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Go native! Sac Valley CNPS hosts fall plant sale

Order plants online, then pick up at Rancho Cordova nursery

A monarch butterfly pauses on the blossom of a salvia clevelandii at the Cosumnes Preserve.

A monarch butterfly pauses on the blossom of a salvia clevelandii at the Cosumnes Preserve. Photo courtesy Robin Rogerson via Sac Valley CNPS

In time for fall planting, the Sacramento Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is hosting its online fall plant sale at its nursery, starting at noon Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 14-18.

Orders are available for pickup on two Sundays, Sept. 25 and Oct. 4. The demonstration gardens also will be open for viewing; see website for availability.

Also known as Elderberry Farms, Sac Valley CNPS Nursery and Gardens are located at Soil Born Farms’ American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.

Fall is the best time to transplant most native plants, especially shrubs, trees and perennials. It allows them months (hopefully with rain) to put down roots and get established before the stress of summer heat next year.

“Native plants are not only beautiful and climate adaptable, but they also feed and shelter birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators,” says Chris Lewis, the nursery’s longtime director.

Gardeners gravitate towards native plants, too; they naturally use less water. Survival of our dry summer weather is stamped into these plants’ DNA. Many varieties need little if any summer irrigation.

Not only do native plants save water compared to traditional lawn-based landscape, they support local wildlife. Providing flowers and often seeds or berries, native plants offer food for pollinators and birds; that’s something turf never does.

Among the native favorites offered by the nursery: Monkeyflower, buckwheat, lupine, penstemon, salvias, asters, redberry, mountain mahogany and, of course, elderberry.

For full details and plant list:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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