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Wanted: Local garden clubs for big show

Spectacular garden designs will be part of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, to be held at Cal Expo.
(Photos: Courtesy San Francisco Flower and Garden Show)
At Cal Expo, San Francisco Flower and Garden Show offers free space to non-profits

Garden clubs are always looking for new members. New gardeners can always use some expert help. Here’s a chance for both to find each other while enjoying one of the best flower and garden shows in California.

Cal Expo in Sacramento for the first time , the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is offering free space for any local non-profit garden club that wants it. Here’s the catch: The club has to staff its information table all four days of the show: March 21 through 24.

That’s next week, which means there’s not much time to organize volunteers – or to delay if a club wants to take this great opportunity.

“We are providing any non-profit (garden organization) that can participate all four days of the show free space as a community outreach,” show owner Sherry Larsen said.

Thousands of show patrons are expected to flow past the garden club area at this event, so it’s a wonderful chance for exposure. Benefitting show goers, these local experts can provide advice to gardeners. For example, the Sacramento County master gardeners are scheduled to staff a table.

Show hours will be: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 24. Interested clubs should contact as soon as possible.

Floral arrangements are a popular part of this show.
Tickets are on sale now for this 34th annual event, which moved from the Cow Palace to Cal Expo after a scheduling issue. Besides hundreds of vendors, the show features spectacular garden designs, amazing floral arrangements, dozens of speakers and a gigantic orchid market.

Details: .

- Debbie Arrington


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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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