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Grants available to support Sacramento-area garden projects

Saul Wiseman Grants emphasize education and diversity

The Natomas Garden & Arts Club and Garden Valley Elementary School used a 2019 Saul Wiseman Grant to create a butterfly garden at the Sacramento school.

The Natomas Garden & Arts Club and Garden Valley Elementary School used a 2019 Saul Wiseman Grant to create a butterfly garden at the Sacramento school.

Courtesy Sacramento Perennial Plant Club

Does your garden group need seed money? Or do you know a school or community group that hopes to get a garden project off the ground? Then this grant program may be just the helping hand needed to make that project grow.

The Sacramento Perennial Plant Cub is now accepting applications for its annual Saul Wiseman Grants, a unique program in honor of the club’s past president.

Application deadline is Jan. 16, 2023. Find the forms, past winners and full details at

Funds will be awarded in February – just in time for spring planting and gardening activities, say the club members.

“The purpose of the Saul Wiseman Grants is to promote gardening and horticultural activities with an emphasis on education, service, or enhancement to our diverse community,” explains Lili Ann Metzer of the Perennial Plant Club. “Non-profit groups, community groups and schools within the County of Sacramento are encouraged to apply.”

SPPC grant recipients in 2022 are not eligible for 2023 grant awards, she notes. “Priority will be given to grant applications that support diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Projects must have a source of water for irrigation. Applicants may request up to $1,000. Smaller projects are encouraged; partial grants may be awarded.

And grant winners have to follow through. “Recipients will take before and after pictures and provide information about the results of the grants to the SPPC,” Metzer says.

Due to Covid, no grants were given in 2021, but 2022 brought out a full field of grant candidates. The 2022 grant recipients were:

  • Black Lives Matter Sacramento Community Home and Land Project

  • Bret Harte Elementary School Garden

  • Earl Warren School Garden Restoration and Improvement

  • Growing Healthy Kids at Floyd Farms

  • La Vista Center Horticulture Club

  • Root Cellar Community Garden

    Questions? Email the club’s grants contact Anita Clevenger at


--- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* 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 fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* 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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