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UC Davis Arboretum hosts Friends-only spring sale

First of four sales features huge selection of water-wise plants

As with the sales last fall, expect plenty of plants and plenty of plant-buyers during the first spring sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

As with the sales last fall, expect plenty of plants and plenty of plant-buyers during the first spring sale at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. Kathy Morrison

At the UC Davis Arboretum, “Friends” get first dibs on new plants.

On Saturday, March 11, the Arboretum Teaching Nursery hosts the first of its 2023 spring sales. But this kickoff event is open only to Friends of the Arboretum, its longtime support group of volunteers and donors.

Say the organizers, “At this members-only event, Friends members are invited to shop before we open the nursery to the public. In addition to the opportunity to shop our best selection and 10% off their purchases, friends members also receive a $10-value member appreciation gift.”

Not a Friend? No problem. New Friends can join at the gate or in advance online here.

Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, located on Garrod Drive near UCD’s small animal veterinary teaching hospital on the university campus.

Before the event, prospective shoppers can check out the plant list and photos on the arboretum’s website at

This year’s inventory features hundreds of varieties of water-wise perennials, shrubs, bulbs, ground covers and trees – all proven to love growing in the Central Valley. That includes California natives as well as plants from other Mediterranean climates.

Featured are the ever-popular Arboretum All-Stars – tough, easy-care, low-water flowering plants with added benefits. Many of these plants attract birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators while adding beauty to our suburban landscapes.

Besides browsing the arboretum’s inventory online, shoppers also can see many featured varieties growing in the nursery’s demonstration gardens.

Upcoming public sales are scheduled for April 8 (starting at 11 a.m.; Friends get first look at 9 a.m. that day) and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29; the spring clearance sale is May 13.

Details and directions:


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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