, a forest of little trees will fill the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with demonstrations by Dennis Makishima at 1:30 p.m. both days. His demonstration trees will be the prize in afternoon drawings. Admission and parking are free.

Just starting bonsai? As part of this event, ABAS members will conduct a beginner workshop from 10 a.m. to noon April 14. For more information or to sign up, contact Renee Seely at (916) 929-2106, email .

Details: .

After a short break, two more shows are set for May.

On May 4 and 5, the Sacramento Bonsai Club – the nation’s oldest bonsai club – will host its 73rd annual spring show, also at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with featured 1:30 p.m. demonstrations by Sam Adina each day.

Details: .

Wrapping up Sacramento’s spring bonsai season are the blooming azaleas of Satsuki Aikokai Association of Sacramento at its 41st annual show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 at Shepard Center. Show admission and parking are free.

Sign up for the popular “Create Your Own Azalea Bonsai” workshop, set for 11 a.m. each day; class fee is $20. Email for more details.


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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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