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CNPS chapter kicks off spring plant sale season

Online sale of California natives begins Saturday

Common yarrow is a reliably hardy green perennial in winter,  but will show off with white flowering stalks as the weather warms up

Common yarrow is a reliably hardy green perennial in winter, but will show off with white flowering stalks as the weather warms up Kathy Morrison

March brings a rush of spring plant sales. Kicking off the season is the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society with a four-day online sale this Saturday through midday Wednesday, March 4-8. 

SacValley CNPS has a propagation nursery and demonstration gardens on property at Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, though it is a separate entity from Soil Born. Formerly called Elderberry Farms, the nursery’s name now is SacValley CNPS Nursery and Gardens, in order to focus better on the chapter’s activities.

If you want a garden filled with natives – and why wouldn’t you? – this is one of the best sales in the Sacramento area at which to find them. The 61 plants on the inventory list range from Achillea millefolium (yarrow) to Vitus californica (California wild grape), and many other great plants in between. Check out the inventory here. Shopping tip: Create a wishlist ahead of time, then when the sale starts, just indicate the size of plant desired. Attributes of each plant are in this detailed list. Most will be in 1-gallon pots ($13), with some in 4-inch pots ($6). 

The sale also will feature about 20 books and pocket manuals on native plants and/or wildlife, including a few children’s books. Prices are half what you’d expect. (Example: “Gardening for Butterflies” from The Xerces Society, just $10.)

Shoppers also can make a donation to CNPS on the site.

The sale goes live at 8 a.m. Saturday and closes at noon Wednesday. Pickup is at Soil Born Farms, When purchasing plants, choose a pickup date within the windows of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 15. Anyone who can’t make either date will be advised to message nursery and plant sale chair Chris Lewis (email on the website).

Sac Valley also is planning a small in-person plant sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 15 during a Soil Born Farms marketplace day. Some guest vendors, including Find Out Farms, will be at the sale as well. More details are coming, the chapter notes. But the online sale is likely the best bet to get their popular plants.

For general information on the Sacramento Valley CNPS chapter,  including how to volunteer, visit

– Kathy Morrison


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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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