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UC Davis Arboretum Nursery hosts plant sale Sunday

Event features succulents, natives and water-wise perennials; members get in early

Some of the plants sold at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery carry signs designating them as "future favorites," or plants adaptable to the changing climate. These include Argentine rain lilies.

Some of the plants sold at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery carry signs designating them as "future favorites," or plants adaptable to the changing climate. These include Argentine rain lilies. Kathy Morrison

Spring has sprung and put every gardener into planting mode. But what to plant?

Find hundreds (make that thousands) of possibilities at the UC Davis Arboretum’s Teaching Nursery.

This Sunday, April 7, the arboretum’s 1-acre nursery will host its first public sale of the season. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the sale will be open to everyone. Admission is free.

Want an early start on plant shopping? From 9 to 10 a.m., members of Friends of the Arboretum get first crack Sunday. Not a member? Join at the gate, get at 10% discount and a $10 coupon for the sale.

April is a wonderful time to add water-wise perennials, shrubs, trees and native plants to our landscapes. The weather is warming and so is the soil, which is moist and soft due to recent rain.

Two more sales are scheduled after Sunday: A split sale April 27 and the season-ending spring clearance May 11.

Now available online, the updated inventory list covers 53 pages from four varieties of Abutilon (flowering maple) to three species of Zephyranthes (Argentine rain or zephyr lily). Find it here:

Also useful is an accompanying photo gallery with hundreds of shots of featured plants. It helps visualize how the baby plants in their 4-inch or 1-gallon pots will look like when fully grown. (Sometimes, that’s much, much bigger.) Atop the gallery are several varieties of mangave, a succulent hybrid of agave and manfreda that’s a favorite for water-wise landscaping.

See the gallery here:

Take it from our experience: Research plants before you shop, and compile a list with the plant locations in the nursery. Bring a wagon or rolling cart if you have one. Often early in the sale, there’s a waiting list for the nursery wagons.

The Arboretum Teaching Nursery is located at 1046 Garrod Drive, Davis, on the UC Davis campus near the small-animal veterinary hospital. Parking is available in the adjoining lots. Student volunteers stationed on corners can direct visitors to parking areas.

Details and directions:


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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