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Wanted: Gardens gone native

The Jelly Bean monkeyflower is a hybrid California native adapted for the home landscape. (Photo courtesy UC Davis Arboretum)

Annual spring tour needs local landscapes that feature native plants

Has your garden gone native? Are you willing to share it with about 1,000 guests?

Make your landscape a stop on the 2019 Gardens Gone Native Tour. Organizers are now accepting applications from possible participants.

Hosted by the Sacramento Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the self-guided tour has quickly grown into a major event. The ninth annual Gardens Gone Native Tour is set for April 27, 2019. Gardens are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday.

Organizers need about 20 private gardens in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties. Each garden should include at least 50 percent California native plants. Visitors may be limited to front yard only if preferred.

"By becoming a garden host, you help to educate the public about the benefits of gardening with native plants and hopefully inspire others to transform their landscapes," according to the organizers.

An application and full details are available at along with articles and photos from tours past. Questions? E-mail Colene Rauh at .

Sow seeds now for California poppy
blooms later. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Whether or not you apply for the tour, it's not too late to add some natives to your garden. Plant native perennials and shrubs now to help get them established. Sow wildflower seeds including California poppies.


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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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