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Shop for indoor beauties at annual African violet sale

Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society offers huge selection of unusual houseplants

These charmers were winners at an earlier show.

These charmers were winners at an earlier show. Debbie Arrington

When it’s too hot to garden outdoors, our gardening attention turns to the kitchen counter – and African violets. Who can resist these little charmers?

On Saturday, Sept. 17, shop for rare and unusual African violets and their close cousin gesneriads at the annual Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society show and sale at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday – or until all the plants are sold. Admission and parking are free.

This event is an opportunity to invite the public the share in the club’s enthusiasm as, the society explains, “we celebrate our skills and love of these unique and gorgeous plants for all to see!”

See the newest exotic cultivars as well as beloved favorites. Club members will be on hand to answer questions and give advice on violet care.

At this annual sale, the club will offer hundreds of beautiful plants at bargain prices.  Great for beginners as well as longtime indoor gardeners, these African violets and gesneriads are unusual varieties that can’t be found in local nurseries. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow your indoor plant collection.

Get African violet supplies, too. Bring cash or check.

For more details: www.sgaac.org

-- 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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