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'Sakura-mento' tour explores Japanese roots

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Sacramento Digs Gardening
City Cemetery focuses on little-told chapter of local history

A century ago, Sacramento was home to a thriving community known as Japantown. Residents of Japanese ancestry were an integral part of the fabric of the city and the Central Valley.

Then, World War II changed everything.

Sunday at 1 p.m., join guides at the Historic City Cemetery to learn tales of “Sakura-mento” and the history of Sacramento’s Japanese community.

Sakura (cherry blossoms) are an enduring symbol of Japanese culture. By 1910, Sacramento had the fourth-largest Japanese-American community in California. But in February 1942 as a reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 forced the incarceration and relocation of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.

What happened to Japantown’s families? Who were they? How did they cope with internment camps? And what happened after the war?

This very special free tour will explore those stories and more. Meet at the cemetery’s main gate, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. Wear comfortable shoes. 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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