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Back in print: Sacramento gets a weekly gardening column


Look for gardening news in Sacramento
News & Review, starting in April.
(Courtesy Sacramento News & Review)
Arrington to launch new home & garden column in News & Review



Here’s big news for readers: Sacramento is about to get a weekly home and garden column in a local newspaper – again.

And it’s going to be written by me.

After an 11-month hiatus, I’m going to be back in print. The
Sacramento News & Review has invited me to write a weekly column for its new Home & Garden section. The section will start off small, but grow as advertising and interest support it, according to publisher Jeff vonKaenel.

The column is scheduled to launch in April, just in time for a very active gardening season.

I worked with SN&R editor Foon Rhee at The Sacramento Bee, my employer for nearly 20 years. After a decade as The Bee’s Home & Garden writer, I was downsized in May 2018. But I never stopped writing about gardening.

Sacramento Digs Gardening launched June 1 and has had a daily blog post ever since. That’s a lot of gardening news!

Sac Digs Gardening now has 1,050 Followers on Facebook ; thank you to every one! And no worries; Sac Digs Gardening will continue with daily gardening news, events and observations (plus recipes on Sundays) as well as the daily e-newsletter.

But not everybody is on Facebook or online. In the age of digital media, print newspapers continue to be a valuable resource and an important part of building community.

In Sacramento, we are a community of gardeners. About half of all Sacramentans list gardening as a hobby or something that they do on a regular basis. In the Farm-to-Fork Capital, growing food is a major pastime (as well as profession). This interest cuts across all sorts of demographics (even politics).

Thousands of newspaper readers will see this new Home & Garden section every week. It’s another chance to spread our love of gardening as well as share news and information.

Here’s another big plus: The News & Review is distributed free throughout the Sacramento area. It publishes on Thursdays, just in time for busy gardening weekends.

Look for my new column, starting in April. If you have any suggested topics, reach out to me directly at debarrington17@gmail.com .

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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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