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Hear dozens of local speakers at SF Flower & Garden Show

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is known for its designer gardens and full speaker schedule.
(Photo: Courtesy San Francisco Flower and Garden Show)
In Cal Expo debut, huge event will feature Sacramento experts

Appropriate for its new venue, the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show will reap plenty of Sacramento area expertise when it opens Thursday, March 21, at Cal Expo.

Appearing on three different stages, dozens of local garden experts fill the show’s four-day seminar and speaker schedule. Kicking things off are radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman (“Spring into a Heathy Garden”), floral designer Andrew Nguyen (“California Flowers and Color of the Year”) and Sacramento Digs Gardening’s Debbie Arrington (“Best Roses for Northern California”) at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Among the speakers expected to draw a crowd are:

* Plant explorer and author Dan Hinkley (“Making Windcliff,” 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and “The Dry Lush,” 11 a.m. Sunday);

* Celebrity garden designer and longtime HGTV host
Ahmed Hassan (“New Trends in Landscape Design,” 2:45 p.m. Saturday);

* Designer Kent Gordon England (“Butterflies, Blooms and Bees,” 1:30 p.m. Friday, and “Glass Houses, the History and Joy of Owning a Green House,” 12:15 p.m. Saturday);

* Famed UC Davis storyteller and garden guide Warren Roberts (“UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens,” 4 p.m. Saturday).

* Native plant expert Christina Lewis (“How Gardening with Native Plants Helps You and the Environment,” 12:30 p.m. Thursday);

* Garden curator Anita Clevenger (“Gardens of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery,” 11 a.m. Friday);

* Seed saver and writer/photo journalist Charlie Costello (“Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More on Tomatoes,” 12:15 p.m. Friday);

* Sacramento urban farmer Chanowk Yisrael (“Homesteading,” 11 a.m. Saturday);

* UC Davis plant expert Marlene Simon (“Garden Myth or Rooted in Science?,” 11 a.m. Saturday);

* Fair Oaks Boulevard Nursery guru Quentyn Young (“Unusual Edibles for Northern California,” 12:15 p.m. Saturday); and

* After his Sunday morning radio broadcasts, Hoffman also will present “Building the Good Bug Hotel” at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Besides full days of speakers, patrons also will find spectacular garden, bonsai and floral displays plus scores of vendors, plant marketplace, hands-on workshops and much more. Get advice; UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners and other experts will staff information tables. Several workshops such as planting edibles and making bouquets are planned for kids.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cal Expo is located at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. For the full schedule and tickets: .

- Debbie Arrington


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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