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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:

-- 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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